Teaching social innovation techniques Training competence in social change methods
Providing practical training in the invention of new social forms, their diffusion and marketing.
The Institute for Social Inventions has run over 4,000 social invention workshops in schools (mainly in the London area), giving pupils an opportunity to use their creativity in order to carry out projects of benefit to their local communities and teaching them problem-solving skills. Pupils are encouraged to look at problems in their home lives, their neighbourhoods and within their schools, and to pick one problem to tackle for the school term. They are then taught brainstorming as a method and are encouraged to come up the the wildest, zaniest scheme they can think of that will be of assistance. It should be one that it at least imaginative enough to be featured in the local media, as this gives the pupils an extra thrill and an extra motivation to persevere. At which point the pupils draw up a more sober action plan, one that includes their own list of questions for evaluating at the end of term their degree of success or failure. The rest of the term is spent carrying out the project, with a performance or exhibition as appropriate in the final school assembly, where individual "Certificates of Creativity" are awarded. Similar social invention workshops and future workshops are also run with adults.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.