MSP praises Common Good First award win

03 March 2017

Sandra White MSP has congratulated GCU’s award-winning Common Good First digital project in a motion to the Scottish Parliament.

Common Good First is a digital project initiated by GCU and now co-funded by the European Commission. It won a distinguished Ashoka U Cordes Innovation Award in celebration of its community partnership working.

The platform has been recognised by Ashoka U, a global network of universities and colleges which focuses on social innovation, for its ambitions to identify, showcase and connect social impact projects to each other, and to universities for research, evaluation, teaching and student engagement.

Ms White said: “I am pleased to support the efforts of GCU’s Common Good First digital project with a celebratory motion to the Scottish Parliament, and am delighted that this project has been recognised with the Ashoka U Innovation Award.

“Focused on collaboration and sharing of experiences and challenges of communities in Glasgow across Scotland and abroad, this work can make a real difference for those in Scotland and beyond seeking to deliver social impact to change lives.”

By co-creating innovative digital storytelling modules with community groups and students, the Common Good First initiative will share the experiences and challenges community projects face. The platform will launch first in South Africa and will, ultimately, be rolled out in Scotland and around the world. GCU has collaborated with colleagues in six South African universities and has partner institutions in Spain, Norway, Iceland and Denmark.

Julie Adair, Director of GCU’s Common Good First, said: “While communities in different parts of the world are thousands of miles apart, bottom-up projects share similar aims and aspirations for their families and communities. It is an honour to receive an accolade from Ashoka U in recognition of our ambition to deliver on our common good commitment.”

It is hoped that in the long-term the educational initiative will provide a digital and knowledge exchange bank of social innovation projects and provide a valuable tool for future intervention based on what really works in practise.

The resource will offer research opportunities to academia, learning and teaching examples, and practical opportunities for student engagement. It has received funding from the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme and will launch in South Africa initially, with a view to a global roll-out.

GCU became an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus in 2014 in recognition of its global leadership role in promoting social innovation education.