With no place to hide from change, the next decade will bring unprecedented transformation to Canada's non-profits. This metamorphosis will be driven by metrics unleashed by open data; new behavioural insights; deepening new technology penetration; demographic shifts (e.g. aging population's service demands, millennials assuming workplace leadership; generative partnership approaches; and, revamped government commissioning of contracted services (Gs+Cs).
Will the resulting innovation, supported by Social R&D, be the exclusive domain of new upstart non-profits and social enterprise hybrids? Or, will we also see an expansion of existing organizations intentionally and systematically leveraging their deep front-line experience to reshape programs and better tackle root causes?
Non-profits that are keen to innovative and accelerate their impact are fortunate that there are many excellent resources now available to guide this journey. A leading example is the DIY Toolkit assembled for a global audience by a team at the United Kingdom's innovation foundation Nesta.
SiG and Innoweave are two Canadian organizations that collaborate with Nesta and DIY. Nesta, formerly the government-created National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, is an international powerhouse that became an independent charity in 2012. Several years ago, SiG and MaRS hosted Nesta's CEO and well-known social innovation thought leader, Geoff Mulgan, for various presentations.
DIY has scoured the world and reviewed hundreds of tools to be able to curate and assemble a downloadable set of practical tools to help trigger and support social innovation. The tools are organized around Nesta's seven stage framework for innovation.
The well-developed field of mainstream innovation dates back well over a century. While the term "social innovation" has been actively used for 200 years, the field is only several decades old. Nesta's online DIY Toolkit blends mainstream and social innovation resources, organizing and presenting them in an agile, informative and accessible way that empowers social change innovators to pursue formulaic or iterative approaches for achieving greater impact.
On Wednesday May 18th I will be exploring these DIY tools and their application in a with Nesta's Brenton Caffin, who leads the ongoing development and deployment of the DIY Toolkit. I hope you'll be able to join this dialogue!
- Attend Gearing Up for Social Impact a webinar on May 18 @ noon EST with Tim Draimin of Social Innovation Generation and Brenton Caffin of Nesta
- Learn more about Social Innovation Generation
- Read Systemic Innovation: A Discussion Series by Geoff Mulgan and Charles Leadbeater
- Check out Nesta CEO Geoff Mulgan's writing on Collaboration and Collective Impact, February 1, 2016
- Discover Nesta's Alliance for Useful Evidence, an open network and forum to champion the use of evidence in decision making for social policy and practice
- Read Nesta's Making the Change: Behavioural factors in person and community-centred approaches for health and wellbeing