How can we unlock and scale innovation through partnerships to achieve the SDGs?


(Jolene Dawson) #41

Barriers to Innovation Scaling:

Commitment to move beyond pilots – most partnerships that have been underway in pilot have proven their impact but have stumbled when it comes to scaling. Partly due to financing and investment constraints, but also due to slow responsiveness and lack of agility to “fail-fast”, internalise the lessons learnt in piloting and recalibrate for success.

Harnessing technologies to leapfrog traditional growth trajectories – companies, especially large corporates, like most people, resist change. Delivering innovation at scale is perceived a little like “Fixing what isn’t broken” For innovation to be embedded and truly scalable, traditional growth, business, operating and deliver models should be questioned – is there a completely new way we could do this? Mobile in Africa hold great promise, if the mobile network operators can (1) provide reliable and consistent signal coverage, (2) provide affordable mechanisms for people to adopt new technologies (especially smart phones) and (3) manage allocation of spectrum, a finite resource for all MNO’s

Making funding models sustainable from the outset – A key barrier to scaling innovations beyond pilots is breaking the poverty cycle by supplementing the aid flows sustainably. Two elements are needed to achieve this (1) a tangible mechanism to source and cultivate revenue streams in pilots from the outset, and grow these in tandem as the pilot grows and matures and (2) think like an entrepreneurs and embed and formalise mechanisms to transfer of skills, capacity and knowledge to the beneficiaries, creating ownership of the outcomes and sustainability of the programme without dependence on outside parties, development agencies or otherwise.

Business not being able to make pilots commercially viable – even at scale. This is partly due to “best-case- scenario” business cases being presented for funding decisions or some vague assumptions caveating the numbers. I believe the cause of this is due to not truly and deeply understanding and proving how the innovation in pilot is solving the real issue faced by the beneficiaries. This, in turn, is an outcome of working in isolation and not taking a systemic, cross-sectoral view on how to address issues. Without deep community knowledge of the issue, often the outcome is not relevant or appropriate to solve the issue that the community faces. Businesses, grantees and governments cannot fund programmes indefinitely, so commercial viability and volume, even with minute margins, must be the
real issue that is solved for in pilots

Government’s ability to address fast-paced changes in demand – the bureaucracy under which they must operate directly impedes their ability to respond timeously and proactively to changes in their communities. We live in a orld now where what is true and real today, is not that tomorrow – governments are scrambling to keep up and must not focus in the short –term, but solve for the issues anticipated in 10-20+ years, building resilience and flexibility into their programmes consistently.

Mismatch between Pilot success factors and actual impact delivered – In my experience with partnerships, often pilot measure their success on factors not aligned to the impact needing to be delivered to solve the real development issue. In theory is does, indirectly, but in reality it is seldom measured as a key outcome. I’d like to see business, governments and development agencies working to measure the impacts and communicate successes along the specific goals of the SDG’s e.g. % poverty reduced, % increase in gender balance in schools, number of lives saved through access to healthcare…

Lack of collaboration and true partnering – over the last 10 years, Accenture Development Partnerships has seen an evolution of Partnerships from:

- isolated philanthropic contributions unrelated to business, to

- opportunistic projects that bring the strength of the partners capabilities, to

- strategic partnerships where development issues are addressed directly with long term focus, to

- shared-value partnerships that have a meaningful source of competitive advantage.

Now, we are seeing more partnerships being set up that are transformational in nature meaning they are setting out to systemically change the status quo and work at the market level, improving enabling environments and setting global standards – it is these transformational partnerships that will drive the market-changing innovations that will push us into new paradigms

Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Great contributions! Let's move onto our second set of questions:

What are some of the key drivers and barriers to innovations reaching scale sustainably and what are the essential enabling conditions required for success?


(Dr. Lisa Bonadonna) #42

The key drivers from my perspective are

  • Recognising that most social challenges, like the SDGs, are multidimensional, and so innovative socials must focus on the beneficiaries holistic needs (eg the social determinants of health)
  • Recognising that for innovations to reach sustainable scale - a behaviour change on a usually large scale - will be required and thus decision makers and implementers alike must have a compelling reason to take it on (eg Ebola)
  • A priori thinking about how the innovation (product, process, system) will be taken to scale and be sustainable - put simply, who will take it on and who ill pay for it and why will they want to!

(Carey Carpenter) #43

Some of the key drivers for innovations to reach scale sustainably would be strong governance and a clear mission / vision. Often, organizations try to do too much on the path to scale… From a social enterprise perspective, this often takes the form of balancing tradeoffs between impact and commercial sustainability, and landing somewhere in the middling “gray area.”

Living Goods, however, has an unwavering commitment to impact: we have come to deeply appreciate and encourage our impact orientation as we have grown. We embrace a market-based business model and adopt innovations with a quick-footedness common in the private sector; and we always evaluate and pursue each innovation or business decision with a lens towards boosting our impact and saving more lives. We want our partners to do the same, and we will help them get there.


(Chuck Slaughter) #44

I go even farther to say that no major social problems are conquered without collaboration between sectors, or without vital ongoing contributions from all the sectors. Healthcare is a great example. In nearly every country with robust health outcomes each of the 3 Sectors plays compelling complementary in the overall success.


