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SIX is launching new node in Latin America

Published Date: 24 April 2015

Latin America is home to some of the greatest social innovation experiments of the twentieth century and we are looking forward to working with more organisations and people across the region.

In City of Medellin, long known for high inequalities and crime rates, the city has transformed its urban and social landscape by starting the construction of a Metrocable integrating isolated neighbourhoods to the city. The City of Curitiba, applies “urban acupuncture” approach – strategic, punctual interventions to trigger chain of change throughout the system. Latin American social innovations are characterised by the rich imagination and pragmatic actions of the stakeholders involved, and they create new social relationships where the formal and the informal spaces are intertwined.

So what can we learn from the rich experiences of social innovation communities across Latin America from communities, to businesses, to universities? What new roles, capacities and spaces are needed to think differently, create new solutions and collaborate across sectors and regions? What are some opportunities and challenges that we see in the region?  How can we support small innovations to move from the margins and scale their impact?

About the new work: 

Why

There has been a recent burst of social innovation activity in the region. In the last 6 months, events on social innovation have been held by World Economic Forum (in Lima, Peru), International Festival of Social Innovation and Scaling Corporate Social Enterprise (in Santiago, Chile), International Congress on CSR (in Buenos Aires, Argentina), Social Innovation and Regional Development Seminar (led by Mercosur in Paraguay) and Social Good Seminar on Leadership and Social Innovation (in Florianopolis, Brazil). In addition to the institutionalized events, there has been a wealth of more organic and local movements happening all over Latin America such as La Pola Social (in Bogota, Colombia) or 100 en 1 Dia (in Santiago, Chile).

Many of the conversations and communities are not connected and often involve the usual suspects. The conversations remain silo-ed and there is not enough learning or collaboration between businesses, universities, social entrepreneurs, governments and communities. 

SIX will work with partners in the region to:

● Understand the social innovation landscape in Latin America and the relevant common social, economic and environmental challenges affecting the region

● Be inspired by brilliant examples from the Latin American region – celebrating the ingenuity and creativity of local knowledge and solutions. Share inspirations, ideas, best practices, innovative methods and tools from other places, building capacities and accelerating the learning about the ways that we can make real change

● Establish a diverse, innovative and disruptive group of organisations/consortium who are interested in advancing social innovation across the Latin America region and develop a shared meaning and purpose for advancing social innovation within the region

What SIX is doing practically

In May 2014, SIX hosted an exploratory meeting, where we brought together a small group of key players to identify the current activities, actors and social innovation landscape in different parts of Latin American region. We also explored the potential for developing a regional social innovation community, and which could be connected to the larger global network of SIX. 

During 2015, SIX will continue to develop this work with our partners Hivos. We will also be collaborating with several organisations to host gatherings alongside existing events, develop and share knowledge, connect unconnected communities, and contribute to building the field of social innovation in Latin America. This will culminate in an event in Colombia in the Autumn – the launch of our SIX LatAm node!

We would love to know about events and activities, great articles and resources, and ground breaking organisation and community activities across the region.

If you're interested in finding out more, or interested in getting involved in our Latin American work, please contact sojung.rim@socialinnovationexchange.org at SIX HQ in London, or our regional Ambassadors Diana Daste at dianadaste@gmail.com in Brazil or Sebastian Gatica at sgatica@uc.cl in Chile.