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Innovate Dublin, Social Innovation Hub, 1st Floor, Civic Centre, 
Main St, Ballymun, Dublin 9

Tel: 01 891 61 00

We are a social enterprise based in Ballymun, Dublin that helps bring great ideas to life for the benefit of local communities and organisations.

At Innovate Dublin we believe that real change comes through social innovation – new ideas that work!  We understand that people are the experts in their own lives and that the best results come from working closely with them to solve the challenges they face. That is why we work with local communities and organisations, and encourage creative collaboration to find solutions that work in real life and create a lasting impact.




We are developing several ‘Innovate’ Programmes across Dublin city to look at old problems in new and innovative ways. Each ‘Innovate’ Programme will create projects, both commercial and non-commercial to meet the needs of the community it is serving. The first of these programmes is being delivered in Ballymun, Innovate Ballymun.

From our research conducted, three critical areas emerged for us to concentrate on in Ballymun –Activating Underused Spaces, Increasing Civic Participation through Service Design and Developing Ballymun as a Test Base.


Our first workshop on Activating Underused Spaces, invited a dialogue around how to activate unused or vacant spaces in Ballymun. In order to inspire those local stakeholders who came along we invited speakers from a number of socially innovative initiatives; VoidstarterReusing Dublin, TURAS and Connect the Dots – to share their experiences and best practice. This type of social brokerage, bringing new solutions and case studies to the local communities and networking community champions with mentors and experienced change-makers, is a crucial part of what we do. 

A core element of this is about sharing models where communities have co-designed, co-produced and co-delivered new policy or service solutions. We understand that in order to effect positive change for communities and build sustainable pathways to resilience, we need to forge new connections and ‘critical friends’- together these stakeholders form a 'community of practice'. 

We are currently developing our 'community of practice' around two projects under the Activating Underused Spaces theme; The Social Innovation Hub, our first project, and the 'The Book Reserve Cafe', a cafe employing young offenders. Our Ezine will keep you up to date on these projects, and others being developed as part of our themes, Increasing Civic Participation through Service Design and Developing Ballymun as a Test Base.



Innovate Ballymun’s Social Innovation Hub opened its doors on the 4th January 2016, as our first project. This is a 350 square metres co-working and events space for a community of people from different professions and backgrounds who are taking action to drive positive social change.  They may be entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, techies, creatives, students, professionals and many more. We provide a shared work space for these people to work in and the offices are specifically designed to encourage collaboration and innovation.
The Hub is also a space where local community organisations can attend workshops on social innovation to find out what it is and how it can help them strengthen the effectiveness and sustainability of their organisations.  We will be running several  workshops this  year, and we will regularly update our website with these details or contact for more information. The topics will include:-
  • Using Design Thinking in your Organisation
  • Introduction to Crowdfunding
  • How To Run Effective Hackathons
  • Leadership for Innovation
  • Mindfulness as a Valuable Practice 

The SOCIAL INNOVATION HUB offers members access to 350 square metres of creative space to work, meet, learn, collaborate and play. We combine the best of a cafe, innovation lab, business accelerator, serviced office and community centre to create a place for meaningful encounters, productive work sessions and inspiration. 

Membership gives you a professional office right in the centre of Ballymun, only 7 kilometres from Dublin city centre and close to Dublin airport. 

You can avail of all the member benefits or just make our space yours, for more information see our Hubber`s pack.
Tuesday 16th February 2016, 7.30am – 9.00am


This briefing will introduce you to the concept of Design Thinking and show how it can be applied to your organisation/business to:-
  1. Identify your biggest strategic challenges and create new opportunities to overcome them by using design effectively
  2. Generate ideas that go beyond the obvious
  3. Build prototypes that test possible solutions before they are finalised 
Design thinking helps us ensure our plans have captured all the inputs we need to be effective and efficient. In its  recent ‘Dublin Action Plan for Jobs’ report launched on 25th January 2016, the Government cited design thinking as key tool for driving social, cultural and economic progress.
7.30am – 7.45am: Registration & Networking. A light breakfast will be served
7.45am - 8.50am: Briefing
8.50am - 9.00am: Q&A
We would like you to join us at the Dublin Service Jam, a FREE EVENT where we will be creating prototypes of new services in just 48 hours! The secret theme of this event will be announced on the day. The event takes from 17:00 on Friday 26th February to 15:00 on Sunday 28th February. 

What's a Service Jam? The Service Jam is an intense(ly fun) weekend where you and a fantastic bunch of  like minded movers and makers learn, master and refine the tools of service design.We provide the settings, the expertise, and materials.You provide the brains and blue sky thinking.

Why Jam? This is an opportunity to learn how to use design tools, build a local network and witness the impact of including user insights and rapid prototyping during the earliest stages of service development. With one theme but a worldwide presence, you will have access to a global cohort of thinkers and bank of prototypes to draw inspiration.

Location: The Social Innovation Hub is on the first floor of the Ballymun Civic Centre. Dublin Bus number 4, 13 or 17A. Free parking is available.

Time: 17:00 on Friday 26th February to 15:00 on Sunday 28th February 2016.

For more updates & information about what to expect over the weekend please follow us on twitter or contact us on OR @DublinGSJam 

For more videos and information about what's happened during previous jams worldwide visitglobal service jam

Innovate Dublin attended the Dublin Regional ACTION PLAN FOR JOBS- STAKEHOLDER FORUM,  where stakeholders had their say on the development of the Dublin region’s Action Plan for jobs. The finalised Plan was launched on 25th January 2016 by Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton. A copy of the Plan can be found here
Innovate Dublin attended the INNOVATION SHOWCASE which was held in the Convention Centre, Dublin on 8th December 2015. Ms Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, introduced the Big Ideasthe investor ready start-ups pitch session. Everything companies needed to know about how to access innovation support to grow their business was all under one roof.  The goal of the Showcase was to achieve significant economic impacts through increased engagement between the public research system and industry.
Innovate Dublin attended the DESIGN FOR SOCIAL INNOVATION SYMPOSIUM, DIT Grangegorman on 6 November, 2015. Design for Social Innovation aims to create concepts and solutions to social problems that are practical, culturally appropriate, scalable and sustainable. This symposium was an opportunity for design educators, community development practitioners, policy makers, researchers, students and social innovators across Ireland to engage in dialogue and collaboration on the role design can play in social change and social innovation in Ireland.People really loved the graphic recording by Eimear McNally.
We will introduce you to a new member (hubber) in each Ezine
The Irish Men’s Sheds Association (IMSA) was set up in January 2011 with the purpose of supporting the development and sustainability of Men’s Sheds in Ireland. Men’s Sheds offer a social space for men to engage in meaningful leisure activities, whilst chatting to other men from their locality.

Good health is based on many factors including feeling good about yourself, being productive and valuable to your community, connecting to friends and maintaining an active body and mind.  Becoming a member of a Men’s Shed gives a man that safe and busy environment where he can find many of these things in an atmosphere of friendship and support, and there is no pressure.  Men can just come and have a chat and a cuppa if that is all they are looking for.

Members of Men’s Sheds can come from all walks of life – the bond that unites them is that they are men with time on their hands and they would like something meaningful to do with that time.

The IMSA is a national organisation and represents the collective issues of the 300 Men’s Sheds throughout Ireland that are based in both rural and town settings.  They share information freely between Sheds and support communities and organisations wishing to establish a Shed.
For more information you can visit the Facebook page ‘Irish Men’s Shed Association’ or the website
To stay up to date on our activties, follow us on Twitter @innovate_dublin
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