Collaboration

Global exchange in the age of Coronavirus

Last week, the WHO officially declared Coronavirus a pandemic. Since then, a feeling of being out of control is spreading around the world. One by one, governments declare national emergencies and implement lockdown policies. The streets of London were quiet this morning, and for those who are not socially isolating themselves, ‘social distancing’ is becoming ... Global exchange in the age of Coronavirus

It’s time to innovate social innovation

By Fábio Deboni, Executive Manager at the Sabin Institute. While Social Innovation seems to continue to be on the rise, there is also some disagreement as to what it actually means. This issue has been previously discussed, and the purpose of this article is to discuss the need for the approaches of/for/about social innovation to also be able to innovate ... It’s time to innovate social innovation

Taking Collaborative Action to Reduce Inequalities

‘Taking collaborative action to reduce inequalities’ was an event hosted by the Health Foundation at the People’s History Museum in Manchester on the 22nd and 23rd January 2020. This two-day conference provided a space and a framework to explore how working across multiple determinants of health can improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities in the ... Taking Collaborative Action to Reduce Inequalities

Coronavirus and social innovation – Why we need to keep learning globally

As coronavirus is challenging global markets, and shining a light on many of our structural inequalities (most prominent is lack of access to wifi and resources for e-learning for many children when schools close), the power of ordinary citizens is coming to the fore once again. At SIX, we believe in looking beyond our borders ... Coronavirus and social innovation – Why we need to keep learning globally

5 ways community spaces are using social innovation to #ReimagineSpace

This year, we at the Social Innovation Exchange (SIX) hosted a  Winter School for Hallym University. The 5-day programme in London tackled pressing social issues and started students on their journey to become changemakers.  Focusing on the theme of ‘Community Spaces in the 21st Century’, we explored how place and social innovation interact to create thriving ... 5 ways community spaces are using social innovation to #ReimagineSpace

Think Future Reflections- Designing Events for Innovation

During a work trip to South Africa, to participate in the final symposium of the Erasmus+ funded Common Good First project, I arranged a meeting with Sonja Giese to learn about the work of Innovation Edge. I had heard about them from a former colleague who participated in a funders roundtable several years earlier and I had ... Think Future Reflections- Designing Events for Innovation

Lessons for Global Collaboration: South African and European Perspectives

This is the transcript of a panel facilitated by Josiane Smith, our Partnerships and Growth Manager, during the final symposium of the Common Good First (CGF) project in October 2019 in South Africa.

Climate of crisis and what this means for the social sector

Author: Josiane Smith In the summer of 2019, I moved back to London to take on a new role as the  Partnerships and Growth Manager for SIX. I had just returned from six years abroad, exploring what social and economic development looks like in different cultural contexts around the world. I moved between the Middle East, London and New York ... Climate of crisis and what this means for the social sector

Making the heart bigger: The stories of the Unusual Suspects Festival

Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger. Ben Okri In the small actions of how you eat or what kind of energy you use or how you study or how you work, there are big ideas implicit in these very small things, and that’s what gives them so much meaning ... Making the heart bigger: The stories of the Unusual Suspects Festival

Social Innovation Community yearbook – looking back on 3 years of community building in Europe

The Social Innovation Community (SIC) project aimed to develop an enabling environment for social innovation by connecting social innovators from Europe and beyond. SIX was one of 12 European partners involved in building this initiative. This was a an important next step in Europe, following the work of SIX and others to connect social innovation actors ... Social Innovation Community yearbook – looking back on 3 years of community building in Europe

What did we learn from Social Innovation Community Project?

The Social Innovation Community (SIC) project aimed to develop an enabling environment for social innovation by connecting social innovators from Europe and beyond. The global challenges that we face are diverse and resistant to solution. Issues like inequality, climate change, housing shortages, and migration require new thinking. They require an environment in which we appreciate that ... What did we learn from Social Innovation Community Project?

