Innovative new training programme aims to enhance creativity among people, communities and  businesses in Leitrim

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

Innovative new training programme aims to enhance creativity among people, communities and  businesses in Leitrim

An innovative training programme, Innovating Communities, designed to enhance creativity among people, communities and businesses in Leitrim has been launched across the Border region by Minister Heather Humphreys  TD. 

The Leitrim launch of this project will take place online at 3pm on Friday 12th March which will give people a good perspective of this Innovating Communities Programme (ICP) and the exciting  benefits it will bring to communities, projects and activities in Leitrim.

“The programme will give local  groups and individuals a deep understanding of the value of design thinking in dealing with many of  today’s social, economic and environmental challenges and for the opportunities in these areas for  our communities,” stated Brian Smyth of the Leitrim Development Company. 

“We are teaming up with the Local Development Companies in Sligo, Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth to deliver this training along the border. The training focuses on helping people to face  challenges and find solutions to them and it will energise and mobilise people in Leitrim to adopt new  ideas and ways of working”. 

A total of 102 training modules will be delivered across all these six counties over the next two years.

“This will result in over 150 participants form Leitrim being trained over the course  of the project with a combination of online and face to face training and also one to one mentoring.  This approach using Design Thinking is proven in other countries in tackling complex problems that  are ill-defined or difficult to solve, by understanding the human needs involved, by reframing the issue, project or problem in practical ways, by creating many ideas through brain-storming and by adopting  a hands-on approach to prototyping and testing solutions. Many of today’s problems can have a  positive flip side if approached creatively, often leading to unforeseen opportunities for communities  and individuals and businesses”.

Icecream Architecture, a Scottish based company specialising in  Design Thinking training will work with Leitrim Development Company to roll out this innovative programme in Leitrim and the other five counties.  

“The opportunity to explore and develop the ‘nature of rural innovation’ and how it can best be  stimulated and supported in the southern border area has great potential. The pace of change and  challenges for us all has increased recently with the impact of the Covid19 pandemic on how we all  interact and work and also the uncertainty and changes with Brexit on our county and region gives  us the need for a rapid recovery and change to build in confidence new approaches and resilience for  our all our futures,” added Brian. 

Leitrim Development Company is encouraging community groups, volunteers, activists, businesses and individuals who are active and interested in areas such as community/ rural development, towns  and villages groups, in inclusion, integration, the environment, biodiversity, climate, the arts and  heritage to register their interest in the project at www.innovating.ie and to take part in the training.  The scale of the project means that there will be a group of activists within the community equipped  to develop and support actions and projects based on the principles of Design Thinking and to help  come up with innovative solutions. Thistraining is free and the initiative is being funded by the LEADER  Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. 

For more information you can also contact Brian Smyth  at brian@ldco.ie or on 087 4116626.