LEADER Cooperation Project Yesterday marked the launch of the LEADER funded Cooperation Project ‘Innovating Communities’. Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys led the launch of this border region project valued at over €1m, involving 6 counties. The project is being led by Monaghan Integrated Development in partnership with Donegal Local Development CLG, Sligo LEADER Partnership, Leitrim Development Company, Cavan County Development and Louth LEADER Partnership.

Innovating Communities is a training programme which will help strengthen community development and enhance capacity within the border region using design thinking. Design thinking is essentially a mind-set and a set of tools which help communities to solve problems in a human centred way. This project, using design thinking, will help communities in these counties to develop new ways of thinking, new ways of working in order to build confidence and the ability of communities to develop their new ideas, as well as helping to involve community members in local decision making.

Drawing on an example from Austria, this project will deliver over 100 different training courses and a number of different training modules, aiming to reach over 900 participants (150 per county) and deliver over 6,000 hours of face to face training. Interestingly, this project will also have physical creative spaces to allow communities to network, co create and design solutions and ideas together. There will be 2 of these ‘LEADER living labs’ in each participating county which will be supported by LEADER and through local and private industry donations. Local volunteers in each county will also be instrumental to the success of this project by becoming co-trainers.

Innovating Communities is asking communities in the participating counties to log on to www.innovating.ie to learn more about the project and register their interest in becoming involved in this 2 year project. People are urged to do this as soon as possible as spaces are limited!

You can now view the official launch at: Watch Regional Launch | Innovating Communities | Innovating Communities