Purpose Driven Collaboration

Series 9/14: Grass Route Social Innovation – Understanding the road towards integrating genuine grassroots social innovation into sustainable development.

Mini Series 1/4: Enterprising Collaboration – The series investigates how collaboration and partnership can empower us to build a resilient and sustainable future.

EDSI Models

The New Year is a time to reflect and set goals and challenges for the year ahead. It’s a great time to revisit what drives you and develop your personal mission statement. Identifying your passion and purpose in life will help you accomplish more than you ever expected in the year ahead. It will enable you to not just set yearly resolution but wake up every morning with fresh insight. How does purpose drive our ability to connect and collaborate? At the heart of social innovation is purpose, it’s the ability of the designer to connect their passion with social issues. Although we are all uniquely created we often respond to social issues with similar solutions. This leads to international trends throughout society in response to social challenges. How can social innovator connect and collaborate?

Human Centred Design (HCD) and organic growth is often contrary to scalability, the solutions are designed to work for a specific community. Collaboration is then key to develop the solution to have a wider impact. Collaboration is not about enforcing your design as the best standard but instead working with other designer to help them grow their own solutions. This is the way organic growth can scale and set about innovation in knowledge bases and technologies that can be adapted and used globally. As such collaboration in HCD is not about promoting the result but the process and enabling other to learn from and be empowered by the process.

Ashoka is an organisation that recognises the ability for any individual to be a change maker and has created a global network of social innovators in order to map out and understand social trends. In creating this network Ashoka can empower change makers to have a higher impact on society by connecting with piers and challenging their perception and understanding of the problem. Ashoka provides a platform for its members to really understand their purpose and strength and what they can bring to the innovative process. Part of the journey of a social entrepreneur is realising your own limitation, not trying to solve the whole problem but instead focusing on a part of the problem you can solve; this enables the designer to set achievable and measurable goals.

Collaboration needs to be driven by our purpose, through our shared passion and vision we can connect and in our different skills sets and perspectives we can grow and be challenged. The more we develop ourselves and understand our purpose the more we can connect and collaborate with each other. Understanding our role within the design process is critical in working together, developing our own personal mission statement is empowering and will enable us to collaborate and connect for the right reasons.