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Get Ready to Innovate

* Spring, Summer & Autumn 2021 Edition *

Get Ready to Innovate in a nutshell

Get Ready to Innovate is delivered as a series of four online workshop sessions, each lasting 3 hours. These sessions are run by an academic expert, supported by one of our ‘Innovators in Residence’, who will introduce you to new ways of thinking, drawn from design-led approaches that are taught and used at Northumbria University.

We will work with you to build a comprehensive picture of your business and your role within it. An important part of this is to understand your values and passions; at its core what drives the business and needs to be understood and respected when driving things forward.

Time will be spent exploring and clarifying a range of opportunities that you have identified, as well as considering the broader context of these. We will help you understand how these opportunities can be navigated and a complex picture of potential developments might be clarified and focussed.

Using design-led approaches we will help you understand your innovation readiness. In essence this will enable you to build a clear vision of what success will look and feel like. We will work collaboratively to create an outline of how to get there, building your confidence and empowering you to realise these developments.



Get Ready to Innovate – What happens in the workshops?

The Get Ready to Innovate programme is delivered online and comprises 12 hours of contact time with our friendly and supportive team of innovators. The programme is designed to be creatively stimulating, confidence inspiring and accessible to a very broad range of businesses working across various sectors – we can discuss if your business is eligible, and the programme is right for you. The 12 hours of support are split into four 3-hour workshops as follows; 


Session One: Triage   

In this exciting first session, our team will work with you to build a comprehensive picture of your business, your values and passions, vision and ideas for development. Triage allows us to get to know you. We explore by asking questions and carefully listening to gain a good understanding of your professional journey, your talents and expertise, your motivations and ambitions. Together we will visualise many influencing factors, such as change, risk and uncertainty - but also, personal goals, motivations and values - and begin to understand how these relate to your challenges and opportunities, ideas and ambitions. 


Session Two: Opportunity 

Building on session one, we will explore and clarify a range of opportunities that relate to your organisation and develop a vision for your ideas. We will introduce design-thinking through activities that show you how creativity can be used to make sense of complexity. At this stage we use ideation techniques to identify patterns, relationships and key points identified during session one, which will help us to articulate the thinking around your idea. This is where we can clarify the opportunities and build a picture of the assets and resources that contribute towards the success of the idea


Session Three: Road mapping

What does success look and feel like, how do we get there? This session is about understanding your innovation readiness and creating an outline of how to move forwards. This is where it gets really exciting. Working closely with you, we begin to develop the key points of interest from the previous session into different pathways along which to move forward. Together we will creatively examine different eventualities, allowing you to develop a deep and holistic understanding of your readiness to take advantage of the opportunities available. The value of this session is in translating the big vision into an outline of actionable goals and stages. 


Session Four: Unpack 

This session allows us to reflect on the previous sessions, evaluate the outcomes of the programme, and generate some valuable feedback. Through the programme our collaborative inquiry moves from exploration, to analysis, opportunity roadmap, and finally evaluation. Here we further develop useful outcomes for you to take away from the programme. This session also gives us a chance to ask you about the experience. 



How Get Ready to Innovate will help your business 

Our approach will help you to gain a fresh perspective on challenges, identify valuable new opportunities, and experience creative new ways of working. Our team will work with you and focus not only on your business goals and objectives, but also your personal ambitions and passions for what you do. Get Ready to Innovate will help you to build confidence in your ideas, or to identify and overcome barriers and get ‘un-stuck’. Our design thinking experts will help to challenge and develop your ideas in a friendly and supportive way, allowing you to break your ambitions down into focused and manageable next steps. This means the programme can be centred on objectives and goals that mean the most to you. 



Is Get Ready to Innovate for you? 

We believe that innovation is a valuable resource for any business or organisation, from sole-traders and freelancers to enterprises with up to 250 employees. Our support is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and available free-of-charge to; 

  • Sole traders, partnerships and freelancers, 
  • Micro, small and medium sized enterprises who employ up to 250 people, 
  • Social enterprises, CICs and charities (subject to eligibility criteria). 

If you are eager to understand how to use design thinking to harness creativity and start innovating, then this programme is for you! 

Get Ready to Innovate is running in 3 cohorts; 

Spring/ Summer 2021 

Autumn 2021 

Spring 2022 - offers a cohort of businesses sessions over 2 intensive days*

*hopefully on campus, face to face workshop delivery


Contact UsFAQs







To find out more about the programme, or register for future sessions, please email our registration team:

You could be eligible to take part if you have a small to medium sized business, are a registered sole trader, registered freelancer, creative practitioner, Social Enterprise or Community Interest Company within the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area: Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland, and Sunderland.



Creative Fuse North East is supported by: European Regional Development Fund, Northern Powerhouse & Arts and Humanities Research Council


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