BOOST by Design

BOOST by Design is a new project for Dundee’s social enterprises from all backgrounds who are keen to develop their understanding of service design*, innovation and digital skills.

As Dundee is the UK’s only UNESCO City of Design, Creative Dundee is delighted to be leading Boost by Design which will support Dundee based social enterprises in early 2017. Social enterprises already provide great products and services and create huge and important social benefits for communities. This project is the first of its kind – bringing design thinking and innovation skills into the mix to improve the way we all do social business.

Working with Dundee Social Enterprise Network, Boost by Design will support 20 early stage social enterprises who could benefit from gaining a better understanding of service design, digital innovation and community building. Boost by Design will be run in partnership with local partners, including Open Change, who are well regarded for their service design approaches. This project has only been made possible thanks to valuable Rank Foundation support.

* What is service design and why does it matter to social enterprises? In this good piece by Louise Downe at GOV.UK, Louise sets out that service design is simply the design of services. “To a user, a service is simple. It’s something that helps them to do something – like learn to drive, buy a house, or become a childminder.” Designing services can be more challenging, so Boost by Design will focus on why, what and how you deliver your services to help improve what you do.

Recent updates:

Make/Share meets Boost by Design – a discussion about design, digital innovation and community building.
Make/Share is a free monthly night, bringing people together to gain a behind the scenes insight into the processes of the speakers, held on the second Wednesday of each month.
We’re delighted that at this month’s event on 14th June (7 – 9pm) at The Beer Kitchen Dundee, there is a special social enterprise and design focus. We invite you to join us and take part in the discussion about how creativity can help build social impact, over a drink and a snack! Featuring talks by the social enterprises who have been part of the Boost by Design project this year, we will also be speaking about some of the findings from the project.

Read some insights from the 1st session – An introduction to service design thinking.

Read some insights from the 2nd session – Defining problems and generating new ideas.

Read some insights from the 3rd session – Visioning the future of your social enterprise.

Read some insights from the 4th session – Building communities online.

After these four sessions, the social enterprises have a bunch of new design thinking and digital tools to hand. They leave the sessions with insights and inspiration embed in their own organisations. The next steps for participants is that they will have personalised mentoring sessions with design and digital experts. More details soon..

Boost by Design programme:

The programme is free and open to all social enterprises that are fully trading and based locally,  through a short and easy application process – please see the how to get involved section below. You can find a breakdown of the full programme here.

  • Four half day workshops (afternoons of 21st, 28th Feb and 6th, 14th Mar 2017), which will help your social enterprise to:
    • Understand how using service design can improve its sustainability and growth.
    • Use design tools to consider the future vision of your enterprise and develop a plan to achieve it.
    • Build, maintain and grow your communities both on and offline.
  • Three sessions of mentoring/support by designers and digital developers following the workshop programme for up to 8 social enterprises – selected through an easy open call process.
  • Boost by Design celebration event which brings together social enterprises and creative businesses in the city: an evening event with local speakers to share what they gained from the programme, encourage awareness of activities and opportunities across both sectors, and encourage potential future collaborations.

How to get involved:

Programme applications are now closed, sorry.

Criteria for application: Boost by Design is focused at supporting fully trading social enterprises who are looking to improve and evaluate their services/products. If you are not currently trading, or considering starting a social enterprise, then please do check out DSEN’s programme of events and support.

You can also view the slides here from the Boost by Design Info Session which took place on Monday 5th December at DSEN’s offices at The Factory Skatepark.

Social media: #BoostByDesign

Special thanks to Ryan McLeod from Slurpp for the visual identity above.


You can read more about the social enterprises taking part in this programme below:

ACK are supporting individuals, groups, charities and social enterprises with services such as fundraising, pr and marketing, training and networking.

Advocating Together is an independent advocacy service which is starting up a new social enterprise to raise awareness about autism, learning disabilities and communication needs. They provide a bespoke communication service and use design to improve communication accessibility across the city.

Discovery Credit Union is an ethical banking system owned by its members. The more money they save, the more they can borrow.

Dundee and Angus ADHD Support Group has been set up to help raise awareness of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Nilupul Foundation are providing free mindfulness-based activities and courses in order to improve the health and wellbeing offering free courses to those in poverty.

Sarah-Ellis Martin Nutrition and Health is helping parents become able and confident to feed their children in a better way through simple and affordable advice shared via social medias and workshops.

SCRAPantics are recycling materials and make them affordable for design projects held by students, community and schools. They collect industry excess materials and recycle them through their store and workshops.

Selection Box is an emerging collective of 9 artists and designers. They’re encouraging participation in creative activities through collaborative, creative events in Dundee.

Shaper/Caper is a dance company which enhances cultural and social integration through dance shows, workshops and discussions with the audience.

Tayberry enterprise enable people with significant health barriers to employment through creative arts and catering services.

Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust (THAT) develops and delivers Creative Engagement Participatory Arts  Projects for people with Long Term Health Conditions across Tayside.

Togs for Tots to Teens are improving the wellbeing of parents and children in need through the collection and distribution of clothing and equipment.

Uppertunity CIC are helping vulnerable adults across Tayside to be socially included and independent. They develop empowerment and self reliance through their skills development service which includes using different therapeutic arts and crafts activities.