Catalysing Community Innovation in Practice: Glasgow, November 2023

The University of Glasgow is host to one of our 5 CIPs. Gaston Welisch and his CIP project, ‘Applying Design-Led Innovation to Improve Community Co-created R&D’, is embedded in the Arts & Humanities Partnership Catalyst: a collaborative programme that is run by both the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Glasgow and the Glasgow School of Art. This unique design-led knowledge exchange programme is a significant investment by both universities in exploring partnership, welcoming local, national and international partners to share their experience and priorities. By collecting and synthesising these insights, the catalyst identifies key themes that can be explored collaboratively, resulting in strong research relationships with relevant outcomes.

The central element of the catalyst is an innovation mapping tool that can be used to visualise ecosystems and identify shared areas of (in)activity as well as future goals. Three separate catalysts have been established so far: Digital cultural heritage; Food; and Mental health and wellbeing. Each catalyst has taken learning from the previous one, iterating the processes used to explore the needs and ideas of partners and begin to consider approaches to possible solutions. Key to these catalysts is sparking and building connection between researchers from the HEIs and the partner organisations interested in the catalyst themes. By bringing these collaborators together, space is created to explore new opportunities for research.

Gaston is supported by a team of interdisciplinary academics and practitioners including Dr Fraser Rowan, Dr Kirstie Wild and Prof Dauvit Broun, and Prof Gordon Hush and Dr Michael Pierre Johnson from Glasgow School of Art’s School of Innovation and Technology. Gaston’s role as a CIP is to analyse and evaluate the relationships that have been developed through this catalyst activity, as well as developing more effective ways for partners to communicate, and continue building momentum when they are outside of the in-person workshop environment. Crucially, Gaston will also contribute to the founding of a fourth new catalyst theme, applying learning from the previous catalysts, whilst also exploring the development of partnership processes from inception.

Over the coming months, Creative Communities will share a blog from each of our Community Innovation Practitioners detailing their individual research. Visit our CIP webpage for more information. You can also read more about Senior Research Fellow Dr Lauren Baker Mitchell on our team pages.


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