– What we do, and why it’s important and needed, is we connect people around the process of how to do innovation. When we started, the reason SIX was needed was because the field of social innovation was an unknown area for the general public and there were few methods of working across sectors. Social innovation wasn’t on any agenda, there weren’t offices of social innovation in governments around the world, and there weren’t social innovation funds. So when we started, our job was to put social innovation on the map.
Putting social innovation on the map
– We certainly wouldn’t say we are the reason that social innovation has risen and gotten more money and political will for social innovation, but we certainly would say that the people who have been close to the SIX network has contributed to that. And we can see that because of the kind of work the people who are close to SIX are doing now.
Louise Pulford emphasizes the importance of learning and spreading knowledge cross sectors, as many times the processes can be applied onto different settings, and says that SIX’s openness to sharing methods cross-fields is one of the reasons why SIX is unique. As the societal changes and challenges become complex and increase, Louise Pulford and SIX is looking for new ways to do things – which she hope to find at Social Innovation Summit this year.
Taking it to the next level
– We need to take social innovation to the next level, eventually, because having small pilot projects and small stories of how we’ve affected the lives of individuals or vulnerable communities is brilliant, but we need much more going forward. We need much more investment, we need much stronger political will, we need different sectors to engage in this, we need the media to understand it. Because the challenges are getting worse and we need to find new ways of doing things.
– We don’t have enough examples out there that have been well communicated. We hear about the same things all the times. So what I am hoping from Social Innovation Summit is that I learn about some new things and meet some new and different people that are doing things in a different way, not just the same examples that you expect to hear at social innovation conferences.
What will social innovation look like in the next 10 years?
At SIX they have already started the process by asking themselves “what will social innovation look like in the next 10 years?”. Louise Pulford explains that they have already started thinking about what kind of infrastructures is needed to support new innovation and the innovation that is needed for these new challenges that we are facing. This is something Louise Pulford would like to discuss with people attending Social Innovation Summit.
– I would also like to raise the issue that… whereas we made progress, we’re not there yet. I’d like to urge different sectors to be braver and not be satisfied with what we’ve done, but to challenge ourselves. Think clearly about our purpose and how we work with each other. I’d like to urge people to really learn from others around the world about what they’ve done already. We continue to copy each other and make the same mistakes. There is too much self-ownership in it, rather than thinking about what we’re trying to accomplish in the end. So I would really urge people to learn about things and I hope that I could bring some examples that are new for the audience at Social Innovation Summit.