Giving Compass' Take:
• Grantcraft offers insight from the BridgeBuilder Challenge, which asked innovators to come up with solutions to the world's global challenges. After going through the process and seeing the submitted proposals, they offer three main principles that they think could help fund innovation in the social sector. 

• How does the BridgeBuilder Challenge not only help solve global, social issues, but put emphasis on collaborative solutions? Why is collaboration important for the social sector?

• Learn about the importance of adaptive strategy within social innovation. 


Almost a year ago I wrote about how open innovation can help create a new operating system for the social sector. The piece focuses on learnings from the BridgeBuilder Challenge, a multi-challenge partnership between OpenIDEO – IDEO’s open innovation practice – and GHR Foundation to find solutions for global challenges at the intersection of peace, prosperity, and the planet.

To help guide ourselves and others in the social sector, we’ve extracted three overarching principles to guide our work and partnerships with funders in the social sector for years to come.

Principle #1: Broad questions help map the landscapes of opportunity.  Intentionally moving between divergent and convergent thinking is a standard part of IDEO’s design thinking process. We use this approach to help innovation programs to quickly explore the possibility and to develop focus.

Principle #2: Openness enables collaboration. Innovating in silos slows learning and hinders collaboration. We’ve seen time after time that introducing transparency accelerates progress towards addressing societal problems. A well-designed open innovation process can enable knowledge-sharing and collaboration among a global cohort of social innovators.

Principle  #3: We can design for empathy and iteration at scale.  The central tenet of design thinking is to understand human needs and iterate based on their feedback. This leads to stronger solutions that resonate with the communities they’re serving.

Helping the social sector become more open and innovative will take constant learning, iteration, and discussion. We know the sector betters through questioning, and welcome comments shared insight always.

Read the full article about innovation advancing the social sector by Jason Rissman at GrantCraft