Developing a national strategy for social innovation in Colombia

Case Study

In 2013, in the face of growing social unrest, the Colombian government was under pressure to find innovative solutions to the socio-economic challenges the country faced. Examples of innovative change already existed and early-stage solutions to some social challenges were scattered across the country but more comprehensive and cohesive action was needed to build capacity Developing a national strategy for social innovation in Colombia

In 2013, in the face of growing social unrest, the Colombian government was under pressure to find innovative solutions to the socio-economic challenges the country faced. Examples of innovative change already existed and early-stage solutions to some social challenges were scattered across the country but more comprehensive and cohesive action was needed to build capacity in people and institutions and create a sense of national community within the  social innovation field.

Our approach 

In collaboration with the Young Foundation, we worked with the national Colombian Centre for Social Innovation of ANSPE to gain insight into Colombia’s social innovation capability, build a community around social innovation and promote it as a key theme in the country’s public agenda. 

A series of high-energy practical sessions focused on understanding, embedding and promoting social innovation methods, frameworks and tools, brought together policy makers, academics, community-based practitioners, social entrepreneurs, journalists and relevant representatives from the private sector. With a specific focus on measuring and scaling social innovation, the insights gained were presented in a government report and showcased in a public event.

Impact

The public event hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá attracted more than 400 people. Highlighting the work undertaken by both government and private sector, the event raised the profile of social innovation in Colombia and generated momentum for further projects, while the report equipped the government with a clear strategy for scaling their efforts.