What is Amplify NI?
Good question! Amplify NI is an initiative to support people in Northern Ireland take action together, to create fairer communities where everyone can thrive. You can read more about us and our approach, values and team by taking a look through the other pages on this site.
What is social innovation?
We define social innovations as new approaches to addressing social needs : they are ideas and actions that bring about positive social change in a way that hasn't been done before. Social innovations can emerge in an incredibly diverse range of ways (for example as services, products, activities or networks) and in many different fields of interest (from healthcare, education and housing to technology, arts and community organising and development).
Importantly, we believe that social innovations must be social in their means, as well as their ends. This means that as well as having outcomes that address social needs, the process of the social innovation itself engages and mobilises people in a way that supports greater equity, and improves access to power and resources for communities who have experienced under-representation, lack of positive recognition, or marginalisation.
Amplify NI values and celebrates social innovations within their specific local context. We recognise that whilst very few ideas are actually totally brand new, it is the responsiveness and adaption to local culture, and the fact that it brings about new, positive outcomes in that place, which makes something socially innovative.
What is ethnography?
Ethnography is the study, recording and analysis of a culture or society. It involves a range of qualitative research methods, usually observational or discussion-based, which focus on the study of social practices and interactions. By bringing together people's own personal accounts of their experiences, perspective and actions, along with observed insights about how different behaviours and social interactions play out within a specific context, ethnography can offer a rich and detailed interpretation about how and why communities work in the way that they do.
Influenced by the work of Michael Young, a pioneer in the field of social innovation, our team strongly believes in the use of ethnography as a foundation for developing authentic insights about a place, and as a basis for developing and supporting social innovations that will be able to meaningfully address social issues and inequalities.
Who are you funded by?
The Big Lottery Fund have funded Amplify NI from 2015 -19. Their mission is to support the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK, and they are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery. Amplify have also been supported by the Building Change Trust and Belfast City Council.
Does Amplify take place in other locations?
Amplify NI focuses it's activities in Derry~Londonderry, Fermanagh and Belfast, but we aim to build this network across Northern Ireland to ensure that people across the region are able to participate or access support. If you live in another part of Northern Ireland and would like to get involved, please contact the team member who is working nearest to you to find out more.
The Young Foundation facilitates a number of other Amplify programs taking place across the UK and internationally. For more information please visit The Young Foundation website.