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Developed by International Connector, Innovative Resilience brings technology solutions and training to emerging markets and underserved communities.
Our work is guided by the SDGs. We bring technology, connectivity and innovation to provide economic development and opportunities for communities to enter the digital age.
Before any program is designed, we run community empowerment workshops based on a curriculum that combines entrepreneurial tools with leadership empowerment strategies. The workshops to develop a voice for the community and insight into understanding their needs and their vision for the future. Community members develop an “ownership” in the project through these initial steps creating long-term support in its success.
Each location has different resources available, different needs and different goals. Our model is customized based on the outcomes from the community engagement workshops and local partnerships. Even within a region such as Puerto Rico, the Innovative Resilience program is different per community.
At every stage, local empowerment, inclusion and trust needs to be maintained. The community voice is kept front and center in the conversation while we connect the dots and bridge the conversations to corporations who can help provide resources and technology to support the communities.
One of our signatures is to create a welcoming interactive experience from the moment anyone walks into the space. Along the walls of the innovation hub are three interactive questions:
What are the talents of the people in your community?
What are the remarkable aspects and qualities of your community?
What is your community lacking?
Through intentional interactive action with the different community members visiting the hub, we are able to identify specifics in community’s plans and ideas of empowerment, that are lacking resources to help drive those ideas to their full potential.
Gender equality is an important issue that we foster in our hubs. Our partner, Women’s Campaign International, supports leadership and skill development among women and girls.
Specifically, Innovative Resilience provides:
Viable Employment - Our hubs hire local women as facilitators for the space creating viable employment and a leadership role within the community.
Empowerment Workshops - With partners, we run a series of leadership workshops aimed at empowering local women. As an example, Girls’ Voices training program is run virtually through our connectivity for groups of local teenaged girls teaching them the basics of digital storytelling.
Female Entrepreneurship - We provide business mentorship for female entrepreneurs and have helped numerous women apply for funding, work to develop their ideas and/or expand their current business.
In Arroyo, an area of Puerto Rico without even a Library and where more than 50% of the population lives in poverty, Innovative Resilience is providing an open facility to build local capacity and capabilities. The center provides access to free satellite internet connectivity, computers, and skill-building workshops. Located inside public health medical clinics, the centers also serves as an emergency response center to support the community during emergencies such as recent earthquakes. Located inside Centro de Salud Familiar Dr. Julio Palmieri Ferri, Arroyo, the center is open to anyone who would like to come visit.
Since the opening of the Arroyo center in 2018, there have been over 4000 people working in the small multi-purpose space. 75% do not have reliable or any other access to the Internet, and 95% have never worked in a co-working space. This space is mainly being used by: Students, Mothers, Patients of the medical clinic and Local business owners. The center has over 20+ partners who provide free online and in-person workshops or technology solutions.
-=-=-=-=-=- Jayne Cravens Author, The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
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