What is Innovating Communities?

Innovating Communities is a two year training project to support community-led action across Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth. We want to mentor and empower community members like you to find solutions to Challenges facing your local area.

Join us on the road to innovation by signing up, submitting Challenges, and registering for Courses! You can learn valuable Design Thinking skills that address the wants and needs of your area and peers.

The lightbulb below tells you more about each step of the Innovating Communities journey, numbered 1 to 6. Click on each step to learn more about it! Click the categories in black that surround the lightbulb to view Challenges submitted within that category.

420 480 42 900 21 1 2 timeline Challenges Sign up Co-trainers Teams Marathons Sprints Reflect Participants Teams choose between Participants 100 Challenges Participants Irish Border Counties Hours of training Hours of training Design Thinking 6 4 5 6 3 Climate Action Natural Resources Development Group Social Enterprise Local Services Infrastructure Brexit Smart Villages Covid Broadband Place & Space Youth Development Business Biodiversity Circular Economy Health & Wellbeing Education & Training Technology Children & Families
6 420 480 42 900 21 timeline Challenges Sign up Co-trainers Teams Marathons Sprints Reflect Participants choose between Participants 100 Challenges Participants Irish Border Counties Hours Hours Design Thinking 2 1 3 4 5 6

Sign Up

The road to becoming a Challenger and helping your community begins here! Sign up today to stay informed every step of the way and interact with other interested members.

Sign up now!


Make a stop at the Challenge Bank to submit a Challenge that you want addressed in one of our Training Courses. Demonstrate your interest by liking and commenting on other Challenger's submissions. Popular Challenges will be more likely to inform some of our Courses.

Explore the Challenge Bank


We trained several local volunteers to become Co-Trainers, who will help champion the training of Challengers in their county. Their knowledge of Design Thinking will ensure the wants and needs of the community remain at the heart of the process.



Teams of Challengers will form by signing up for training Courses they feel are most suited to tackling their community's Challenges, or regional issues shared across county lines. Your Team will learn and train collaboratively, helping to push one another towards innovative solutions. We plan to train at least 900 Challengers over the course of the project.



Some Challenges require going the extra mile to solve it! Full Scale "Marathon" training Courses include 42 hours of training and tackle big, tricky issues or significant opportunities. These Courses may involve many groups or contain lots of mini-challenges within it that build to a bigger overall outcome, such as revitalising Town Centres or tackling Climate Change.



Design "Sprints" are 21 hour training Courses that focus on quick-fire solutions for specific Challenges. Every training Course will teach the basics of Design Thinking and use the Teams' Challenge to develop a solution. Participants will gain confidence in using the processes to find and test solutions for the future.



We've made it to the finish line! Challengers will be invited to a Learning Conference, where we can reflect on what's been learned and solved throughout the project. Communities will carry the skills and legacy of their journey forward into a bright future.

Design Thinking

Design thinking is a human-centered approach to problem solving that will form the basis of our shared learning journey.

Learn more about it.

Project Partners

South West College
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