Developing new models for social transformation

Report by Sarah Pearson: We live in unprecedented times. A period where globalisation has supported relative peace and growing prosperity. Where technological innovation has transformed social connectivity, democratised access to information and power, and driven new industry and jobs. The current pandemic, geopolitical power struggles, and a widening disparity in the distribution of the benefits of technology, however, threatens this progression. Many people have been, and many more are being left behind, with the recent COVID-19 pandemic seriously affecting progress in areas such as gender equality. Innovation, from an operational, business model, technological and societal perspective, is poised and ripe to help. This research focused on how this innovation could be applied to philanthropies seeking to address social change, overcome disadvantage, and build Equality of Opportunity.

Opportunities abound: starting with how we lead and govern in Foundations so that we unleash creativity and opportunity, throughout the organisation and externally; how we become more open and access new impactful ideas we would not have dreamt of without looking more widely; how we fund differently in order to make the most of our corpus, apply a gender lens, provide more than financial resources,
and support long term impact through new funding models; how we manage programs with sufficient flexibility to allow for unforeseen impact and experimentation by those we support; with whom and how we partner to deliver greater systemic change, and how to engage in an inclusive ecosystem of impact; how we leverage data to understand the issues, provide an asset for innovation, and measure our impact; and crucially how we set up for a diverse, experimental, learning culture. And in all of this, how we connect to and empower those with lived expertise to build economic self-determination, and combine with other expertise to grow inclusive problem-solving communities…(More)”.