What I learnet at the #we_b workshop for accelerating social impact

When doing the research for the current We, the People campaign we came across some in some interesting figures; while only 5 percent of Europeans under 30 are active in a political party or organisation, three times more are involved with an organization promoting human rights or local/global community development.  It seems many  are attempting to affect change directly by getting involved in organizations and or projects that address specific issues, rather than relying on political representatives or institutions to do it for them.  And so it makes sense to explore this space in more detail.  If you self identify as a change-agent and or are curious about what others are up to I encourage you to participate in the Spotlight Social Innovation mission .

It is against this backdrop that I participated in #we_b, a workshop exploring possibilities for collaboration amongst different actors in accelerating social impact. It was organised by @ci2iglobal a group consisting of Social Impact consultants, risk analysts, facilitators, activists and innovators and facilitated by @bonniekoenig (USA), @carolinatocalli (Argentina), @appliedwisdom (UK/Belgium),@christellevh (France), @christinasworld (USA/Belgium/Uganda/Thailand), @nurturegirl (US/UK). Below I have tried to summarise the main themes, questions and approaches that emerged during a skillfully facilitated day.

Above is a quick illustration of the broad areas of interest that emerged as being relevant to most, if not all, of the workshop participants as a result of the skillfully facilitated morning discussion. Later in the afternoon we broke off into three parallel sessions, one dedicated to each topic and questions:

  • Creating employment for change-maker talent; is society ready for skills to be deployed in other places than entrepreneurship? If so, where are we seeing evidence of this?
    • @christinasworld: the We alliance, amplifying collective impact on women, webbed empowerment centers, we-men- how to involve men.
  • Achieving Impact at Scale : what kind of scale are we talking about? more growth, more diversity? What new perspectives are there on evaluating impact?
    • Discussion lead by @nurturegirl: thrivability- evolving a model that allows us to set expectations and metrics to evaluate actions and their consequences on social systems
    • Presentation by @christellevh: how risk management offers a new perspective on evaluating impact
  • Connect & Act: Building impact on personal relationships, peer learning and peer development
    • Introduction to processes, methods and tools for structured and goal- specific exploration and growing of personal networks lead by @appliedwisdom
    • Introduction to Edgeryders: Online collaborative policy making and peer-2-peer coaching for change-agents.

Social starts with the personal:

Looking back what is immediately strikes me is the many parallels between the discussions,questions, themes and approaches raised in the workshop- and how Edgeryders is designed (and evolving).  What is clear is that there is a need for the individuals active in the Social Impact space to share and learn from each other’s journeys and experiences: as well as individuals as well as agents in personal stories.

One of the questions that I recieved in response to my tweets reporting from #we_b  was the one above. Federico points out a need to aggregate strategies for  how to include/help/inspire agency in younger generations to have social impact. I would argue that a good place to look is where the engaged young today are to learn what works and what doesn’t for them. In members to share and learn from on

@appliedwisdom : Across the cultural talent mirror:personal growth, the kinds of filters we have in growing into new partnerships and relationships, be present to your personal talents- they’re not always obvious to us…what new talents want to acquire for future projects: can this built into Edgeryders?   Edgeryders collaboration mosaic: methodology to figure out how our respective projects and stories complement each other? Start by helping us gets stories of individual projects empowering women (Living together campaign), kfe- distributed sturcture, blog carneval- select a theme get as many bloggers to write about that theme…outpousing of collective wisdom- but how to reach them? 50 bloggers…Living together is the theme: Mission is the We_alliance question- women’s ways   How do you keep track of the impact your work is having? How do you show others that you’re having impact? Help us build a list! edgeryders