The function of the Idea Centre is an interactive learning and exhibition space which SWC students, other post-primary school children, entrepreneurs and companies from a variety of industries will attend to encourage them to participate in a creative process of generating ideas and rapidly creating prototypes to establish proof of concept.
With the economic downturn and vastly reduced public spending, there has been an increased wave of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. The Idea Centre aims to widen and deepen this creativity process, involve the wider community and find solutions to problems which will then lead to wealth creation. Other colleges who have successfully implemented similar models include leading US entrepreneurial colleges Babson, Stanford and MIT.
Idea will be the hub of a community of innovators. Students and staff across all departments will take on problems together. The Idea Centre's collaborative approach involves open thinking ideas generation and the creation of learning experiences through a carefully managed design process. Students will work on realworld problems provided by local industry, entrepreneurs, community groups, sports clubs and charities. Students will be equipped with a methodology for innovation that combines creative and analytical approaches and requires collaboration across disciplines.
Our students will learn this process and apply it to their own challenges. Classes will be team taught by a mix of teaching and industry facing staff, combining disciplines like computers with sustainability, health and social care with electronics. Different experiences, mindsets and prejudices will stimulate discussion and a broad view of the possible approaches to any given problem. With this facility and the underpinning methodology, we will incubate a mind-set of creativity, of problem solving and of innovation. We aim to foster a community contributing to continuous innovation that will improve the wealth of the local economy and compete on a global scale.