Collaborative cities: what social innovation teaches us

As cities grow in size and significance, they can become sites of complex social problems – but also hubs for exploring possible solutions. While every city faces distinct problems, they all share a need for innovative approaches to tackle today’s challenges. This essay is one in a series on future trends for innovative cities, written by the leading thinkers of the Mayor of Seoul’s ... Collaborative cities: what social innovation teaches us

Global Networks: Strategies & learning with peers

Abstact Global Networks Networks are a powerful and growing vector for social change. Considering the complex nature of today’s global challenges, solutions need to be reactive to an ever-evolving landscape of players and circumstances. Networks are a fitting way to approach this complex challenge and if well-managed, networks help us share and use knowledge across ... Global Networks: Strategies & learning with peers

Getting Alignment: Some Helpful Aides for Action

Author: Mark Cabaj The idea for this resource emerged during a retreat on Wasan Island for the SIX Funders Node devoted to exploring the challenges and opportunities of getting alignment on tackling tough social, economic and political issues.   The retreat focused on the changing role of foundations, why foundations need to align and how they ... Getting Alignment: Some Helpful Aides for Action

The Burning Questions of Alignment

We believe that there’s great power in knowing the questions and challenges that are keeping your peers up at night. Not only does it help to reassure that you’re not alone in your work but it can spark a conversation, which in turn can shift thinking and practice. The mission of the Funders Node is ... The Burning Questions of Alignment

5 steps to help build movements for social impact and system innovation – lessons from Istanbul

Last week 150 people from more than 50 countries gathered at the Istanbul Innovation Days to share, learn and discuss how building movements for government and cross-sector innovation might enable social impact at a larger scale. The event was hosted by the UNDP in collaboration with Nesta. I returned from Istanbul with new insights and new case studies on public ... 5 steps to help build movements for social impact and system innovation – lessons from Istanbul

A Breakfast on Networks and Systems Change

SIX recently hosted Tim Draimin for a breakfast in London with individuals working in networks and systems change. Tim works for the McConnell Foundation in Canada, is seconded to be the Executive Director of Social Innovation Generation (SiG) and is a member of the SIX Executive Board. After 10 years, SiG is sunsetting, as planned, at the end ... A Breakfast on Networks and Systems Change

The Camp is a base camp for exploring the future

‘Thecamp is a base camp for exploring the future’.  This is how Antoine Meunier, Head of Communications, presented the new innovation campus, inaugurated this past Thursday evening in Aix-en-Provence. The camp came out of an ambitious idea of Fréderic Chevalier, founder of HighCo and recognized entrepreneur of the region. He said it would be a ... The Camp is a base camp for exploring the future

Follow Our Movement- Reflections following the Rethink Activism Festival in Aarhus

No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main John Donne I’ve realised that since being at this Festival  that I’ve been involved in politics and activism my entire life.’ Peter Macfadyen (Independents for Frome) To say it was disconcerting to be led ... Follow Our Movement- Reflections following the Rethink Activism Festival in Aarhus

Why do global foundations need to align for impact?

Author: Jordan Junge If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together African Proverb We know that the challenges our societies face are growing in scale and complexity. We know that not one organisation is capable to solve these challenges alone. Not even foundations, who are uniquely positioned and ... Why do global foundations need to align for impact?

Report: Five ways universities are organising themselves to increase societal impact

Introduction – What are universities for? For many, universities and higher educational institutions continue to be viewed as elitist and isolated institutions, with little connection to the society, communities and organisations around them. Indeed, universities are large, bureaucratic organisations, and many still operate in this stereotyped ‘traditional’ way. However, at a time when the challenges ... Report: Five ways universities are organising themselves to increase societal impact

The philanthropy of place

As the pace of life increases, our lives are continuously engulfed by technology and data. There are few opportunities for stillness.  We need spaces to recharge and recalibrate more than ever, and when we find these spaces, we need to use them more strategically. This is the view of Dr Helga Breuninger of the Breuninger ... The philanthropy of place

How foundations join forces for better philanthropy?

We work hundreds of miles apart, separated by the border but our two organizations – the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation in Canada and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in the US -have formed a collaboration that is accelerating our efforts to bring about change in our respective countries. Despite our many differences, our organizations are wrestling with similar ... How foundations join forces for better philanthropy?

