Pushing boundaries to advance social impact

In January 2016, a group of 25 foundations from across 4 continents came together at the Rockefeller Foundation’s New York office to learn and share insights about funding social innovation that help them tackle their most important opportunities and challenges.

Although there are numerous toolkits, guides and traditional gatherings for foundations providing tips, practical suggestions and inspirational talks on funding innovation, much of it is North American focused, and doesn’t provide the trusted and open space that can be so valuable in a group of critical friends.

By nature, the people who are trying to do something different, are often working in insolation and need to connect with others doing the same kind of work- even if it’s not in the same country or interest area. Using SIX’s unique global, practical and action-oriented peer-to-peer approach, we brought together a group of funders who want to be reflective in their own practice and learn insight from others that will help them be better funders of innovation.

This meeting was part of a larger endeavour, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and led by SIX, to develop an innovation funders collaborative, or ‘node’, as part of the SIX global network. Through a series of small, carefully curated meetings, with content developed and based on the big questions that are keeping funders awake at night, a collaborative support group for foundations is developing – providing a space for critical friends and pushing the boundaries to advance social change.

Download key insights from this meeting (on the left).