Blogs

Message to the US: We're Not Alone on Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The world seems astonishingly aligned in embracing the power of social innovation and entrepreneurship.

Posted: 12/18/2014 12:00:00 AM by Jeanette Hafke

Nonprofit Collaborations Webinar 2014

Nonprofit Collaborations: What CEOs & Funders Say Works—and Doesn't (Our view-on-demand webinar and related presentation)

Posted: 12/10/2014 9:23:26 PM by Chris Lindquist

Fulfilling the Promise of Innovation Labs

How can innovation labs reach their full potential to solve some of the world’s most vexing social problems? In this final post from our Innovation Lab series, authors Amira Bliss and Nidhi Sahni note three key milestones that innovations labs and sector leaders must achieve in the coming years: moving from anecdotes to evidence, embedding labs in the communities they serve, and shifting minds in order to shift behavior.

Posted: 12/10/2014 11:24:12 AM by Chris Lindquist

Questions from the Front Lines of Transformative Scale

Here are the five most frequent questions Jeff Bradach has received over the past year about transformative scale--and his initial thoughts on what their answers may be.

Posted: 12/4/2014 8:00:00 AM by The Bridgespan Group

Unlocking Hidden Creativity through Innovation Labs

The Rockefeller Foundation teamed up with Stanford ChangeLabs to work with a diverse group of more than 100 Peruvians to develop ideas for preserving and strengthening the country's declining coastal fishing economy.

Posted: 12/3/2014 10:00:00 AM by Jeanette Hafke

Jobs for Disconnected Youth and Talent for Suppliers

The Rockefeller Foundation, Starbucks and LeadersUp, a nonprofit Starbucks helped found, used an innovation lab to conceive of a new kind of talent pipeline. It’s one that connects millions of young people not in school and not working to train and fill entry-to-advance-level positions gone begging for skilled workers, starting with openings at Starbucks’ 18,000 suppliers.

Posted: 12/2/2014 10:00:00 AM by Jeanette Hafke

Shifting the Focus from Prototyping Techniques to a Prototyping Mindset

The notion of prototyping—mocking up ideas to learn and to adjust for what actually works—has gained credence as an indispensable approach to strategy creation. But I worry that all the buzz around prototyping can lead to a false promise: that using a prescribed set of prototyping techniques will guarantee social innovation as an outcome.

Posted: 11/25/2014 3:25:29 PM by Jeanette Hafke

Innovation Lab Video Library

A collection of videos related to innovation labs

Posted: 11/24/2014 8:49:08 PM by Chris Lindquist

Bringing fresh solutions to the challenge of global food security

In a world where global hunger affects nearly a billion people, approximately one-third of food produced for human consumption is either lost or wasted. Traditional approaches to solving the issue have proven ineffective, because they fail to take into account the full system of actors, resources, interactions, and incentives at play. Recognizing this, the Global Knowledge Initiative created a social innovation lab, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, to design and deliver a systems-based approach to addressing post-harvest food loss in Sub-Saharan Africa, sparking novel ideas for changing mindsets and tactics in the quest for food security.

Posted: 11/24/2014 12:15:56 PM by Chris Lindquist

Three Phases for Getting Experts to Innovate

A phased approach to innovation can help expert-oriented organizations embrace experimentation and learning.

Posted: 11/18/2014 11:28:44 PM by The Bridgespan Group

Look to Government—Yes, Government—for New Social Innovations

If asked to identify the hotbed of social innovation right now, many people would likely point to the new philanthropy of Silicon Valley or social entrepreneurs of Ashoka or Echoing Green; very few people, if any, would say the state capital or Capitol Hill. Yet, around the world, there are local, regional, and national government innovators who are challenging this paradigm. They are pioneering a new form of experimental government—bringing new knowledge and practices to the craft of governing and policy making; drawing on human-centered design, user engagement, open innovation, and cross-sector collaboration; and using data, evidence, and insights in new ways.

Posted: 11/18/2014 10:02:31 PM by Jeanette Hafke

What Are Social (Innovation) Labs, and Why Should You Care?

Over the last decade, a growing movement of practitioners has adopted a more experimental approach to addressing complex challenges. They don’t ask donors to invest in a plan. They ask for investments in a diverse team, which then manages a portfolio of ideas. It’s talent that matters, and the process of iteration, trial and error, not a fixed plan that has little chance of success. Talented teams will produce outputs and outcomes that are valuable, for example new services or products, new skills and capacities and new intellectual property.

At the heart of this movement is a phenomenon known as a social laboratory. Social labs focus on innovating practical actions to address complex social challenges.

Posted: 11/12/2014 8:11:57 PM by Chris Lindquist

Webinar - A New Approach to Tackle Systems Change: Social Innovation Labs

Playback of our November 10, 2014 webinar intended to build an understanding of what social innovation labs are and how they can be used to address complex social and environmental problems. We share research, expert insights, and perspectives on how these labs have helped funders and nonprofit organizations create environments conducive to innovation and experimentation.

Posted: 11/10/2014 4:35:30 PM by Chris Lindquist

Can Innovation Labs Solve Ebola and Other World Problems?

Social innovation labs are gaining ground and finding effective solutions to global challenges quickly and inclusively.

Posted: 11/10/2014 2:00:07 PM by Chris Lindquist

Innovation Lab Resources

A set of resources for those interested in learning more about innovation labs.

Posted: 11/10/2014 1:00:46 PM by Chris Lindquist
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