There is an increased need for projects that generate social innovation among young people. INNOVATORY is a new concept developed by PONT Group, which aims to respond to this specific need through an intervention based on the Design Thinking method, a human-centered method that analyzes a societal problem and proposes practical solutions through creativity and innovation.
In the digital age, when all trends are focused on personalized services and products for the user, a method of solving problems such as user-centered Design Thinking is more relevant than ever. This project helps acquire this approach even at the high school level, an aspect that contributes to the forming of the mentality of young people that will have an effect on all future activities.
The goal of the INNOVATORY program is to develop skills development program, skills of identifying problems in society, and of designing and validating solutions to problems identified among young people with active involvement of community facilitators (educators and trainers). The program’s objectives are: to develop adolescents’ soft skills, develop critical thinking among young people and form a pool of trainers capable of facilitating the activity of young people in this creative process.
The main activities of the project consist of training sessions for trainers, meetings and creative sessions involving high school teams, as well as public presentation of the solutions created by young people to the problems of the society. A complementary activity of the project focuses on the public dissemination of results.
This program encourages interdisciplinary, participatory creation and contributes to social and urban development through a youth project that helps the development of young people’s creativity skills by addressing specific Design Thinking methods, a practical and creative problem solving method. through a human-centered approach through the following stages: Empathize, Describe, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test.
The pilot edition was held in Cluj-Napoca in 2018, with the support of the City Hall and the Cluj-Napoca Local Council, with the participation of 119 students from 10 Cluj high schools, who worked under the guidance of 10 teachers. The second edition took place in Sfântu Gheorghe in partnership with the City Hall and the Sfântu Gheorghe Local Council and with the support of Bethlen Gábor Fund. 64 pupils from 9 schools took part in this edition under the guidance of 9 teachers.