By Jo Zaremba
A vibrant buzz of innovators, intrapreneurs, thinkers, doers and investors filled the Innovation Partnerships session at Business Fights Poverty. Facilitated by our partner, Darian Stibbe, of The Partnering Initiative; the topic of conversation: innovative partnerships for economic, social and environmental impact. Nine innovation leaders from companies and NGO’s shared experiences of building partnerships, setting the scene for the packed room to contemplate innovative solutions to current global problems. Thinking through combinatorial innovations and lateral applications, participants came up with some wonderfully dynamic new solutions, building on each others’ competencies. The result included five practical innovations which participants committed to taking forward – and 10 insights to scale up processes for partnerships for innovation:
1.Finding common purpose
2.Unlocking networks, e.g. local community groups
3. Standing in your partners’ shoes (viewing different issues from different perspectives)
4.Building tolerance through failure
5.Investing in relationships and accepting that partnerships will ‘wax and wane’ in energy
6.Taking joint ownership of cycles of adaptation for your partnership and programmes (& regular M&E)
7.Investing in emerging / local leadership (coach, train for collaboration)
8.Communicating and being transparent with your partners
9.Developing succession plans for the sustainability of your innovations
10.Using the power of the many, to mitigate risk aversion
The session concluded on a challenge to partnerships to move from funded to self-financed projects, building local ownership, capacity and commitment into the core of partnerships. Panellists reflected the cost of partnerships are considerable and investment is vital.
We will be publishing more content stimulated by Business Fights Poverty Oxford soon and keeping you up to date on Twitter
, so do take a look.
By Jo Zaremba
A stimulating discussion was had at our curated Advocacy Partnerships session with The Partnering Initiative this morning at Business Fights Poverty’s flagship Oxford conference. Panellists and the audience shared case studies demonstrating how business can make a significant contribution to the SDGs, but also raising practical, ethical, intellectual and moral challenges.
The diversity of discussion points is indicative of the diversity of Advocacy Partnerships and contexts where they exist. From debating the roles of companies in policy and regulatory arenas to the nature and extent of reporting practices and impact, different lessons emerged which showed that collaborations provide both synergies and contradictions.
Interesting reflections in the room on how in contexts lacking the systems, structures, and commitments to basic rules of Human Rights, the role of business is to go beyond compliance to improve the social or environmental ecosystem. Meanwhile, companies need to align policy, practice and advocacy with sustainability. Insightful thoughts on how NGOs can bring in external voices to encourage better business but need to balance challenges with solutions.
Panellists discussed how scale and impact can only be achieved through tackling root causes of social issues. Resolving complex problems require the types of dialogue and collaboration that partnerships offer to bring different minds, experiences, and approaches together to deliver systemic change.
The challenges of forming, managing, maintaining, and measuring the impact of Advocacy Partnerships echo other types of partnerships. Given the scale of the challenge posed by delivering the SDG’s, the conclusion from the lively discussion was that investing to address these challenges are worth the effort – for companies, civil society and governments alike.
Look out for more from our Partnership Zone Innovation session with TPI later today.
Advocacy partnerships are essential, yet challenging. This interactive session calls for policy makers as well as public affairs, programming, partnerships, policy and advocacy professionals to share their experiences of working behind the scenes to influence for structural and sectoral change. We will explore the essential building blocks for advocacy partnerships to release the power of policy and political capital, changing mindsets and building trust.
Share your advocacy partnerships experiences @ethicore and join us at #BFPOxford
If you are ready to do sustainable development differently, whether from business, institutions or NGOs, join the ‘Partnerships with Innovation and Impact’ Workshop at Business Fights Poverty Conference. You will work through critical steps to generate value through innovative partnerships, and this will be brought to life with learning from business and INGO leaders and their partnership experiences and insights.
If you would like your innovative partnership to feature in the session or generally, share your details with firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @ethicore.
by Rachael Clay
How can you give a boost to the idea generation in your innovation process to open up creative, new and different concepts?
Follow three simple principles, and then get creative with ‘different shoes’, ‘random metaphors’ and ‘bad ideas’.
Check out this infographic of our tried and tested tools for innovation ideation.