Social Innovation Forum

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News & Updates

Stay tuned for the latest news on exciting concepts for Zero Hunger and Social Justice
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Round 1: Concepts

Share your comments and give your vote ❤️ for the best concepts
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Round 2: Concepts

Share your comments and give your vote ❤️ for the best concepts
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The Grand Finale

The event will be live-streamed 🎥
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New Posts
  • Design thinking and co-creation seem to be flying around a lot lately in a buzz-wordy kind of way. I myself interacted with this for the first time when I had the privilege to attend a design-thinking workshop in New Delhi, organised by Civil Society Academy and Welthungerhilfe . This was the same workshop that gave us ( Goal 16 ) the chance to pitch an innovative idea to support social activists in their work. Thankfully, we won a grant to help us prototype our idea to see if there is a real need for it, and whether it is practically applicable. This is a short story of the lessons we've learnt so far in this prototyping journey. Lesson 1: Ask, don't assume In the wise words of Ernesto Sirolli, " Want to help someone? Shut up and listen !" ( TED Talk here ). Seeing that the focus group for our prototype is Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working in Kenya, the very first realisation we came to was that NGO projects can really be out of touch with reality. And the question we asked ourselves was, why? So my partner Tommi and I got a bunch of guys working with CSOs and asked them this question. And the answer was simple: rarely are beneficiaries ever involved in the project conceptualization and development phase. The result? Implementation becomes a total nightmare. Either your target beneficiary rejects the project outright, or simply participates because you offered some monetary incentive. However, at the end of it all, there is zero impact, and you realise that a whole lot of money was literally just poured into a black hole. Or in Ernesto's case, eaten by hippos from the Zambezi. (I would really recommend you watch the TED Talk, its hilarious and sobering at the same time.) At this point, the good Professor introduces a new concept - the jobs to be done theory . He suggested that, instead of asking customers how to improve their milkshakes, McDonald's should instead ask them, " what job does this milkshake do for you ?" For the rest of the story, follow this link. What we learnt from this was that, it doesn't matter how good you make your product; people will only buy into it if it fulfills a specific need. In other words, they will hire your product to do a specific job. Lesson 3: What's your fishie? Ideally, the co-creation process should culminate in a workable solution that addresses a specific need, which has already been established by involving the target user. This video about a lucky iron fish teaches us that it's not enough just to identify the need and come up with a viable solution; it won't work if it comes in the wrong shape or form. In this story, a social entrepreneurship organisation noticed widespread anaemia in some parts of Cambodia. Their solution was scientifically accurate: anaemia is caused by an iron deficiency in the blood, so to solve it, iron should be added to the diet. As you watch the video, you will notice that though they had identified a specific need and offered an accurate solution, it was still rejected by the target user. Why was this? Because they failed to take into account the local culture and customs. Once they did this however, and improved their prototype based on this, their solution received a very positive reception. So, in summary... As we develop projects and work on solutions in whatever field, let's always remember the Zambezi hippos, the McDonald's milkshake, and the lucky iron fish. For a more in-depth conversation on design thinking or graphic illustrations, please feel free to reach out in the comment section or through a direct message. Please note: This post appeared originally on LinkeIn . #prototyping #designthinking #cocreation #communication #vision #strategicgoals About the author: Jacqueline Wahome is a co-founder of Goal 16 Governance Platform. Inspired by the SDG goal no. 16, Goal 16 aims to create strong institutions by providing training and research solutions for NGOs and corporates working in the African context. Areas of expertise include Anti-Corruption and Good Governance, Anti-Money Laundering, Due Diligence and Regulatory Compliance. Jacqueline (also Jackie) is among one of the 8 winners of the Social Innovation Challenge 2019 (Phase 1). This article is a brief reflection of Jackie's prototyping journey over the last 4 months and the importance of taking a human-centered approach to design. It shows how she has taken some lessons from some hippos, a milkshake and an iron fish. Find Jackie on Linkedin , Instagram , Facebook .