Tea with Robin Murray

협동조합은 학교다_SBS from SPREAD-i on Vimeo. I have desired to goWhere springs not fail,To fields where flies no sharp and sided hailAnd a few lilies blow. And I have asked to beWhere no storms come,Where the green swell is in the havens dumb,And out of the swing of the sea.– by Gerard Manley Hopkins, Heaven-Haven I am honoured to have known ... Tea with Robin Murray

A global response to the most important questions facing the field of social innovation

In February 2017, SIX hosted our first global Wayfinder event in London. We brought together more than 160 leaders from 34 countries to explore the future of social innovation and our roles within it. There were some clear messages about the very core of what we do, why we do it, and why it matters. Some of ... A global response to the most important questions facing the field of social innovation

How can businesses enhance and enrich social innovation? SIX speaks with Lisen Wirén from Ikea

Can you tell me a bit more about what you do at Ikea related to social innovation and what you think have motivated these initiatives, mentalities and policies? After six years working with sustainability at IKEA I have recently moved over to a new position where I am responsible for people and communities globally at ... How can businesses enhance and enrich social innovation? SIX speaks with Lisen Wirén from Ikea

East Asia’s Role in Global Social Innovation

Dangshu (Jaff) Shen and Fan Li from Leping Social Entrepreneur Foundation have collaborated with various individuals in East Asia working on the emerging frontiers of research and innovation in the field to create a collection of practices and perspectives on social innovation from East Asian countries. Leping Social Entrepreneur Foundation is part of SIX Global Council. Stanford Social Innovation ... East Asia’s Role in Global Social Innovation

10 unusual things about the Unusual Suspects Festival

As usual, the Unusual Suspects festival showed lots of things that are not found during an average social innovation event… 1) We facilitated unlikely connections creating genuine social change Orode Faka from Roehampton R.O.C.K.S. met Louise Foreman from the Young Foundation for the first time at the Unusual Suspects ideas exchange, months before the Festival began London on ... 10 unusual things about the Unusual Suspects Festival

A foundational approach to systems change: A snapshot

Systems change. To some the word comes with a promise. A chance to create a bigger, deeper lasting impact. A shakeup, a change in the status quo. A fundamental reshuffle. To others, the idea is fraught with confusion. What is it? What does it even mean? And how do you do it? Despite the growth ... A foundational approach to systems change: A snapshot

On peace-building and the power of words

PHOTO Credit: Guardian Newspaper What connection might there be between efforts to resolve community tensions around ‘un-authorised’ Gypsy camps here in the UK and efforts to build a peace deal in Colombia? Helen Jones, CEO of Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange, says that words have the power to create change, but we must use them wisely. ... On peace-building and the power of words

I could never work with those people!

Abstract The Social Innovation community has a lot to learn about the challenges involved in collaborating. For this week’s SIX Series on social innovation and collaboration in post conflict societies, SIX invited Adam Kahane of Reos Partners to give his reflections on collaboration, from his new book entitled Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You ... I could never work with those people!

SIX Series: Exploring social innovation in post-conflict societies

What behaviours and attitudes contribute to an effective social innovation culture? A few months ago SIX co-hosted an SIE event with the BMW Foundation to consider this question. “Transparency” Trust” and “Openness” were frequently recurring words in the discussion. This endorsed much of the established evidence about the importance of a collaborative approach to stimulate innovation. But ... SIX Series: Exploring social innovation in post-conflict societies

Migrants, social innovation and collaborative inclusion

In the next decades, a growing number of people will be on the move. The challenge for Europe is to see this not as a threat, but as an opportunity. That is, to imagine how migration can become a driver of innovation towards a younger, dynamic, cosmopolitan and, at the end of the day, a ... Migrants, social innovation and collaborative inclusion

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 ... Pushing boundaries to advance social impact

Connecting peers to push boundaries for social change – a new kind of meeting

Insights from the meeting of international foundations in January 2016: An interview with Louise Pulford, the Director of SIX. What makes this node different?  This group is about the people, and I felt lucky to be in the room with such a great group. It really felt like the best were learning from the best. ... Connecting peers to push boundaries for social change – a new kind of meeting

Scaling social innovation: An art or a science?

This originally appeared on the BRAC blog. If there were a simple recipe for social innovation, anyone could easily transform an idea into an impactful solution reaching millions. Unfortunately things are a lot messier on the ground. Many ‘amazing’ innovations that promise to save millions of lives fail to scale and quietly disappear. Who’s to blame: ... Scaling social innovation: An art or a science?

