The Social UP project brings together a transnational consortium involving 7 experts in different fields from 5 EU countries (UK, Greece, Finland, Spain and Cyprus). The team has complementary experience and expertise in the fields of design thinking process and training, business education and training, entrepreneurial education and guidance, business consulting and social entrepreneurship, technical development of support tools, combining research with market and technical knowledge.
Partners are meeting regularly in different cities, hosted at the premises of the different partners (Kick-off meeting in Birmingham, project meetings in Vaasa, Palma de Mallorca, London).
DesignThinkers (UK) was established in 2012 and is part of the international network DesignThinkers Group, established in 2007.
DesignThinkers Group is one of the leading ‘design driven’ Innovation agencies facilitating organizations around the world in making the transition from being strictly product orientated and sales driven, towards being service orientated and human centered. We are a Global Agency, represented in 18 countries and train, develop and facilitate creative multidisciplinary teams and communities to drive positive change.
Design Thinking is an approach to develop and deliver innovative ideas and solutions to complicated problems, and manage change within organisations. It is an activity-based process with a strong emphasis on teamwork and co-creation. Our mission is to provide space and time for teams and individuals to be inspired and challenged, to strengthen their ability for creative problem solving and to help organizations build the necessary environment and mind-set.
Our clients operate in Corporate, Governmental, and Third-Sector environments including NGO’s, charities, and social enterprises. We work extensively within startup networks and incubators across the world. We have developed a range services in the field of Design Thinking:
Through DesignThinkers Lab we facilitate research in Design Thinking and Service Design through accepted research methodologies including quantitative and qualitative techniques.
Through DesignThinkers Academy we offer and cof o-create Training Programs, Study Tours, Masterclasses, Summer Schools and Personal Coaching for Professionals and Teams. We have developed our training via ‘Learning by Doing’, so our training sessions are high energy and hands-on events. In all of them, participants are challenged to work in small teams on a real case and learn to work with Design Thinking and Service Design tools that have been developed by the group and successfully deployed within many client projects, including Personas; Cultural Probes; Customer Journey Mapping; Stakeholder Mapping; Value Network Mapping; Prototyping; Business Modelllng; Road Mapping; and more.
Through DesignThinkers Network we facilitate open collaboration with thousands of like-minded creatives involved in design thinking across more than 200 countries.
Through DesignThinkers ThinkTank we operate a community for innovation professionals interested in using Design Thinking tools and methods within corporate global companies or NGO’s. Convinced by Social Up aims, DesignThinkers chose for the first time to participate in an EU project consortium, sharing its transferable expertise with other culturally interesting projects in different regions of Europe.
Vaasa University of Applied Sciences
Vaasa University of Applied Sciences (VAMK) offers education in technology, economics, international business, health care and social services. VAMK’s focus areas are the energy sector and combining entrepreneurship with internationalism. VAMK is a non-profit higher education institution.
The participating unit from VAMK in the Western Finland Design Centre MUOVA. It is a design research and development centre of VAMK. Muova promotes international competitiveness of companies and organisations, runs development projects and processes and applied research, and creates innovative methods using creativity and design. One application and target area for the new method and the activity is education and another is SMEs.
Contact person Tanja Oraviita Full postal address VAMK: Wolffintie 30, 65200 Vaasa, Finland
Participating unit: Western Finland Design Centre MUOVA, Wolffintie 36 F 11, 65200 Vaasa
T. VAMK: +35 863263111
Oraviita mob.: +358 40 1632940
Partner website www.vamk.fi
Militos Consulting SA
Militos Consulting S.A. is a unique, dynamic and innovative 360° consultancy firm, with a strong European profile, international experience and many distinctions.
An expert in mentoring, entrepreneurship, business consulting, education and VET, skills empowerment and the production of train-the-trainer methodologies, interactive e-learning tools, mobile applications, entrepreneurial networks/platforms and immersive games, Militos has implemented 55 EU-funded projects and activities, as leader or partner, including the officially recognised best practices Business Mentors (coordinated by Militos), LadybizIT and Mumpreneurs on women entrepreneurs’ empowerment and Farm inc. on marketing of agricultural products. As such, Militos has sound experience in project management of large-scale and complex projects as well as in depth understanding of European policies.
Since 2015, Militos has been more heavily involved in social entrepreneurship, running the project “Entreprising Socially” of the City of Athens Development and Destination Management Agency for provision of consultancy, tools and mentoring to 40 social enterprises and implementing as partner another two EU projects on social entrepreneurship and responsibility: SESBA / Social Enterprise Skills for Business Advisers and USR-NET / European Network of Socially Responsible Universities.
Militos also excelled as National Coordinator in Greece of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED), the world’s largest movement for women innovators and job creators, established in 2014 by the United Nations.
Having formed "the downtown cluster", a powerful entrepreneurial ecosystem of collective wisdom with Social Enterprise knowl for Education and Lifelong Learning, Militos is supporting the implementation of the awarded (Education Business Awards 2016) pioneer “Mellon-Skills Accelerator” project on personalised skills development of unemployed and NEETs for labour market (re)integration.
