Learning Zone


“HAMALOGIC 0 “Hidden Opportunities”: the Factory is visiting!

What is the relationship between a clown nose and the innovative approaches to urban development, who owns the six hats for lateral thinking and how do you plant a tree of ideas – with the typical for the fabricators large scale use of various methods for creative thinking and for changing the urban environment, the team from the traveling Ideas Factory provoked the guests at the Hamalogic.

The Factory is sentimental towards Burgas, where in May 2012 the “Academy of Social Change” (www.changemakersacademy.net) was launched for the first time in Bulgaria. The Academy had a little something to do with that casual meeting in the Sea Garden!

WHEN: 01.09.2012

WHERE: Burgas , Sea Garden

Ideas Factory in School

We are very happy and pleased to share with you that Ideas Factory has finally launched its Fabricators program in a network of Bulgarian schools! The idea is simple – through the methods of non-formal education, civic engagement and social entrepreneurship to provoke the children from the high school classes to realize their ideas in one of these areas and to help them with a team of great trainers! If you want to include your school in the Factory’s network, please contact us!

We started in 2011, and in 2012 we began developing our program „Ideas Factory in School”, because our educational system has a chance to motivate and inspire rather than alienate. We started with Sofia: 13th School near the Women’s Market, 22nd High School and went on with 97th High School in Lulin and classes around the country. All that we want to tell them is that they can actively shape up the reality in which they live. Through games and approaches adapted for the age group 13 to 18, we stimulated them to learn how many liters of water are required for the production of a pair of jeans and how many precious metals are there in a mobile phone. What is best about the Ideas Factory in School is that the participating students will be able to apply with an initiative of their own that aims to improve their neighborhood or their school, or to refresh their community. The plan is to create 10 school clubs “Ideas Factory” by the end of 2014. Do you want to invite us to a school anywhere in Bulgaria?

Contact us via ideasfactory.bg at gmail.com

WHERE: Sofia, for now< ,div>


LEAD International – the most well established network of leaders for sustainable development in the world – for the first time realized a “sustainability challenge” in Eastern Europe at the invitation of the Ideas Factory. The international event was a unique opportunity for a new way of interaction between people from different sectors with experience and interest in the complex topic “sustainable development”. The area that was chosen as sufficiently problematic was “Bulgarian Energetics” or an aspirationally more sustainable energy mix for our country, decentralization and elimination of monopolies and corruption. After a successful brain-storming of the interdisciplinary team that ended with World Cafe-event in British Council and exploration of the Sofia mysteries … here we are again with great news:
LEAD chose Bulgaria and Ideas Factory to host the Pan-European meeting “Leadership for Sustainability in Urban Development” in April 2013.

WHEN: 13 – 17.10.2012

WHERE: Sofia


Ideas Factory hosted a meeting of the South East European Youth Network (SEEYN). Apart from creating pleasant conditions for sharing Albanian Skanderbeg Cognac and Serbian “lozovaca”, the meeting made three things clear:

First – almost all of the participants in the Balkan Network have managed to establish volunteer or youth cultural center. Why hasn’t this happened in Bulgaria, as it has in Serbia, Albania, Montenegro and Croatia?

Second – European funding needs democratization for countries like ours, where youth organizations don’t have the administrative and financial capacity to comply with the current requirements such as “EUR 300 000 personal contribution” (Yeah, right!).

Oh, and third – Prici srbski da te bio celi svijat razumje!

Otherwise, our participation in the network is an extremely valuable resource for all those within the network of the Factory that have the opportunity to travel around the Balkans and receive training in various topics. We will gladly direct you towards awesome organizations for quality volunteering throughout the PeninsulA.

WHEN: 07 – 09.12.2012

WHERE: Plovdiv

Changemakers Academy

The Academy for Social Change or Changemakers Academy is probably the boldest venture of the Ideas Factory. It gathers everything that you have learned and want to share and all the people whose opinions we consider audacious and valuable. All challenges are collected in one methodology that teaches you to be … um … changemaker. We created it because we live in a society dominated above all by change, yet few people are prepared to defend their own group interests or those of another group of people in a beautiful way.

We noticed that the basic concepts of effectiveness and impact on the environment are not known to those who want to change our world for the better. We believe that the combination of the development of one’s personal potential, getting acquainted with the latest conceptual models for social change and the development of leadership skills is of great importance for our society today.

Training modules throughout 2012 were held in different parts of Bulgaria, where we were able in practice to see and work with the challenges facing local communities. Thus, participants had the opportunity to directly influence the processes taking place in our society. Those who have completed all 4 modules of the Changemakers Academy have access to a palette of techniques, concepts, lecturers, contacts and resources through which they can catalyze the realization of their innovative but also well-grounded bold ideas – ideas that have the potential to be systematic solutions to serious social problems.

