Plexal and My Life My Say have launched a social inclusion accelerator

With support from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, the Social Inclusion Unit (which was founded by Plexal and My Life My Say) has launched a new inclusive design accelerator, OpenDoor. The accelerator will help scale innovative designs, services and products that boost levels of social inclusion and make it easier for people facing inclusion challenges to play a more active role in society and the economy.

Delivered by Plexal’s innovation team, together with My Life My Say, a bespoke 12-week programme will support cohort members to develop and scale innovations that allow everyone to access opportunities and participate more fully in society. For example, the solutions could address the ease at which underrepresented groups access employment or transport opportunities, or build empathy and user-centric design principles into everyday products and services people from under-represented groups use.

Successful entrants to the programme must be able to demonstrate that their proposed innovations are directly shaped by insights from their target audience.

Applications to the OpenDoor accelerator open on 3 June 2019. If you share our mission of boosting social inclusion in the UK, get in touch if you’d like to get involved by:

  • sponsoring or support OpenDoor
  • taking part in roundtables that will shape the programme’s challenges and focus areas (if you’re a technology company, an innovator, someone facing inclusion challenges or an organisation already championing social inclusion)
  • attending an Open Innovation Day on 15 June that will give potential applicants a chance to collaborate and partner with each other before applying

Andrew Roughan, managing director of Plexal, said: “With the Social Inclusion Unit, we’re proud to use our connections with innovators and large organisations to convene a broad spectrum of people together around the challenge. By launching OpenDoor, we intend to help scale the impact of innovation, build on what works and address the gaps. It’s our belief that long-term sustainability needs to balance financial viability with social purpose.”

Meanwhile, Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “This work is especially urgent given the challenges ahead with Brexit: we cannot allow our exit, or the debate around the terms of our exit, to make social inclusion any worse. We cannot let inequality and alienation become normalised, or look to everyone else to pick up the slack. This is a challenge for us all to take up.”

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