Innovation for Impact Partnerships at Business Fights Poverty Oxford

Innovation for Impact Partnerships at Business Fights Poverty Oxford

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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 and Facebook, so do take a look.
 Image FrancescaENew of Mars Global