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COVID-19 sparks expansion of new ideas platform

COVID-19 sparks expansion of new ideas platform

COVID-19 sparks expansion of new ideas platform

27 April 2020

The Salvation Army Innovation Team is encouraging Salvos to brainstorm different ways to serve their communities during COVID-19.

By Lauren Martin

The Salvation Army is investing in innovative ways to do mission as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, through its national Ideas Platform.

Since the platform (ideas.salvationarmy.org.au) was launched in September last year, more than 4000 people have joined the movement to share ideas about Salvation Army mission and ministry, or comment and vote on ideas that have been shared. Several of those ideas have made it through to the Redemptive Design Lab (RDL) phase, where they are refined with the help of the innovation team and given funding to launch.

Now, in light of territorial leadership’s call for Salvos to reinvent and reimagine mission and ministry at this time of social isolation and uncertainty, The Salvation Army Ideas Platform has launched two new spaces for ideas to be shared.

Ideas Share Space: The New World (found here) invites people to innovate their methods of mission to “meet the demands of the day”. It’s inviting people to share ideas, or submit their needs, on how to meet the demands of ministry within their new context, saying that “these might be around virtual church solutions, serving our isolated communities, working from home etc.”

Already there are nine ideas on the page, from ‘Salvo online cooking classes’ to ‘Isolation Trivia’, and an idea on how Salvos can share their internet data through Wi-Fi for people in the community who don’t have enough internet data capacity and can’t afford more.

Project and Communications Lead for the Innovation Team, Elizabeth Bland, says the space is “a place to share ideas and ... a place for people to get new ideas.” She said any with broader value for the wider Salvation Army would be fast-tracked for a quick delivery.

“We’re working really flexibly at the moment because obviously the whole Redemptive Design Lab face-to-face process has been put on hold,” said Elizabeth. “We would certainly be looking, if needed, to provide coaching and support and that might look a little bit like an RDL process but a lighter RDL process to get an idea to market quickly that will help people in these times.”

The other new space on the platform is a ‘Youth Connection Grant’ that’s being launched in conjunction with the Territorial Youth and Young Adults Team. (It can be found here.) It invites youth workers to submit ideas and submissions for grants of between $100 and $1000 to help maintain connectivity with young people, and particularly vulnerable young people, at this time.

“Youthwork begins with young people, so we need to begin with the digital spaces where young people are native and build youth-centred ministry tools for the internet age,” is the wording from the Ideas Platform youth space. “That’s what why we’re providing grants from the Innovation Fund for digital youth work.”

Applications close on 31 May for youth grants. Elizabeth says they’re urging youth ministries to engage with their local communities of young people in generating an idea: “Ideally they will have worked with, or spoken to young people in their communities to help them to come up with ideas [that are] actually going to help maintain those connection pathways at the moment.”

The Ideas Platform can be found at ideas.salvationarmy.org.au

 

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