Innovation for Change

What is this Structured Elective about?
The overall purpose of this Structured Elective is to develop students’ creative confidence and entrepreneurial mindsets as future social innovators, entrepreneurs and changemakers within their own academic or personal environment. Social entrepreneurship and social innovation are increasingly gaining traction as a viable alternative to traditional ways of addressing societal and environmental problems. Its methods and thinking combine market-based approaches with a social mission and a desire to change existing structures and services for the better.

Why should I take this Structured Elective?
Over the past 10 years social entrepreneurship & innovation have grown from a niche activity to now entering mainstream policy, business and education nationally and around the world. Its increasing appeal is underlined by a growth of social enterprise related programmes (e.g. Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, School for Social Entrepreneurs, ENACTUS, Ashoka, etc.) and funding sources (Big Society Capital (UK), Acumen (US), Social Innovation Fund (IRE) etc.). Successful social ventures like FoodCloud, Camara, Room to Read, CoderDojo, Grameen Bank and others have significantly contributed to rethink established business models and existing corporate and public sector structures.

Examples include:

  • Businesses are adopting corporate social responsibility strategies driven by an underlying need to be regarded as responsible actors in society;
  • Existing charities are looking for new revenue models and mechanisms to scale their impact;
  • Government is under pressure to ‘do more with less’ and to increase the rate of innovation within the healthcare sector, education and other services.

How would this Structured Elective benefit me?
By taking this Structured Elective you will:

  • Explore and critically evaluate tools and practices relevant for entrepreneurship (e.g. business models, lean start-up methodology, design thinking) and the specific context in which social enterprises operate (i.e. ranging from small NGOs to the CSR initiatives in large multinationals);
  • Reflect on general key trends (social, economic, environmental, technical and scientific) and their implications for ensuring a global, inclusive, equitable society;
  • Learn to apply your creative skills to the social enterprise, social innovation or community venturing space;
  • Learn, apply and reflect on the Design-Thinking process to develop and prototype an innovative solution to a real-world societal or environmental problem including effectively communicating your solution.

How do I take the modules in this Structured Elective?

  • In order to earn this Structured Elective you must take the specified modules in or after 2018/19.
  • To receive this Structured Elective you must take the required modules as Elective modules  and not as Core or Option modules.
  • To achieve the Structured Elective in Innovation, you must take three of the following four modules as Elective modules during your degree. Note that these modules can be taken in any order and at any stage of your programme. It is recommended that IA20010 Introduction to Creative Thinking is taken first. These modules include:
ModuleTitleCredits
IA20010 Creativity & Innovation 5
IA20020 Essentials of Entrepreneur 5
IA20060 Social Entrepreneurship 5
IA20080 Design Think Innovation 5
IA20090 Design your life