  • Last Friday, the inspiring 5-day Design Workshop ended with a Grand Finale announcing the top 8 winning concepts to an audience of social innovators from 20 countries. Many of them had just given a pitch themselves the evening before. The evening before the big day: “We are the champions” Through a creative voting process of giving each innovator a cheque book which can’t exceed 100 Impact Dollars, innovators were only allowed to invest in their colleagues’ concepts but not themselves. The full amount had to be spent and overspending is strictly prohibited. Hence, some invested everything in one concept, while others took time to distribute the money evenly to many of their favorites. By the end of the night, we proudly disclosed the results to the groups. Even though only 12 concepts were selected to pitch on the next day, for a short moment we all felt like champions. It was amazing to see how many people decided to stay back to help the winning teams prepare for the Grand Finale. Some gave creative inputs and some were simply there to share emotional support. Unlike other competitive events, this one felt more like a family, a collaborative and empathetic community of humans who are committed to create social impact. The big day: Zero Injustice The Grand Finale wouldn’t be a grand finale if it was locked away from the public eye. This is why the event was live streamed on Facebook attracting thousands of viewers. Moderated by our favorite design thinker Moritz Gekeler , the event went smoothly despite a few technical imperfections. And just like our participants, we were able to solve those problems by seeing solutions in everything around us. Not everything was perfect, but we perfectly enjoyed each moment. Even though there was a little more nervousness in the air, the audience seemed to truly enjoy the intimate space and surprising moments when Adrien and Arnaud from team Zero Injustice and Jackie from team Activist's Best Friend came on stage to share a spontaneous rap. The message was very clear: Zero injustice doesn’t mean zero fun. And for those who followed us, commented on the Forum and watched us live on Facebook: Thank you so much for the awesome support! A big thank to our panel of judges – a vibrant and diverse group of humans who quickly became our friends: - Mr. Timotheus Felder-Roussety, Counsellor Social and Labour Affairs, German Embassy India - Mrs. Malika Srivastana, Executive Director, Centre for Microfinance, Tata Trust - Mr. Soumitra Gosh, Manager Innovation for Change, curated by CIVICUS - Mrs. Bettina Iseli, Programmes Director, Welthungerhilfe (live from Germany) At around 1:15 PM India time, the winning concepts and teams were announced in a small CSA-styled ceremony with the names written on a big white chart. We can’t wait to announce them again! Are you ready? And the Award goes to… 🏆 Jury’s Choice Awar d - Family Strengthening Toolkit (Esther from Sri Lanka) - Uganda’s Community Voices (Jonathan from Uganda) - ReGrow (Tiffany and Sonika from Nepal) - Smart Social Contracts (Massimo from UK/Italy) - Living University (Vaneshran from South Africa) - The Humanity Union (Jagadananda from India and Thomas from Germany) 🏆 Facilitator’s Choice Awar d - Activist's Best Friend (Lulu from Tanzania and Jackie from Kenya) 🏆 Popular Choice Awar d - Zero Injustice (Arnaud from Belgium and Adrien from France) You missed the pitches and want to see the full event again? The Grand Finale is now available on our Youtube channel. Watch now! Never miss an update! Subscribe to our Newsletter . #SocialInnovationChallenge2019 #ItIsEnoughForEveryone #GrandFinale
  • 3 May: 7 AM - 9:30 AM German time Watch live at www.facebook.com/civilsocietyacademy See List of Winners .

3rd May: The Grand Finale

Innovation at Civil Society Academy

 We champion and advocate for a just and equal world, and spend all our time harnessing the superpower abilities of social pioneers, innovators and civil society leaders to fast track radical system transformation. Being a fast growing social start-up ourselves initiated by Welthungerhilfe in 2014, we know the transformative power of ideas and what it takes to bring them to life. Over the years we have also developed a strong reputation for strengthening and deepening local participative social innovation processes and championing the role of the third sector in radical system transformation discourses. 

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