What skills, methods and tools will we need to navigate the choppy waters we are in and bring about transformative social change?

Opening Circle we_b Brussels 14 January 2012

I have just spent 3 days in discussion with 22 people from 7 countries in a “we_b” laboratory held in Brussels under the umbrella of a new collaborative group we are calling Collective Impact x Innovation Institute (Ci2i).  Some of the concepts that we explored in this initial “we_x” lab included:

1.  Thrivability – Using a whole systems approach, we evolve our way of being together, of collaborating, so that our collective wisdom and action bring forth a flourishing world and thriving life. This session focused on the action spectrum, a framework for creating portfolios of action (and expectations for results) within simple, complex, and complex adaptive environments.

2. Risk Assessment – How can social investment be integrated in risk management approaches, as a new way for business and social organizations to partner based on shared values?   This requires developing new impact assessment metrics and experimenting with innovative partnerships.

3. Scaling for Impact – How do we replicate methods that we know work so that they have a positive  impact on larger groups of people?  We need to approach the concept of ‘scaling’ in new ways so that we can better test our theories and share our knowledge in ways appropriate to the social sector and the goal of making significant positive impact.

4. Knowledge Management and Sharing – There is more and more information that is available, but how do we make it accessible to those who can benefit from it, and make meaning of it so that it enables us to take effective action?

5. Self-Awareness – We all have ‘filters’ that we use when we meet new people and enter new partnerships that lead us to make certain judgments (both positive and negative).  Being aware of our own perceptions can help strengthen working relationships and partnerships.

Colleague Christelle Van Ham has also blogged about our discussions here and  Carolina Tocalli has blogged (in Spanish) about we_b here.  You can see more pictures and some of our charts here.  Stay tuned for more from Ci2i coming soon!