The Safari Method, Thijs van Exel (Kennisland)
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The Safari Method, Thijs van Exel (Kennisland)

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Presented at SIX event: Social Innovation in the Marketplace: Getting our Young People back into Jobs

Presented at SIX event: Social Innovation in the Marketplace: Getting our Young People back into Jobs

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  • without using google to look this up –– who in this room would know who said this? >> to really understand the nature of problem you ’ re trying to solve. Once a problem is “ framed ” , it begins to constrain the types of solutions that can be offered.
  • Kennisland is about making Dutch society smarter. We ’ ve been on this mission for about 15 years now. It started at a time when a lot of public money was spent on a huge new shipping terminal and a train line connecting it to Europe. Kennisland was established out of dissatisfaction: you can only spend your money once – so spend it wisely! That means: mobilizing and connecting ideas, experience and knowledge around the complex challenges our society is facing today. Being smart is being connected & learning from each other.
  • I assume that being on a meeting on social innovation, most of us will have ideas about SI as an approach to tackle complex social issues like poverty, loneliness, youth unemployment. Establishing that awareness on a national, or even a local scale, has been much like pioneering. Nobody speaks the same language, and ‘ social innovation ’ was rapidly becoming a hype term that everyone used to say different things.
  • To avoid endless discussions on ‘ what it is ’ , we ’ ve been focussing on ‘ why do we need it ’ and ‘ what can it do ’ : building proof and networks of support inside and outside of the dominant cultures of large companies and governments. One of the ways to do that for us was the Social Innovation Safari. A 5 to 10 day bootcamp on what SI means in terms of solving complex local issues. And to make that appealing, fun and contageous.
  • - team-based design challenge- length varies between 1 and 10 days- analysis: delving into the problem (with a fresh mind) - teaming up in multi-disciplinary teams- field work: doing ethnographic studies of ‘ users ’ & delving into the problem- prototypes: delivering scalable prototype solutions
  • The Safari is also a service for specific types of problems. A ‘ good ’ problem: - names a specific population group that is not well served by existing policies, programs, or services. This is a group whose talents & resources are not being used. - identifies what ’ s ‘ problematic ’ about how that group interfaces with existing policies, programs, services, etc . This group ’ s talents & resources might not be tapped into? they might be over-utilizing certain services? They might experience poor outcomes despite service usage? etc. - Frames a question with the assumed positive outcome. This outcome can be broad, and from a single stakeholder ’ s perspective.
  • The Safari is also a service for specific types of problems. A ‘ good ’ problem: - names a specific population group that is not well served by existing policies, programs, or services. This is a group whose talents & resources are not being used. - identifies what ’ s ‘ problematic ’ about how that group interfaces with existing policies, programs, services, etc . This group ’ s talents & resources might not be tapped into? they might be over-utilizing certain services? They might experience poor outcomes despite service usage? etc. - Frames a question with the assumed positive outcome. This outcome can be broad, and from a single stakeholder ’ s perspective.
  • 2012: 12.000 = 16% of total young labor force 15-27 up from 14% in 2010 due to economic crisis these numbers are expected to go up
  • What has been done to fix this? (narrative) - ‘ Lost generation ’ , top down approach (campaigns), not focused on positive behavioral change of key players (including the youth!)- Example: the blijfnietzitten campaign, that has a very negative appeal and focuses on what NOT to do
  • What has been done to fix this (2) There have been efforts to get these people back into jobs. Examples of services are: - The Youth Desk ( ‘ jongerenloket ’ ) which is the ‘ point of entry ’ for unemployed young people. - apprenticeships / work training centers: trying (but often failing) to find best match to get work experience - Trainee Positions: only for those with diplomas. Doesn ’ t often lead to paid job. “ Waste of time on both ends ” - Ajax Campus: originally created for vulnerable youth, but also used by (sometimes highly educated) job seekers – mismatch!
  • part field trip: getting ‘ under the skin ’ of the end users - interviews- on-the-spot observations (how do users interact with services?)
  • How does it work? (2) -part co-designing services: -Idea sex-1st prototypes-testing-improved prototypes
  • How does it work? (3) - part presentations:- handing over end products to DWI- everyone in the room, maximum visibility
  • What next? well, hopefully the Safari will make a beginning in understanding that if we want a solution > we need to spend more time to delve into the problem.

The Safari Method, Thijs van Exel (Kennisland) The Safari Method, Thijs van Exel (Kennisland) Presentation Transcript

  • The Safari Method
  • “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”
  • making Dutch society smarter
  • definitions
  • what’s a ‘good question’? • names a specific population group that is not well served by existing policies, programs, or services • identifies what’s ‘problematic’ about how that group interfaces with existing policies, programs, services, etc • frames a question with an assumed positive outcome
  • youth unemployment: Too many young people, ages 18-27, are not in full-time work and instead reliant on benefits and government programs. How do we create more jobs for young people and get those young people into the jobs?
  • Youth unemployment in Amsterdam: scale and numbers 2010 2012
  • ‘lost generation’ negative appeal focus on what’s bad
  • Existing services (examples)• youth desk • apprenticeships • trainee positions • Ajax Campus
  • Challenges • Safari = short-lived: how to scale and make sustainable? • How to keep these networks alive & productive • How to make the ‘cross-learning’ enduring practice?