Co-creating a new degree in inclusive social innovation

Doing Social is collaborating with the Carnegie School of Education, Leeds Beckett University to create a new undergraduate degree.

Uniquely, this course will be co-created with civil society and stakeholders rather than being developed solely by the university. We are very excited to be leading the development and implementation of this process of co-creation and co-delivery.

The new course will include content on inclusive social innovation, design for (meaningful) co-creation, and grassroots-led approaches. Students will apply their learning in communities, they will strengthen local capacity and co-create ideas with civil society, working with people to tackle and solve social challenges sustainably.

Doing Social’s role in this partnership is to lead the process to co-create the degree with civil society and others who could benefit from this programme either directly or indirectly. We are also leading the co-delivery of the course with partners, specifically the content relating to social innovation.

This approach is relevant to our wider goal – to promote and enable meaningful co-creation and inclusive social innovation practice in Britain. We believe that most courses and innovation can and should be developed in this way.

Besides offering good value for money, providing an excellent student experience, and leading to strong outcomes for students, the course must also have a wider impact outside of the university. Our ambition is that the course will contribute to efforts to tackle socio-economic issues, inclusion challenges and market failures at local levels. It will also improve skills and build capacity in communities. As such we’d like it to be framed on ‘place-based’ and asset-based community development’ (ABCD) principles. However, we will be guided by the findings of the co-creation process.

Above all, the course must lead to strong outcomes for students, communities and society. 

In the last couple of months, we have delivered some focus group workshops to involve potential learners and stakeholders in shaping the co-creation process for the new course, including at Voluntary Action Leeds and at Batley Girls’ Sixth Form. The insights gained at this preliminary stage in the co-creation process will inform the plan for the rest of the process.


The co-creation process will be launched at an event on 27 April 2017 at Headingley in Leeds. We will launch an online survey and invite people to share their ideas for this course. Within the survey, people will be able to express interest in delivering content within this course.

The event is free to attend and is open to anyone within or outside of the region who would like to learn more about what we’re doing, or is interested in participating in the co-creation of this degree – or indeed collaborating with us in other ways.

During this event, there will be a panel-led discussion on: ‘Building an Inclusive Economy: Co-creation and Community-led Innovation’. (Click here for an article that provides a good introduction to inclusive economy).

We have three excellent speakers; they include: Rob Greenland (Leeds Community Homes), Neil McInroy (CLES – Centre for Local Economic Strategies), and Naomi Mwasambili (Chanua Health).

If you are interested in inclusive growth/economy, community-led social innovation, social change, and co-creation particularly relating to education, housing, health, children and young people, you might want to try to get to Leeds for this event. If you can’t make it, but still want to be involved, then do get in touch and we’ll send you the link to the survey once it is launched:

For more information and to book your free place, follow the link here. Places are limited and subject to availability.

The twitter hashtag for this event will be #LBUDS17.