Wednesday, June 19, 2013

InterAction Forum 2013 - Drivers of Social Innovation

Drivers of Social Innovation

Contributed by Kyle Chang for InterAction
People often equate innovation solely with technological breakthroughs, but in reality, innovation goes far beyond that. Lisa Nitze of Mission Measurement, Scott McCallum of AidMatrix, Mirza Jahani of Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A., Daniel Brutto of UPS International and Gregory Wangerin of USA for UNHCR shared their thoughts with Forum 2013 attendees about innovation and the difficulties in achieving it.

Jahani argued that innovation includes any change in the status quo of how things are done. “Innovation is taking place all the time. It’s just not labeled [as such].” Wangerin took a similar stance, saying that innovation comes from everyone, not just managers and directors. He argued that field workers and those in need of aid are the ones “with their backs against the wall,” and that necessity is the mother of invention.
For Brutto, innovation means bettering supply chain efficiencies and sharing resources between the private and NGO sectors, despite their apparent differences in aim. Jahani added that both nonprofit and private sectors will have to tweak their mindsets in order to work together.

Nitze stressed the importance of NGO data to create a culture that supports innovation. “Telling a great story will no longer do” for inducing investment. NGOs need to measure their social impact so they can sell it to investors. With the right data, innovation is inevitable because of continuously smarter investment decisions, she contended.

Despite the consensus that innovation is important, people are still scared of being the first ones to change because of the risk of failure, McCallum said. Addressing this issue later, Nitze said that NGOs need to celebrate failure because it’s an “active part of moving forward.” Wangerin agreed that it is important for organizations to create a space to fail, learn and improve.

Read the full story here

No comments:

Post a Comment