Profile - Social Innovation Exchange

Profile - Social Innovation Exchange

08 April 2016

Later this year we hoping to announce a collaborative project with Social Innovation Exchange (SIX). While we’re finalising the details, here’s the lowdown on the organisation helping organisations and communities embed social innovation across the world.

SIX was established in 2008, and incubated by the Young Foundation until 2013 when it became an independent organisation, with support from the UK branch of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Since March 2013, SIX has been governed by an Executive Board of leading social innovation experts from around the world and their Global Council of leading social innovation organisations from across the globe provide them with core financial support, as well as guiding and directing their work.

SIX is the world’s primary network focusing on social innovation. Their vision is that people all over the world can become better innovators by more easily connecting to their peers, sharing methods and exchanging solutions globally.

They do this by connecting people as friends, who trust each other and who can be open about their challenges, as well as successes.

They like to think of themselves more of a community than a network.

SIX work with governments, businesses, academics, funders, practitioners and leading social innovation intermediaries that support social innovation to accelerate the field of social innovation around the world.

Alongside this, they also seek to learn from the real people innovating in their own communities. By linking all these actors across sectors, fields and geographies, they spread the most effective models more quick.

SIX has developed a unique approach of connecting innovators, designing experiences, curating knowledge and insights, and disseminating practical examples of social innovation, which enable the global community to learn from each other, and builds the capacities of their members.

Their events programme convenes people in creative ways all over the world. Through their nodes, both regional and thematic, they quickly find the best innovations from around the world – from funding tools for innovation to the best models of caring for the elderly.

And through their work with governments, foundations, NGOs and large institutions they aim to  build environments where innovation can flourish.

The way they design their activities reflects their values. Everything they do is in partnership with organisations who are based in the country they are working in, and who understand the local context best.

A great example of this is the Unusual Suspects festival which the Trust attended last year in Glasgow.

The Glasgow Festival was curated by SIX with support from Nesta, the Big Lottery Fund and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The festival featured a collection of interlinked events that drew out the ways in which collaboration and social innovation can work in sync – and asked how this can help address some of the most difficult challenges we face in society today.

You’ll probably agree they sound like an exciting bunch and we’re hoping to work more closely with them later in the year.

In the meantime, you can keep up to date with them on Twitter at - @si_exchange

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