You can find further information at: http://changemakersacademy.net/

Sustainable Tools

The International Training Course “Sustainable tools” – part of EuroMed’s “Youth in Action” program, was held from 11th till 17th June, 2010 along the banks of Shiroka Polyana Dam. The purpose of the project was to provide people working with youths from the Mediterranean region with means, tools and methods for work on issues related to sustainable development, responsible consumption, biodiversity, fair trade, environmental ethics, etc.
The training course was attended by 22 people from 11 European and Mediterranean countries (Bulgaria, Turkey, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Israel, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon and Jordan). The training encouraged youth workers to spread the results of the project in their community and among their “students”. As part of the training program a feeder for cloven-hoofed animals was built in hunting reserve “Shiroka Polyana” with the help of all participants and a model of an open lesson on the topic of sustainable development was developed in cooperation with school’s nature lovers club in Velingrad. As a result over 40% of the participants have taken part or have initiated projects or activities inspired by the training.

PURPOSE: To provide youth leaders with tools and methods for work on issues related to sustainable development in the context of learning through experience: – responsible consumption, biodiversity, fair trade, environmental ethics.

TEAM: Sasha Vitanova, Zhelyazko Mechkov, Ioannina Taneva, Evgeni Monov;

WHEN: 11 – 17 June 2010

WHERE: Shiroka Polyana Dam.

Forum Theatre

Decision for the People by the People!
Not only we do what we love for work, but we do it in the most amazing places around the world! Together with our partners from 6 organizations from Africa and Europe we are leaving for Tanzania to complete the last stage of the project for the implementation of the Forum Theater as a method for finding solutions within the community itself. The end of the project, however, proved to be the beginning of our brand new Forum Theater troupe, which will work on various issues related to oppression in order to translate them in the language of theater. Our first stop for training social workers, teachers and municipal employees will be the city with the “pinest” air that we’ve ever encountered – Devin.

Changemakers Academy Plovdiv 2014

Over 140 enthusiasts from different Bulgarian cities participated in the Social innovation challenge by Ideas Factory across the country and dozens of like-minded teams rushed to solve real problems, including the lack of sewerage system in one of the neighbourhoods in the village of Sinemorets, solutions for the unemployed women over 50 years of age, the need of support for a small start-up business in the Plovdiv district “Stopilinovo” and finding a way for autistic youngsters to create their innovative social enterprise.

The jury selected six of the ideas that were awarded not only with mentoring support, but also with a scholarship to participate in the Changemakers Academy in which lecturers and social innovators from Bulgaria and the world will be at their disposal and will help the young teams to put Bulgaria on the world map of social innovation and social entrepreneurship.

From 5th to 8th of June Plovdiv, also known as the “city under the hills”, was conquered by the Changemakers and the team of the Ideas Factory on their “Mission Change”. For a second year the “fabricants” provided the agents of social change with a series of lectures, seminarsand activities to help them understand what is the effect of the processes behind the major changes.

Systems thinking, negotiation skills, U-theory, World caffe, Ideas Lab, empathic leadership, nightchallenges and a meeting with the municipality to create innovative vision for the social services in Plovdiv were only a small part of the cherries on the cake.
Lecturers at the Plovdiv Academy were Ralph Böhlke, Tsvetana Chakarova (Amsterdam) Filka Sekulova (Barcelona Free University) and Asen Nenov and the event wasopened by Gemma Baruhk – Executive Director of the Plovdiv 2019 Foundation.

The results: A community of happy, confident and connected with each other agents, burning with desire for solving the challenges. After the Academy, 97% of the participants answered the question “From 1 to 100, how would you describe your motivation to continue with your idea or project for social change after the Academy?” with 120…

A very special event during the Plovdiv Academy showed an innovative approach for catalyzing the civic creativity in order to solve urban challenges. The “academicians”,municipal staff, journalists and representatives of creative professions were mixed in a non-hierarchical dialogue aimed to upgrade ideas. The format is called World Caffe and allows for a minimum time as many people as possible to form optimal quality ideas on an given issue.

The Academies in Burgas and Vratsa will stir up the Southeast and Northwest in September (04-07)and October (02-05) respectively.
The Academy has the incredible power to create space for the birth of bold new visions and to give wings to those who have the courage to implement them. The sessions involving social entrepreneurs from around the world, speakers and mentors from home and abroad, the combination of techniques makes the methodology a crucial support for the young and ambitious social innovators.