Social Innovation Match

The project “Social Innovation Match” brought together 28 participants from 12 European organizations, working for the empowerment of the young generations and willing to get in touch with different kinds of approach to social innovation in order to transfer these new knowledge and skills in their communities. The main event of the project will be a contact making seminar that will take place in Abano Terme (PD), Italy, from the 15th to the 19th of May 2017. The chosen location is the headquarter of the social promotion association Khorakhanè, which is in network, together with Creativi108, with the national youth association Amesci, sharing its vision and activities. Khorakhanè represents one of the most prominent associations in the Region Veneto for its promotion of youth initiatives, active participation and creativity. The core idea of the project is to use the contact making seminar as a place to network youth organizations which can share ideas and practices of social innovation. Particularly, we want to gather these 12 organizations to come up with the best training methodologies and skills that can be useful to young aspiring social innovators.

Each organization had the chance to present its most effective approach to social innovation (i.e. a project or a particular method) in both frontal and non-formal ways. These workshops will be alternated with partnership building activities with the hope of future KA2 collaborations to rise. The meeting of 28 youth workers was aimed to promote the exchange of experiences, creativity and social innovation what could be applicable to design collective awareness campaign oriented on education with young people.

Ribalon has enabled an opportunity for Velesa Mrak and Robert Brecelj to take part in this seminar. They have presented the Solution Focused Approach – our approach when working with individuals, teams or organisations.

Here’s what Velesa and Robert have reported back as their experience:

Velesa presenting SFBT

Standing in front of other participants and inviting them in the world of SFBT (Solution Focused Brief Therapy) was a great experience for Robi and me. We started the presentation with the story of Australian airplane, where the pilot in the crisis situation used a different approach from required one. By focusing on working engines instead of errors he saved the passengers and safely landed the plane.

After that story, we continued with the presentation of SFBT and how very different it is from all other approaches that help people moving forward in their lives. We wanted to emphasize the key points proving that. So, “What do we do in SFBT?” We for certain believe in people/organizations/clients and their resources, we know that change is the only constant in our lives and how important it is to stay on the surface and not search for explanation of a problem.

We do more with less interventions and we always use simple language and adjust to the client’s context, words and aspirations. We tried to explain how important it is, to focus not just on what works but to explore the desired future in a way, where the best expert of clients’ life and situations goes to the latter.

Robert presenting SFBT

Before unfolding SF tools, we wanted to give them the idea of how significant it is to track clients’ past successes. For that reason, we invited them to do the exercise of their own brilliance. It was a pleasure to watch participant in pairs talking about their past successes and representing their partners with the help of compliments. Later we explained the SF tools in a bit detailed way and also gave the participants an opportunity to explore the SF tools in the pair work.

We must say that the participants have recognized the benefits of applying SFBT. Questions arisen after our presentation were the best evidence of that and what is more, the suggestions about applying a common social innovation project. Many compliments were shared and enthusiasm lit.

We showed all advantages of SFBT and how believing in clients’ brilliance guides SF questions in a way that this approach becomes a really transformative process. We stressed out that by doing that we can help clients to find their own way into their desired future.

We spread the word about SFBT success stories and cannot wait to do it again. Velesa and Robert, on behalf of Ribalon

Feedback from other participants: “Ribalon and solution focused approach was represented in the Social Innovation Match, that occurred in Abano Terme between 15 and 20 of May. It was the first time that I heard about the institute and the work done to help people in difficult situations. It was very interesting realize that people already have the resources and capabilities necessary, to make the changes they want for themselves. The methods and tools used seem to me very appropriate and useful to help people. In the meeting we reflected and participate in a simulation and was great, because we were encouraged to find the solution to our problem. Velesa Mrak and Robert Brecelj did a presentation so enthusiastic, professional and complete, that the entire group loved to know the Solution Focused Approach. Thank you so much for sharing with us your project as engaging”.

Slovenian participants doing a great job