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New Series of work: SIX in Africa

Published Date: 20 April 2015

Accelerating Social Innovation in Africa

We recognize that building a global community of social innovators and continuing to curate insight and knowledge cannot be done through one-off events. Over the next year, SIX will be working with several partners to host a series of gatherings, develop and share knowledge, and contribute to building the field of social innovation across Africa.

The series will:

- Highlight and explore new and unique social innovations and case studies in the region; understand key trends and themes;

- Build a community in Africa that enables people to connect and learn with others from different countries, sectors and around the world, and connect to the global SIX global network; and

- Provide unique forums and spaces to accelerate thinking and share best practices. 

By collaborating with different partners, from international development, to foundations, to universities and practitioner organisations, and combining the experience of different communities of actors, we believe that this series will enable us to better share learning from across Africa and around the world to ensure that social innovation is truly a global field informed by the African experience.

The first event in series was in Johannesburg in November 2014 entitled ‘Reimagining Relationships’. Working in collaboration with Hivos, the first series partner, we brought together the social innovation and development communities to explore the importance of re-imagination and collaboration across sectors to change systems and rebalance power relationships. You can read the Highligts Report here.

The next event was held in Nairobi, Kenya (end of May 2015)- 'What makes a city a 'hub' for innovation? Learning from Nairobi' Is there a magic formula? Or are there conditions and components that come together to create a supportive ecosystem, in which innovations can thrive and scale? We was working with the Amani Institute & Hivos to host the event that brought together a diverse group of actors in Nairobi- a buzzing hub of innovation in Africa- to explore these questions, systems and structures that cities and regions can put in place to help them tackle the complex social challenges we face today. We also explored how social innovation can be more inclusive – how can we ensure that all parts of society can be involved in designing and developing new solutions, rather than just being the ’subjects’ or recipients of social innovation.

Outputs in the series- We will harness the cumulative knowledge developed throughout the series, documenting the best examples of successful projects and, importantly, those that have not worked, key themes, lessons and recommendations for future work and more could be done to enable citizens to play a greater role in changing the systems in which they live. 

How to get involved  - We are seeking to collaborate with a range of organisations who can provide a different perspective and who are prepared to work in a collaborative way to be part of both this and future events. 

If you're interested in partnering with SIX for the series or you would like to attend an event, please email Jordan Junge.