#makechangehappen

FreshSight visits Helsinki

December 2017

When FreshSight acquired its first international project in late summer 2017, the entirety of FreshSight was hugely excited to see where it would take us. What we were not expecting was that it would actually take the team all the way to Helsinki to deliver the final presentation to the client. The project posed a number of challenges for the team, both logistical and creatively.

The client was Jalla Board, a Finnish start-up that manufactures wooden products by creating employment opportunities for those who are struggling within their local area, such as asylum seekers, immigrants and the long-term unemployed. In early November, approximately two-thirds the way through the project, we managed to secure funding to fly the consultants to Finland to deliver their final recommendations in person to the client. This was a hugely exciting prospect and unique chance to engage with the other inspiring third sector organisations in Helsinki.

For our 36 hour whistle stop trip to Helsinki, our cohort comprised of consultants Navya, William and Brandon with General Manager Josh, and Directors Lina and Andrew. In a beautiful café that was the definition of hygge, we met with Arttu and Santtu, joint co-founders of Jalla Board. With the rest of the team Skyped into the meeting from Scotland, the team delivered an in-depth presentation where they showcased their work and the extra mile that they had gone throughout their research. The meaning of the project was clear in the reactions of Arttu and Santtu, and it was an immensely satisfying and grounding moment for everyone present. All of those periods of hard work, from establishing relations with the client, training the consultants, and overcoming difficulties in the project, were instantly overshadowed by the clear impact project was going to have. That is what FreshSight is all about, making a difference to organisations that matter.

After a well-deserved lunch, the trip offered the opportunity to learn about the third sector in Helsinki. Throughout the rest day, we spoke to a social innovation accelerator programme, an innovation investment group, and a student focused ideas lab. We are always looking to meet new people, learn of exciting social ventures and start new conversations, and this provided an opportunity to so in an entirely new setting. It was refreshing and inspiring to meet other like- minded organisations in Helsinki and we hope that it was just the start of a much longer conversation.

Of course a trip to Helsinki couldn’t be complete some time spent in a sauna, and so in the evening we headed down to the docks in the south of the city for some well-deserved down time. Dipping into the Baltic Sea on the 5th of December was exactly what you would say in Scotland, Baltic.

Overall, the trip was a huge success and we look forward to keeping in touch with Arttu, Santtu and the rest of the Jalla Board team as they take the company to the next level.

Our 10th Birthday

23 October 2017

 

When FreshSight was first founded in 2007, no founding member or consultant would have imagined that ten years later FreshSight would have empowered over 120 organisations and over 500 consultants. Nor would they have imagined that FreshSight would be working with socially conscious clients in places such as Finland and USA, let alone Edinburgh.

From student society to fully fledged social enterprise, from having a tiny presence on university campus to the being awarded the Social Enterprise in Education Award in 2014. No one can deny FreshSight has come a long way.

Fast-forward to October 2017, 10 years after FreshSight was founded, and we were privileged enough to share a room with clients past and present, alumni, consultants and partners. For the first time ever we had everyone who had helped us over the past 10 years in the same room.

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The Playfair Library played host to a wonderful evening of celebrations of current achievements, and conversation about the huge potential FreshSight and the third sector has. The night was not only a celebration of what FreshSight had achieved in its ten years, but also a tribute to the fantastic role Edinburgh is playing in leading the global drive of social enterprise. Social Bite, Brewgooder and Ginerosity — all leading figures of the Edinburgh social enterprise scene, provided the night’s refreshments, which was a tribute to the social innovation Edinburgh has become blessed with.

In bringing together everyone who has supported FreshSight along our journey, we thought it would have been naïve to not utilise the immense brainpower in the room. We provided a stand for Challenges Worldwide, Sustainably, Dig-In, Real Talk, Keep Your Shoes Dirty, Online S3, and Legal Spark to each present a question or challenge they wanted help and advice with. Our guests were free to walk around to each stand – challenging and advising on possible strategies and tactics that these organisations could deploy.

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In his address, Fraser Kelly, the previous Chief Executive of Social Enterprise Scotland, articulately reinforced the great work that social enterprises in Edinburgh are doing. Mr. Kelly stressed that in the build up to the 2018 World Social Enterprise Forum, of which Edinburgh will play host to, the city is in a great place — but we must keep innovating and ensuring we are two steps ahead.

The night served as a great opportunity to reflect how far FreshSight has come, and the incredible things that can be achieved when innovative and passionate minds come together.  For FreshSight, the world is its oyster. 10 years ago, no one would have imagined what has gone on to be achieved. And, undoubtedly, we have the upmost faith that the next 10 years will hold much of the same.

It's recruitment season!

September 2017

 

Happy September, everyone!

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I’m Rhia, this year’s Operations Manager, and I’m one of nine of the new Management Team members. Having been a FreshSight consultant for the past year, there was always one main highlight of each semester for me; our final presentation with our client. Nothing could ever have beaten the look on their face, when we handed over the culmination of hard work, bound in a deliverable, along with an aesthetically gorgeous presentation.

But then we ran a recruitment campaign, and I’ve found a new highlight. It’s safe to say that I couldn’t feel any more satisfied with the selection of our new consultants. This year is going to be a special one: we’re celebrating our 10th year, having our first ever international project, and will be providing one pro-bono consulting service to a client. To top this off, we received 179 applications, which was a record number. To reduce this number down to 42 consultants was undoubtedly a gargantuan task, but it meant that we now have an incredibly high calibre of students. Our semester one consultants represent 33 degree backgrounds, and originate from over 14 different countries, so it’s highly satisfying to have been able to pool together such a diverse group of people.

 

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As a Management Team, being handed over a company just a few months ago is a rather daunting task. It’s almost as if FreshSight becomes your most prized possession. At the beginning, running a recruitment campaign seemed like a huge challenge, especially as a stand-alone company at the university. However, we received great support; and through a great deal of physical and online presence, we allowed our voices and values to be heard. Now, each week, I have the pleasure of being in the same training room with a group of consultants, who form a melting pot of creativity, enthusiasm, and a desire to effect social change.

This semester’s projects have a variety of different focusses; together, we’ll be providing services to aid product launch, funding acquisition, community outreach, and much more. I can’t wait to get started.

We have a new website!

August 2017

 

After a summer of hard work, we are excited to announce the launch of our new website!

As we approach the start of the 2017-2018 cycle, the 10th year of FreshSight's operations, we hoped to reinvent ourselves to further the company's impact to signal the beginning of a new era. This year, we are planning to engage with our first international client, complete a two-semester project, as well as expand our consultant applications to students from universities across Scotland — and we want to share this journey with all of YOU, FreshSight's amazing network of supporters. These wishes have manifested itself in the creation of a new website as a platform to share all these new undertakings and adventures.

Keep an eye out on this space for more exciting developments!

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