Back to top

Making social innovation thrive: SIX Wayfinder Istanbul 2018

Project: Wayfinder

Download the Wayfinder report in full here. 


The SIX Wayfinder is a global event on the future of social innovation. Curated by the Social Innovation Exchange (SIX) and hosted in partnership with local and international partners, it explores how social innovators can create large-scale, deep and systemic change over the next ten years. 

To wayfind is to orient oneself; seafaring communities have long found their way using the stars, the current and the winds. At each SIX Wayfinder, practitioners use each other to find ways forward that are new, renewed or adapted. The Wayfinder is about the future and finding our roles within it. 

The first Wayfinder took place in London in 2017, convened by SIX, hosted by Nesta, in collaboration with TACSI, SiG, the McConnell Foundation and UNDP. 

We examined the successes of social innovation over the past decade, uncovered key challenges and tensions, and explored where to focus our efforts for the future. Collectively, we developed calls to action that describe the more radical, transformative and human-centred approaches that the global social innovation community needs to advance in the next 10 years. 

In May 2018, the second Wayfinder took place in Istanbul, Turkey, convened by SIX, hosted by Zorlu Holding, powered by imece, in knowledge partnership with ATÖLYE and S360, and supported by the UNDP Regional Hub Istanbul and the Brookings Doha Centre. 

One year on, the Wayfinder aimed to catalyse the social innovation ecosystems in Turkey and push the broader social innovation field by building on existing activity and diving deeper into two of the calls for action from London:

• Creating enabling platforms to enrich social innovation ecosystems 

• Getting truly multi-sector in social innovation — with an emphasis on integrating corporate, government and philanthropic social innovation; 

The event brought people together from around the world to share learning on how social innovations succeed, explore ways to overcome barriers and challenges with this work and to prepare for the pressing challenges of the future. We hosted a public meeting with 500+ participants in person and 1000+ who joined virtually and we embarked on a shared global learning experience for two days with 350+ people from 30 countries.