Unusual Suspects Festival Northern Ireland: Highlights Report

  • December 7, 2016

What happened at the Unusual Suspects Festival in Northern Ireland?

After the success of two Unusual Suspects Festival in Glasgow and London, we hosted our third festival in Northern Ireland in October 2016.

With 40+ organisations, both local and international, coming together to host 19 different events across two cities in both Belfast and Derry~Londonderry, it proved to be as exciting, insightful and unusual as ever.

You can see all of the tweets from the three days

Interview with Méabh Austin from FareShare NI

  • October 13, 2016

As part of the Unusual Suspects Festival, we spoke with Méabh Austin from FareShare NI. FareShare is a UK wide organisation that aims to tackle hunger and food poverty through a redistribution of food that would ordinarily go to waste. Join us at Belmont Tower ,from 15:00-17:00,  for the festival session entitled ‘How can we feed Northern Ireland in 50 years time?’ for further discussion on this area. 


Can you tell me a bit more about the project?

Méabh: At …

The JAM Card

  • October 11, 2016

We were lucky enough to speak with Jayne from the NOW Group as part of our Unusual Suspects festival. Jayne and her team have developed the JAM card, a wonderful an innovative way to give people with learning difficulties the confidence to tackle elements of everyday life, like shopping.

Can you tell me a bit more about the project?

Jayne: ‘The JAM Card was the idea of service users of the NOW Group’s ‘Kidnap Wednesday’ social forum, a place for people …

Interview with Dr Rosemary Moreland

  • September 5, 2016

As part of our Unusual Suspects festival, we caught up with Dr Rosemary Moreland, who is the Senior lecturer in community development at Ulster University in Belfast. They are running a community outreach course titled ‘Unblocking Potential’ which is an innovative way of ensuring education is available for all.

What is the Unblocking Potential programme?

The Unblocking Potential programme is a short community outreach course, which we developed in partnership with our Centre

How public storytelling is bridging divides in Derry~Londonderry

  • August 26, 2016

As part of the Unusual Suspects Festival in Northern Ireland, we spoke with Eamonn Baker, who works with one of nine partner organisations that make up the Holywell Diversity Community Partnership. Towards Understanding and Healing uses storytelling as an innovative way of publicising truth, acknowledgement and understanding of conflict. 

What’s your calling? 

‘Our calling could be described as storytelling. We hear of and from people who have experienced trauma due to the Troubles, whether that’s inflicting trauma on others, or have …

How UV Arts is engaging youth through street art

  • August 17, 2016

As part of the Unusual Suspects Festival in Northern Ireland, we spoke with UV arts, a recently established community project in Derry~Londonderry and one of our festival hosts. We interviewed Karl Porter, the founder of UV arts, how he’s using art and public space in different ways to help create safe, neutral environments for youth to develop their skills whilst challenging negative perceptions of graffiti.

Can you tell us a bit more about the projects at UV-Arts? 

‘We work across a …

Loaf Catering: Community Building Through Food

  • August 2, 2016

Maeve Monaghan, amongst many other things, is CEO of The NOW Group, a social enterprise providing training, employment and volunteering opportunities to people with all levels of learning abilities in Belfast. They also operate two social enterprise projects: Gauge, which helps organisations understand, measure and communicate their social impact; and Loaf Catering, a catering enterprise cafes and a corporate catering business.

As part of our Festival preparation in Northern Ireland, we were lucky enough to speak with Maeve about …

Why we are hosting a festival of social innovation and collaboration

  • September 2, 2014

By Louise Pulford, Director of SIX

Collaborating is key to finding new or better solutions to some of the world’s toughest social problems. We want more people to do more things together, because we think that a conversation with someone with a different perspective helps us to imagine new possibilities and develop different outcomes. In addition, the problems that require social innovation are complex – they often don’t fit neatly into one sector or thematic area – innovation …

From Musical Concepts to Unusual Suspects

  • September 1, 2014

By Jon Huggett, Chair of SIX

Welcome to The Unusual Suspects Festival in London 2014!

We hope you make unlikely connections for social change. 35 partner organisation are collaborating to create 28 events, all backed by the Social Innovation Exchange,Collaborate, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

The Unusual Suspects is a festival of social innovation and collaboration, so we have tried to make it:
• Innovative: mixing us up to make the most of serendipity;
• Collaborative: crowdsourcing and …

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