Supporting Social Change: A New Funding Ecology

Independent social funders are an established part of a mature ecosystem of social support in the UK. They represent a ‘sector’ that is diverse in makeup and practice, with some cutting edge thinking and innovative practice sitting alongside very traditional models of funding for activities in the community. It is also a sector whose leading lights ... Supporting Social Change: A New Funding Ecology

Digital Social Innovation – Future directions

This article was written by Geoff Mulgan (CEO, Nesta) and is part of our SIX Global Council series on Ideas for the Future.  Over the last 50 years vast sums of public money have been spent supporting digital innovation in the military and business.   These fuelled transformative new phenomena – from drones to mass surveillance, Amazon ... Digital Social Innovation – Future directions

10 trends of social innovation in South Africa

Jordan Junge reflects on SIX’s recent event in Johannesburg, South Africa. Standing in a hot field in Soweto, we saw the vision for the future. There would be a juice bar in the corner, Bob Marley blasting out of the speakers, and people of all ages from the community hand picking their fruit and veg. ... 10 trends of social innovation in South Africa

The Innovation Lab Insight Centre

The innovation Lab Insight Centre is a joint project between The Brisdgespan Group and the Rockefeller Foundation Focussing on Labs for Systems Change, the project brought together a blog and webinar series which shares research, expert insights, and perspectives on how these labs have helped funders and nonprofit organizations create environments conducive to innovation and ... The Innovation Lab Insight Centre

How Social Innovation Labs Contribute to Transformative Change

The Rockefeller Foundation’s Social Innovation Labs project explores what labs are and how, when, and why we might use them to address complex social problems. Many different types of organizations run labs. Some are part of larger organizations, like UNICEF Innovation Labs or the BRAC Social Innovation Lab. Others are independent, like InSTEDD. According to The Bridgespan Group, preliminary estimates indicate that ... How Social Innovation Labs Contribute to Transformative Change

Eleven trends to watch – Digital Social Innovation

This article was originally posted on the Nesta blog on 24/06/2014 by Peter Baeck and Alice Casey. People are using digital technology to revolutionise how we make social impact and to develop useful new resources for everyone. Nesta knows this is happening in a wide range of ways but is often informal and community-driven which means that ... Eleven trends to watch – Digital Social Innovation

Permission, performance and play: shifting culture, changing systems

1. The two most important things you need to focus on if you want to use innovation to change systems and shift cultures are permission and play. The third thing is performance. Permission, performance, play – that’s the trifecta you have to pull off. It’s very hard and very rare. I was reminded of this ... Permission, performance and play: shifting culture, changing systems

The Scaling Imperative

This article was originally published on Social Innovation Generation (SiG) website. Social Innovation Generation (SiG) is a group who believes that serious social problems can be solved. Our focus is on fostering social innovation to achieve impact, durability and scale by engaging the creativity and resources of all sectors. Today, it is quite common to come ... The Scaling Imperative

The radical’s dilemma: an overview of the practice and prospects of Social and Public Labs.

This article was originally written by Geoff Mulgan on the Nesta website. In this paper, Geoff Mulgan looks at the various social and public labs across around the world. He summarises his personal view of the field of innovation labs – and what might lie ahead – largely based on Nesta experience. The report looks ... The radical’s dilemma: an overview of the practice and prospects of Social and Public Labs.

Public and Collaborative: Exploring the Intersection of Design, Social Innovation and Public Policy

An interesting phenomenon is emerging worldwide: more and more people are organizing to solve daily problems together and are collaborating with each other to live more socially cohesive and sustainable lives. This active and collaborative attitude, driven by several social and economic factors, is also based on a technological pre-condition: the diffusion of technologies that ... Public and Collaborative: Exploring the Intersection of Design, Social Innovation and Public Policy

A Lab of Labs

A report from Lab2, and why learning to reflect on our assumptions about how change happens has value, whether or not “lab” is in your title. Just add water. That was chemistry professor Justus von Liebig’s big idea. Mix hot water and powder, and voilà, you have the nutritional equivalent of beef stew. The year ... A Lab of Labs

Compendium for the civic economy

Against the context of rapid economic, social and environmental change, a collective reflection is taking place on how to build more sustainable routes to share prosperity. In the meantime, an increasing number and wide range of change-makers have already found ways to imagine and grow a different economy in our cities, towns, neighbourhoods and villages. ... Compendium for the civic economy

Small is powerful

The Basque region is the proposed setting for the world’s first ‘social Silicon Valley’. Alison Benjamin meets two Spaniards intent on creating a post-industrial revolution High in the hills of Spain’s Basque region, an experiment is taking place that could determine how we tackle social problems in the future. At a time when governments, economists ... Small is powerful