Following their kick-off meeting in South Africa in January 2017, the EU-funded Common Good First project team met again at GCU last week.
Common Good First is a digital project which will link community projects in South Africa to each other and to higher education institutions around the world using a web-based knowledge bank and innovative digital storytelling solutions. Led by GCU’s Director of Digital Collaboration Julie Adair, the Common Good First team will identify community projects and work with them to promote their objectives online and to investigate how the academic network could input innovative approaches to social change in response to the challenges the projects are facing.
The consortium includes representatives from six South African universities, as well as partners from Denmark, England, Iceland, Norway, Spain and Scotland. They were also joined by the project’s EU Officer from Brussels and a representative from the Scottish Government’s Department of Social Enterprise, Social Innovation and Social Investment, who are also contributing funding to the initiative.
The aim of the three-day session was for the team to make progress on planning the digital storytelling modules, which are to be piloted at South Africa’s Rhodes University and University of South East Norway; to develop the approach for project selection across South Africa; and to consider the logistics of the platform build, which will take place in Cape Town early next year.
Earlier this year, Common Good First won a distinguished Ashoka U Cordes Innovation Award in celebration of its community partnership working. The platform was recognised by Ashoka U, a global network of universities and colleges which focuses on social innovation, for its ambitions to identify, showcase and connect social impact projects to each other, and to universities for research, evaluation, teaching and student engagement. Following the award, Sandra White MSP congratulated the digital project in a motion to the Scottish Parliament.
Common Good First also recently won a grant of £25,000 from the Scottish Government. This is to fund expertise in promoting the project in Scotland and beyond, to help develop the website and digital storytelling modules and to consider how Scottish social innovation projects can be involved in the network.
For more information about Common Good First, please visit https://www.commongoodfirst.com/