Many of the key challenges facing society - such as educational underachievement or poor physical and mental health - are complex and multi-faceted. In seeking to identify and develop new and innovative ways of tackling these we need to think differently and creatively.
While individual programmes and social interventions are important, we also need to understand these within the broader social, cultural, political and economic contexts within which they are delivered and to begin thinking and working in more holistic ways.
Through the Centre working in real and sustained partnership with local communities and the many professionals and organisations working with those communities, we aim to create spaces where we can question existing assumptions and practices, think creatively and develop new and innovative ways of working by drawing together and harnessing the considerable expertise that exists within local communities, the professions and the academic world.
Over the coming years the Centre is committed to investing in the development of two long-term and sustained partnerships locally in West Belfast:
Our shared vision is that we not only achieve measurable and lasting improvements in the health and social wellbeing of both communities but that both become beacons for social innovation nationally and internationally, setting out novel and effective ways of transcending some of society's key challenges.
Our work with the Innovation Zones is recognised as one of the University’s Social Charter programmes, see here for details.