As you may know, the ChildHub project has funding until the end of this year, so the editorial team has started to fundraise for the upcoming three years. We have been discussing with colleagues, partners and experts about ideas and needs that the ChildHub should address. One of the issues that has come up is to foster social change through innovation.
International organisations have started to do what they call "innovation labs", in order to put together people who are creative and can reinforce each other through a group thinking in order to come up with innovative solutions to known social problems. UNICEF defines innovation lab (based on Labcraft) as:
…a unique kind of laboratory – one that creates a dialogue, listening carefully with an open mind to all the voices, and then tries to translate them, mix them, and amplify them to prototype and develop alternatives.
UNICEF has a running innovation lab in Kosovo and in Almaty. Both work with young people to come up with innovative solutions that improve the quality of life of children, but in Kosovo the topics range from art, social development to technology, while the one in Kazakhstan focuses on information technology.
Terre des hommes has also started an innovation lab called "FabLab" in a refugee camp in Greece where it is working with young refugees. In this case the FabLab is a physical space where people can access a variety of production tools: young people can learn how to code and use 3D printers and other machines and develop their skills. It is also a meeting point between local youth and young refugees, promoting integration and exchange of ideas.
UNHCR also has innovation labs that fosters new ideas about better protection of refugee children in an urban setting.
Last, but not least, there is the Be-Novative initiative ran out of Budapest that works with youth in a collaborative way to develop innovative ideas the youth has.
What do you think about youth- or child-led innovation? Do you have examples of such initaitives? Please let us know!