Archive for February, 2014

Register today for an Innoweave workshop in Spring 2014!

Innoweave continues to convene leadership teams in workshops, webinars and other events. Applications are open for numerous workshop and webinar opportunities running in Spring 2014. Full details about our workshops and registration can be found on our Upcoming Workshops page.

New! On March 20th join our Introduction to Social Enterprise Webinar

  • Hosted by Innoweave and presented by David LePage of Accelerating Social Impact, this webinar on March 20th, 2014, will provide an introduction to Social Enterprise and feature examples of social enterprises that support a range of outcomes (click here to register).

  • Leaders with a good understanding of social enterprise may also be interested in the Social Enterprise Opportunity Identification distance workshop on April 9th from 12:00pm-2:00pm EDT (click here to register).

Organizations that are ready to develop a specific idea, can apply to attend an Upcoming Innoweave Workshop:


Innoweave: 12 months delivering practical tools for social innovation

Shawn Bayes knew her organization was doing a great job. But she felt there was room for improvement.

“We felt Innoweave could assist us to step up our game,” says Bayes, Executive Director of  Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver, a nonprofit dedicated to providing support services to women, girls and children at risk of involvement, involved in or affected by the justice system.

“As a mature organization of 75 years, (Innoweave) gave us fresh eyes and helped us focus more clearly about who we are, what we do, and what the systemic changes that are needed to translate government legislation to humane regulation and policy that affects our clients,” she continues.

For the team at EFry, which participated in Innoweave’s Impact and Strategic Clarity module, and is now moving on to explore Cloud Computing and Collective Impact, one of the biggest benefits has been how the module helped them clearly connect their activities with outcomes, and to use data and evidence to inform decision making.

Says Bayes, “That change helps us speak to funders and donors about what our work is actually accomplishing.”

Another “Aha!” moment came when they realized they could communicate what they did more clearly with diagram than with text. “Clients like the change because our tools are now more visual for them and less word based,” says Bayes, explaining that literacy is sometimes an issue with the populations they serve.

Practical tools for social innovation

Innoweave’s promise to community organizations is “Practical Tools for Social Innovation”. This would be a hard promise to keep without the collaboration and support of of thought leaders, academics, and partners from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors.

In 2014, Innoweave will continue to grow partnerships and collaborations with its partners across sectors and also develop fresh tools to aid organizations in their everyday activities.  But before looking forward to the next year, it’s worth taking a look back at the numbers from last year.


It takes a community to solve a big social challenge

Veer COllective Impact

Paul Born and Liz Weaver of the Tamarack Institute discuss why so many well-intentioned community organizations fail to solve our most important challenges (and what can be done to make a bigger impact).

When you’re trying to tackle huge, multi-faceted problems like poverty or crime prevention or environmental sustainability, tackling one aspect of an issue at a time or in isolation can become a sinkhole for already-scarce resources.

This is something the leaders at the Tamarack Institute realized early on. But it didn’t stop them from wanting to take on big challenges.

Instead, they engaged in Collective Impact (outlined in the video below) to try and positively influence the lives of 5,000 people who were living in poverty. What happened next was quite remarkable: As Liz Weaver, Vice-President at Tamarack explains, at the end of 10 years, they hadn’t just helped 5,000 people, “we had, in fact, impacted the lives of 202,931 individuals and households.”

These results are part of the reason Innoweave invited the Tamarack Institute to develop its Collective Impact module to make this approach even more accessible and easy to apply for community organizations in Canada. In fact, Innoweave’s Collective Impact module has been so successful that it is now being delivered to organizations in the US, Australia and New Zealand.

Here’s a simple, concrete metaphor illustrating the 5 key principles of Collective Impact and how it all works: