some of our recent projects
Cultivating the innovative spirit
In the summer of 2018 Daphne had the privilege of working with the Exeter Education Incubator. In group sessions and individual Innovation Coaching sessions the Fellows of the Incubator were supported in either finishing or starting their Fellowship.
Read more here about one participant’s experience of the group session on Cultivating the Innovative Spirit through Storytelling, Effective Listening Partnerships and other creative group processes identifying and celebrating the qualities of innovators.
“I am director of an initiative which supports academics who are innovating University educational practice. I worked with Daphne at a crucial moment for us, as one set of projects were finishing and a whole new group were starting. I was really impressed with Daphne’s approach. In our meetings before the workshops Daphne made sure we came to a shared understanding of my aims and the challenges I was concerned about. This was a really useful process in itself and I benefited from Daphne’s supportive questioning and testing ideas.
Daphne designed thoughtful, challenging and well-paced workshops which addressed my aims. I wanted to ensure that those finishing projects had a positive experience and left with a sense of momentum for their work. I also wanted to make sure the other group had a productive induction, with a chance to reflect on their aims for their project, and could benefit from some of the learning from the previous cohort. I was really pleased with them.
During the workshops Daphne created a fantastic environment and supported participants. Her ability to create a safe and productive space was inspiring. She was also great at attending to individual needs with in the groups. I really hope to work with Daphne again as she made an invaluable contribution.”
Exeter City Futures runs a business incubator called Exeter Velocities. In their programmes (early stage) entrepreneurs with a solution to the transport/congestion and pollution issues in the Exeter region are supported to accelerate their growth, as a business and as entrepreneurs.
Our collaboration with Exeter Velocities started off with a workshop on the ins and outs of value driven organisations and the imperative for any organisation to form an ambition with regards to social gain and environmental profit. This workshop was in collaboration with Mark Hodgson of co-cars, one of Exeter’s prime examples of a business driving a strong social and environmental agenda: mobility for all.
During the next programme, we took on another role: instead of focussing on the organisation, we designed a personal leadership trajectory to support the entrepreneurs in their growth. With the aim of raising self-awareness, personal resilience and emotional intelligence we held two group sessions and offered 1-on-1 reflection sessions.
How can you become a trusted partner instead of ‘just’ another supplier to your client? What is your real motivation for bringing this project into the world? What skills will you need to organise around you to bring your business to the next stage? What are the qualities in you that have driven this project forward? What are the shadows of your way of working? These were some of the questions we explored to grow the interior of the participants of the Exeter Velocities programme. All in service of letting their businesses come to fruition.
Finding a sustainable way forward as a social enterprise network
In September 2017, Daphne took on the role of Network Lead for ESSENCE, Exeter’s Social Enterprise Network. Untill then it was a network run by volunteers, who acknowledged that social enterprises residing in the Exeter region have a need to come together, to network, to benefit from peer to peer support, to get informed about available business support opportunities and to be represented on a more strategic level.
A process was started in which ESSENCE incorporated as a Community Interest Company, sharpened their membership offering, renewed partnerships and held a couple of member events.
In August 2018, ESSENCE will partner with Colab Exeter to create a Social Investment Market Place in the Exeter region. This will facilitate ESSENCE to continue and scale up their activities towards becoming a self-sustained structure again.
It has been and is an absolute joy to work towards a more sustainable and inclusive local economy by supporting social enterprises in the Exeter region. From cafes for the blind and deaf to knitting clubs to food retail stores and car sharing schemes: it is clear that ‘Another World Is Possible’, where social gain, environmental profit and financial sustainability go hand in hand.
“It is a pleasure to be able to write a testimonial for Daphne. I have got to know her over the last year in her work with ESSENCE.
Daphne has shown herself to be extremely well organised and highly competent. She is passionate about Social Enterprise and has been able to take a brief and turn that into a reality.
She is something of a driving force and has quickly shown excellent networking skills and made the right connections in relation to her work. She has achieved this with a happy demeanour and a pleasing positive attitude.”