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Social Innovation Exchange and PND: A New Partnership

August 21, 2017

Social_innovationThe social and environmental challenges confronting societies globally are growing in scale and complexity. And no single organization, private or public, is equipped to fight these challenges alone. Which is why it's more important than ever for private- and public-sector organizations to seek and find alignment between their various activities and efforts.

The UK-based Social Innovation Exchange (SIX) is the world's primary network focused on social innovation. Comprised of more than sixteen thousand people who believe in innovation for societal good, SIX works to connect people and organizations globally, build innovation capacity, and provide strategic foresight to the social innovation field. It works to achieve those goals in three ways: 1) through organizational capacity building; 2) by fostering networks of social innovation leaders; and 3) through learning interventions.

Over the past two years, SIX has created something called the SIX Funders Node, a global collective of more than sixty foundations willing to share, learn, and engage with one another in order to be more innovative in their approach and practice.

Through the Funders Node, SIX orchestrates a global peer-to-peer learning exchange, hosts unique activities across the world supporting funders as they work through various challenges, and brokers strategic relationships and partnerships between foundations.

Areas of focus for the initiative have included the roles of foundations in social innovation and understanding how they can best leverage change; the different models and methods of collaboration; understanding the power dynamics within philanthropy; and impact and risk. Last year, SIX hosted a retreat devoted to funding systems change that explored, among other things, definitions of systems change and provided foundation representatives in attendance an opportunity to work through many of the challenges they face internally and to share best practices.

Hosted in collaboration with the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, in partnership with the Breuninger Foundation, the BMW Foundation, and Community Foundations of Canada, our next convening will be a retreat, August 20-23, in Canada focused on the topic "Aligning for Impact."

Following the retreat, SIX and Philanthropy News Digest will partner to share key insights and learnings from the retreat through a series of blog posts, interviews, and other materials, with a focus on three broad themes:

  • Impact
  • Alignment
  • Innovation

Like many of you, members of the Social Innovation Exchange are working to address urgent challenges and believe that there is enormous potential and power in peer learning. We're looking forward to sharing details about the challenges and pain points we face, as well as highlighting new approaches to alignment and opportunities for innovation going forward, and we sincerely hope you’ll join us and participate in that conversation. Stay tuned to this space!

Jordan_Junge_for_PhilanTopicJordan Junge (jordan.junge@socialinnovationexchange.org) is program director at SIX.

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