This is my father. Before he retired he has spent most of his life building organizations - and without knowing it – he has inspired me to build a new business model for social innovation. The inspiration does not come from his golf, but from realizing that he is an untapped and pretty cheap resource. The reason being that he would be more than happy to use his business skills and experience for the good of society, had their only been readily available arenas or services for this kind of participation. And his is not unique. I recently talked to quite a few people from my father’s generation, in connection with an innovation project on welfare technology, and it turned out that a lot of them would love to participate more. They wanted to use their skills and experience. They wanted to keep learning.
As our population becomes older the number of unsatisified seniors will increase, unless we see some changes soon. In addition we know that when I am retired there will only be 2.5 persons too support me. While the number today is about 4. So not only are we losing out on valuable and motivated resources, we are also facing large challenges to our existing level of welfare. The awareness of this complex problem became a tipping point for me – made me want to do something, and not only give advice as most consultants do.
So together with some close colleagues we started to look closer at the nature of complex problems - this being a short list… And trying to figure out what to do we have looked at how organizations are dealing with complex problems today.
A great advantage of being a consultant is being able work in areas like Education, Energy, Transportation, and Health in parallel, with organizations from all sectors, even the new fourth sector social entrepreneurs – and I can report that they are all – most of them - doing their best. They are working hard to create solutions that either directly or indirectly address important challenges in society. Strategies are discussed. Projects are started. Project results are delivered on time. Reports are written – a few of them are also read. People are trained. Conferences are held. But I for one (and I know that I am not alone in this crowd) am frustrated at how slowly things are moving. So we have asked ourselves why things are moving slowly?
1. Individual solutions. Not seeing the whole picture. Not caring? Only from their own context. We have in many ways become a world of silos, which is not a good structure for creating the solutions we need. 2. Silos are not real. People are linked. Often on a personal level. We are afraid /reluctant of using them. Eg. Thomas Midteide. 3. Many are satisfied but not fully motivated. They want to be part of something that matter, and many have to go outside of their workplace to find this motivation So if these are the main reasons why things are moving slowly – what do we need to speed things up?
1. Create cross-sector time-framed collaborative innovation projects – Under the motto “Let’s gang up on the problem, and not each other.” Where participant get a holistic view of the problem and create holistic solutions 2. Focus on an important issues and making real impact – giving participants a true sense of purpose, so that they use their closest network. 3. Link profits to passion so that people can get paid and do god from within their company – become fully motivated
So what is our role in this?Take a larger responsibility for creating viable and innovative solutions to social challengesWe will work with non-profits and social entrepreneurs in defining challenges that are in need of innovative solutionsWe will use our extensive network to recruit the right people from the right public and private organizationsWe will create an innovation arena, build trust between partners and facilitate the innovation processWe will use our expertise to help create solutions and viable business models
Why cross-sector collaboration will workPeople are interested – they want thisI believe innovation is a lot about putting the right people in the same roomAnd by the right people I mean diversity – people who see the problem for different angles, people with different background and with different skills and competencies “Slices of Brilliance” a term coined by Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies
And the only measure of sucdeess will be value craetioncreate value = Social impact and value for each participants.Can also every participant make money? Do not have time to go into the business model today, but in brief we are aiming to giveSocial Entreperneurs: New incomeNon-profits: Increased impactPublic org. Better services / lower costPrivate org. (incl. us) Increased profit
Is it optimistic? Yes. Can it be done? Yes. The feedback from people in organizations from all sectors have so far been positive. We are therefore on the brink of launching two projects. So we are now looking for people who are motivated by these challenges and who believe their organization should be a part it. And I am personally looking for people who can create a service that makes my father play less golf.
Time to gang up on the problem?
Time to gang up on the problem?<br />Rethinking consulting<br />
1.250’<br />800’<br />600’<br />Number of people older than 66 yrs<br />2000<br />2020<br />2050<br />Ratio of people between 20 - 60 yrs to every person older than 66 yrs<br />4,4<br />3,7<br />2,5<br />Numbers in ’000 and for Norway. Source: SSB<br />
Ageing population<br />Healthcare<br />Climate change<br />The end of oil<br />Immigration<br />City Congestion<br />
Public <br />sector<br />Private <br />sector<br />Civic<br />sector <br />(charity/not for profit/non-governmental)<br />Social Entrepreneurs<br />
Organisations are creating “individual” solutions<br />How could we make organisations see the benefit in creating holistic solutions?<br />People are reluctant to use their personal network?<br />What would it take for to people open their personal network?<br />Many are not 100% motivated at work<br />How could we release personal motivation within existing structures?<br />
Can we<br />value?<br />Can we all make money?<br />
Challenge #1 <br />How could we make it easier for elderly to contribute more to society?<br />Challenge #2<br />How could we make users of city centres make travel decisions that increases flow?<br />
Manifesto<br />Positive social change is the aim <br />Innovative problem solving is the solution <br />Business methods are the means<br />Thomas Berman <br />phone: (+47) 907 87 982 <br />email: firstname.lastname@example.org <br />twitter: tho_berman<br />Manifesto inspired by Tania Ellis, The New Pioneers, 2010<br />