Colombian Centre for Social Innovation – ANSPE


Innovative solutions to pressing social challenges are thought after throughout the world. In 2013, the Latin American spotlight was on Brazil to offer innovation solutions to counter growing social unrest. Less publicised but similar socio-economic conditions were developing in other Latin America countries, namely Colombia. 


There were existing examples of innovative change makers and scattered early stage solutions to social challenges across Colombia, but how could the government get create a sense of community within the local field of social innovation? How could they build capacity in people and institutions responsible for delivering the necessary social change?


SIX and the Young Foundation were commissioned by the national Colombian Centre for Social Innovation of ANSPE to help them gain insight into Colombia’s social innovation capabilitybuild a community around social innovation and promote it as a key theme in the country’s public agenda.

We held a series of high-energy practical sessions focused on understanding, embedding and promoting social innovation methods, frameworks and tools. There was a specific focus on measuring and scaling social innovation.

The insight we gained were presented to the government in this report ‘A Reflection on Strengthening Social Innovation in Colombia’. (download attached) 

Scale & Size:

We designed and delivered 2 workshops, “Social Innovation in Practice” in Bogotá and in Medellín with over 150 participants. Participants included policy makers, academics, community-based practitioners, social entrepreneurs, journalists and relevant representatives from the private sector. We also organised a public event to raise profile and build momentum for social innovation in Colombia hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá with over 400 people. The event aimed to raise the visibility of social innovation and the work that the government and private sector is undertaking in this realm. Geoff Mulgan, CEO of Nesta and Board member of SIX, spoke on how social innovation can be used to tackle extreme poverty in Colombia; Louise Pulford, Director of SIX, spoke on how to build community for social innovation; and Patricia Gonzalez, from the Chamber of Commerce, spoke on Shared Value. A panel, moderated by Vicky Colbert of Escuela Nueva, provided a lively forum for debate on these topics.