CISP on the Road to Social Innovation PDF Print

Nairobi, Kenya - Creativity is a function of knowledge, curiosity, imagination, and evaluation; success lies in our open mindedness.

CISP staff have just completed an eight-day course on Creativity and Innovation with particular focus on gender based violence in Somalia. The training was carried out by Amani Institute in partnership with CISP. Amani Institute is an organization committed to sharing their knowledge on how we can all tap into the part of us that dreams, shares, learns and enjoys that which we have chosen to do.

The course was spread over five months providing space for the participants to reflect on the concepts and experiments which were part of the programme. Members of staff were trained on innovation in problem solving with emphasis on gender based violence. The training facilitators used role playing, outdoor training, videos and open discussions to keep the participants engaged. This encouraged involvement and persuaded the trainees to consider the particular needs and cultures of the communities within which we work. This approach is intended to help CISP staff inspire the  communities to come up with solutions to their problems and to change the approach in tackling cases of gender based violence in Somalia.

The various facilitators from the institute as well as guests provided a variety of approaches keeping the sessions lively.

A Kenyan poet Sitawa, provided a fresh and thought-provoking perspective on creativity. A well-known creative, we were all inspired to hear she started writing poetry six years ago. “It started with me believing I was creative, and opening my mind for inspirations. I tap into all my experiences, everything is a resource,” she said, encouraging us to be open-minded.

On the last day, each group was able to see the product of the idea they had on the first day. They had gone through the process assessment, testing and prototyping and had developed into a concrete project or product.  The results were encouraging, “This was an exciting process that has taught me many new things and validated some elements I had so I can develop them,” commented Joan.

Maura Viezzoli, one of the organisations founders took time to explain how it all started Just as an idea; 30 years later, CISP is present in over 30 years around the world. She presented an idea that developed into a global force which we can witness today.

Exercises were aimed at self-development and team building. During discussion team members suggested the practical steps to take to improve ourselves and the office environment to allow creativity and sharing of ideas. Suggestions were also made on how we can measure improvement at individual and organization level.

We carried one message home: The greater your knowledge base and level of curiosity, the more ideas, patterns, and combinations you can achieve, which connect to creating new and innovative ideas; which you then evaluate and develop.




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