Militos holds extensive experience and expertise in mobilising communities, designing, managing and implementing demanding events and large-scale campaigns. Militos is well known for the smart, inventive, high aesthetic and quality material it produces, being the first choice as Communication and Dissemination Consultant for enterprises and (European) bodies, including the European Commission Representation and the European Parliament Information Office in Greece, the European Commission Standard Eurobarometer for Greece (National Editor), DG Enterprise and Industry (Intermediary Organisation for ERASMUS Young Entrepreneurs & Coordinator of the European Network of Mentors for Women Entrepreneurs). Within the last 6 years, Militos has organised more than 170 multidimensional events and dissemination actions with more than 50.000 participants, having received many distinctions, including 2 european awards (DG AGRI), ie. the Special Public CAP Award for the widest outreach in Europe (1st place) and the Award for Innovative Communication in the EU CAP (3rd place) for the LLP project farmsup! on the promotion of agro-entrepreneurship.
Innovation Training Center (ITC)
Innovation Training Center (ITC) is a training and consultancy organization based in Palma de Mallorca (ES) who offers a wide range of services regarding innovative materials and services (R+D+I approach) to promote innovation in learning, entrepreneurship and support to start ups with a focus in tourism and service sector.
It is based in PARC BIT (ParcBit, Parc balear d'innovació tecnològica, www.parcbit.es) a specific park to promote innovation in ICT for companies and SMEs mainly focusing on those of the Tourism sector. Its consolidation and experience has allowed them to create a specific R & D department for the development and implementation of Innovation projects. Its interdisciplinary team of experts has participated and managed a wide range of R & D projects and has built an intensive networking experience with various private and public organisations: governmental institutions, technology centres and public research organizations at local, regional, national, European and international level.
It counts on a team of middle aged and also senior workers very motivated and full of innovative and creative ideas that may not only provide good deliverables but also provide their input towards the sustainability and the further exploitation of the project results.
Knowl Social Enterprise
Social Enterprise knowl (S.E. knowl) for Education and Lifelong Learning is a Collective Social Cooperative Enterprise, an innovative, dynamic, participatory, grassroots network, adhering to the principles of social economy and social entrepreneurship.
Knowl gives great emphasis to the free provision of education and training to vulnerable social groups, supporting the fight against unemployment, marginalisation and poverty. Overall, since its establishment in 2012, knowl has already offered free education and skills training services to more than 2.500 people (NEETs, unemployed, wantepreneurs) and has (co)organised free interactive educational seminars for more than 5.000 participants.
Its flagship, pioneer, awarded (Special Education Business Award 2016) project Mellon Skills Accelerator for personalised skills empowerment for unemployed market (re)integration, implemented with the cooperation of Municipal authorities with high unemployment rates in the region of Attica (Greece), has already produced remarkable results. In just 16 months, professional skills of 1.789 citizens have been strengthened, more than 1.500+ training hours have been offered for free and more than 19 open seminars have been organized with the support of a volunteer network of 100+ Mellon Experts and Mellon Angels. Moreover, 1 in 2 participants have found a job corresponding to their professional profiles.
Moreover, S.E. knowl has developed a number of innovative learning models for personal and professional development, such as STARS Success Yourself©, a workshop accredited by the International Coach Federation and characterized as best practice by the top management of major organizations and companies in Greece, such as the Road Public Transport S.A. (OSY), the Benaki Phytopathological Institute, Korres Natural Products, Jungheinrich Hellas Ltd.
S.E. knowl also constitutes a key partner and initiator, in numerous European projects co-funded by the European Commission/DG Education and Culture, with a track record of already 15 European projects, designing and developing pioneer educational and skills training content. Moreover, S.E. knowl participates in the development and publication of position and consultation papers, critical reviews, studies, reports, researches on methods and impact of mentoring in various fields of application.
S.E. knowl is implementing numerous large-scale awareness-raising activities such as the ongoing “BE THE CAUSE” social campaign, mobilising civil society and private sponsors for supporting civil society initiatives and is an official member of the policy instrument Grand Coalition for Jobs, under the auspices of the General Secretariat for Gender Equality of the Ministry of Interior, addressing the high rates of women unemployment in the ICT sector.
Social Enterprise Mark CIC
Social Enterprise Mark CIC is the social enterprise accreditation authority, which ensures the social enterprise business model remains ethical, credible and commercial through accreditation. It is responsible for assessing applications for the internationally recognised Social Enterprise Mark and Social Enterprise Gold Mark. It exists to recognise and promote the capabilities of social enterprises as competitive, sustainable businesses, dedicated to maximising social impact above shareholder profit.
The Social Enterprise Mark is the only internationally available social enterprise accreditation, enabling credible social enterprises to prove they put the interests of people and planet before shareholder gain. The Mark acts as an independent, externally assessed guarantee that a business is operating as a social enterprise, with the central aim of using income/profits to maximise social benefit, taking precedent over generating dividends for owners/shareholders.
The Social Enterprise Gold Mark provides a route to social enterprise excellence. The Gold Mark offers enhanced accreditation to social enterprises which can show best practice in proof points across key business areas, including financial transparency and business ethics. It is a business development tool that sets benchmarks and an action plan for continuous improvement.