15 June 2022

Levelling up the UK through inclusive innovation

Impact Hub Bradford was recently featured in the Connected Places Catapult magazine as part of a vision for what “inclusive innovation” could be and how the innovation economy can create opportunities and benefits for people and communities from all corners of the country.

Our Chief Creative Officer, Imran Ali contributed to the piece with some thoughts on the approach taken by the Hub here in Bradford…

Bradford’s Impact Hub is a social innovation hub and co-working space with collaboration and co-design at its heart.

To target Bradford’s under-served communities – women, young people and people of colour – Impact Hub Bradford has aligned itself with the city’s economic strategy.

Chief Creative Officer, Imran Ali, summarises the hub’s approach:

”We believe diversity brings better outcomes to all entrepreneurial endeavours, but is absolutely vital to those pursuing social impact.”

So how much impact is the Impact Hub having?

We can point to a number of examples:

“Our two-day programme, The 35, brought together minority leaders from across the city for a series ofworkshops on common challenges. The cohort found mutual support in each other’s journeys, and strategies for building resilience into their work.

“Our 2019 edition of TEDxBradford was a day- long event connected by the theme ‘Radically Social’. Half the contributors were women and over a third were people of colour. This diverse representation helped attract over 300 attendees notably, as the audience could see themselves and their issues represented on stage.”

“Finally, our SUSTAIN programme was a six-month series of masterclasses, workshops and individual coaching for social impact organisations challenged by the impact of COVID-19. SUSTAIN was developed in collaboration with PwC Foundation.”

Ali believes the Impact Hub’s ability to listen has been key to their successes.

“Think of compassion and empathy as core design materials. Use them to create products and services that matter. Inclusivity through co-design will ensure your communities feel ownership and agency over what you’re doing.”

You can find the full article – including inclusive innovation perspectives from leaders in Birmingham and Glasgow, as well as research reports in to place leadership – in the current issue of Connected Places Catapult.