Today we announce the launch of the Help Make Change campaign. To replace the cancelled Social Innovation Showcase event the Help Make Change campaign will introduce you to this year’s Glasgow Class and their Good Ideas. In this blog Claire tells us how Good Ideas came to be and why we need grassroots social innovation more than ever.

I founded The Melting Pot to support grassroots social innovation. Good Ideas is our most direct tool for doing this. We work with social innovators to incubate their ideas for social change from infancy to impact.

I came to the idea for the Good Ideas programme when The Melting Pot was off the ground and achieving some success. I had founded several projects as a social entrepreneur, The Melting Pot being the most aspirational and the one I was committed to nurturing long term. I wanted to do something that would reduce the friction you experience as a social entrepreneur working on an innovative idea.

The programme deals with the key elements of a social entrepreneur’s journey.

Examining the true potential of an idea, sorting the wheat from the chaff. Making sure the idea you’re pouring effort into really is a solution to the social problem you want to solve. 

The practicalities of getting s*** done. Having a physical space to work, a structured process to go through that makes sure you’re pointing forwards and making progress.

And your well-being. I think every entrepreneur has experienced burn out. While we can’t avoid that for the Good Ideas participants, we can stress the importance of looking after your well-being as your first priority.

Good Ideas is centred around peer support. Building strong connections between innovators so they can continue to give each other a leg up as they get further along their journey, even after leaving the programme. A strong community is compulsory when trying to achieve something radical, it takes a village as they say. Usually about children, but it applies to raising an organisation too!

The programme has evolved a lot since its inception and this year was no different. For the first time we ran it in Glasgow as well as in Edinburgh.

The delivery of the Good Ideas programme no longer sits with me. And while I miss spending time nurturing people with blossoming ideas, I am grateful for this. I’ve had to drop a lot of things this last few weeks to go back to the drawing board with my own business – looking after the long-term future of The Melting Pot, Good Ideas and the Coworking Accelerator.

The Good Ideas Classes have been left in the very capable hands of the Facilitators Joe Trodden and Helen Denny. Through all this, progress has been able to continue.

The final instalment of the Glasgow Good Ideas Class was delivered before the UK went into lockdown. I’m glad that the first Glasgow Class were able to go through the programme in its entirety and that we’ve been able to move the Edinburgh Class over to digital delivery. We need to look after our social innovators, now more than ever.

It is the ideas that come from lived experience and direct need that will bring us out of the COVID-19 crisis as stronger and more resilient communities. These ideas do not take themselves forward, however. We must support the people behind them that are striving to make change.

The landmark of Good Ideas I now look forward to most is the Social Innovation Showcase. I join the social innovators to celebrate as they go from Class members to Alumni and move onto the next stage of their journey.

The Glasgow Social Innovation Showcase was supposed to happen today. An in-person event where the sector and social innovation enthusiasts could connect with Glasgow’s first cohort of Good Ideas Alumni. Unfortunately, due to the current circumstances, the Glasgow Class will not get their Showcase this year. So, we have had to innovate.

So instead we are announcing the Help Make Change campaign, which will launch next week.

You will still get the chance to meet the Glasgow Class. To find out how you can help them make change happen and get inspired to make change yourself. The Help Make Change campaign will introduce you to each innovator and their idea. They will also share a unique ask, an invitation to the social innovation community to provide the support they need for the next stage of their journey.

I have seen so many offers of support these past few weeks. Our government acknowledging our sector’s essential contribution, launching a £20 million Resilience Fund to see us through. Emails from friends, colleagues and peers wishing me and my team well. Countless, unique offers from people who just want to make things easier in these trying times. I hope you will extend these offers to the Glasgow Class to help make change.

Sign up to our mailing list to be the first to hear from the Help Make Change campaign over the next few weeks.