We realised that many innovative business ideas for impact initiated by individual organisations alone struggle or even die because the ecosystem was too challenging. We also found that for innovation to be systemic it requires curated collaboration of diverse actors such as established companies, startups, social enterprises, financiers and development actors. At the same time, the SDG agenda and imminent climate change called for more ambitious solutions. This is the mindset which led to the creation of inclusive innovation 2030 (ii2030).
Ii2030 is a methodology designed to catalyses collaboration between innovators across sectors. Effective process design and facilitation enables actors to identify a shared objective, look at the situation from a system perspective and define how they need to interact going forward to achieve the common objective. The methodology thus combines design thinking, system practice and presencing methods to activate intellectual and emotional parts of the human brain. ii2030’s methodology follows a three step process:
- Consultation of key systems staleholder to get a shared understanding of the system at play and to the identification of leverage areas to act on
- Co-creation of a solution that would help reconfigure the system to achieve greater impact with a curated group of stakeholder who are willing and able to implement the solution that came out of the co-creation process.
- Implementation of a prototype of the co-created solution, to test it and refine it in order to scale its impact
Ii2030 is designed to generate partnerships (so-called “impact triangles”) and its success is based on effective partnerships. Each ii2030 track is sponsored by one or two partners, i.e a private company and/or public donor as well as co-designed with an implementation partner with a significant operational footprint on the ground and a strong ambition to achieve a system level impact.
Ii2030 has been applied to several tech based innovation processes since 2017 including in healthcare, agriculture, energy, financial services. An important outcome of the ii2030 drone track in 2017 was the creation of the Drones Doing Good Alliance – a coalition of partners active in the African drone sector and the African healthcare logistics space. The Alliance was able to successfully run a proof of concept to understand when and under what conditions to use drones compared to other mobility options. The Alliance allowed its different members to also develop further connections for complementary projects reinforcing the ecosystem and ensuring the commercial viability of drone delivery.
Insights / Advice to Peers
- Maximise awareness and synergies: The ii2030 methodology brought together key actors made use of synergies, yielded their respective expertise and resources to pin point the most pressing inhibitors in the system and strengthen enablers.
- Use convincing communication and tailored incentives: It is key to develop clear but convincing communication around the benefits of collaboration and systemic approaches to adequately onboard relevant stakeholders and to tailor incentives to reach different audience. For instance, onboarding government actors might require to properly highlight the synergies with local ministerial agenda while start-up might respond better to an opportunity to network with providers of capital or know-how.
- Use online tools for further outreach: The Covid-19 pandemic has brought collaboration processes online, allowing to reach additional stakeholders than traditional on-site formats.
- Role and funding of system change facilitators:.Facilitation skills are critical to the success of processes that enable enable forward thinking projects and new methodologies. However, it is a challenge to raise financing for these services, in particular if the project moves from design to implementation phase. It is therefore key to identify get-go funders, investors and/or donors to secure funding commitments early on in the process.
Christina Tewes-Gradl, Endeva (Germany)