(Kate Wolfenden) #45

Another great question…

For us two of the biggest barriers to scaling innovation using the industrial lever are:

  1. Risk. Or should I say perceived risk? This, too, is multifaceted. It can be business continuity risk, performance risk and indeed financial risk.
  2. Access. Access is a BIG one. As Marcela always shares - Many people chase finance, but really finance comes when there is a market and not before. Therefore providing access to market – and in this case the never more mobilised private sector to the table to tackling accelerating solutions to these SDGs in incredibly powerful.

After markets, it is of course finance. But not just once tranche. This requires joined up thinking. Seed financiers need to engage with venture financiers who need to engage with institutional investors.

After finance it is then next level scale. This requires country level or regional adoption, which requires enabling or supporting policy.

None of this can happen without trust, but with it we can remove one of our biggest barriers to scale – lost time

Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Great contributions! Let's move onto our second set of questions:

What are some of the key drivers and barriers to innovations reaching scale sustainably and what are the essential enabling conditions required for success?


(Devyani Parameshwar) #46

The ingredients for success are leadership, investment, risk appetite, the ability to fail and an enabling regulatory environment. A lack of any of these within the eco-system could prove to be barriers to innovations scaling.

Based on our experience at M-Pesa, I think leadership is critical; a good leader can create ensure that the rest follows. In the context of the SDGs we need strong leadership across sectors, and in many cases we need one sector to lead on an issue in a country/region.



Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Great contributions! Let's move onto our second set of questions:

What are some of the key drivers and barriers to innovations reaching scale sustainably and what are the essential enabling conditions required for success?


(Carey Carpenter) #47

Definitely! And we need clear, comprehensive frameworks to measure and manage the shared value we create together.

Jolene Dawson said:

Agree, Carey! Innovation is key, but so is cross-sector collaboration - much like you are doing with Care, Barclays and GSK....

More partnerships need to be delivered like this across the developing world to systemically address the SDG's goals

Carey Carpenter said:

Innovation is an essential ingredient for achieving the SDGs. The fact that deeply entrenched social issues have persisted beyond the MDG era is itself a sign that there is a need for new, fresh ideas that bring together the very best of the non-profit, for-profit, government, and social sectors. The more we can leverage skills and capabilities across sectors and find innovative ways to work together, the better equipped we will be to achieve the SDGs.

Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Let's kick off with our first set of questions:

What role will innovation play in achieving the SDGs? How can the SDGs help build and strengthen the ecosystem for innovation? What roles can different sectors best play?


(Richard Hardyment) #48

The role and opportunity for the private sector has clear grown since the SDGs launched last Septmeber. At the time, Corporate Citizenship's research found that "we can look forward to some pioneering innovations from businesses" - but few examples really existed. We are now undertaking new research and a survey for practitioners to see what's changed - any views welcome. Thanks for hosting this important discussion.


(Jim Thompson) #49

Innovations coming from the IT community are reducing costs and inefficiencies that we see across sectors. We see that financial services have moved to mobile, humanitarian response now includes online locating services and mapping, and agriculture is also moving to the cloud. Take a look at these connected cows and think of the potential across the entire agriculture spectrum:

http://www.fujitsu.com/jp/group/kyushu/en/solutions/industry/agriculture/gyuho/

Jim - Director of Innovation

U.S. Department of State


Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Let's kick off with our first set of questions:

What role will innovation play in achieving the SDGs? How can the SDGs help build and strengthen the ecosystem for innovation? What roles can different sectors best play?


(moladi Formwork) #50

Thanks for the invite - We at moladi uses South African invention to cast (sand cement - mortar) houses schools clinics on site. We operate in 24 countries - Our motto - Jobs for the unemployed - Food for the hungry Shelter for the homeless - Green and thermal reducing CO2 emissions


(Jolene Dawson) #51

100% Nyika - Intrapreneurship, especially in Partnerships is a great source of innovation - Business has a responsibility to harness the new influx on millenials, who want to have an impact to their communities as much as they themselves want to be successful, can help big corporates think more systemically than they have traditionally.

Nyika Brain said:

I agree Jolene that large corporates are not the most fleet of foot when it comes to innovation. But building on your point 4, I do think there is value in 'intrapreneurship' - creating an environment to allow innovation to foster within business which may in turn go some way to addressing global challenges. But again, this is done best through partnerships.

Jolene Dawson said:

Business: Large corporates, although many are appointing Chief Innovation Officers, find it challenging to structure innovation into business. Medium and small enterprise are more agile and better at a harnessing innovation.

Business’ role in delivering innovation and helping achieve the SDG’s lies in collaborating with SMME’s, governments and the development sector, in partnerships, to bring innovation to the areas that need in and scale these at pace. To do this, business needs to:

- Align their business vision, mission and goals with the SDG’s relevant to their industry and business

- Allocate investment to drive no only short-term profits, but long-term sustainability of their business and indeed the communities and environments in which they operate

- Lobby government to put in place regulations that allow SMME’s to flourish and cross-sector partnerships to be successful

- work with the development sector, not only by providing funding, but also by building capacity and leveraging their assets and capabilities to make programmes successful

- Set up innovation hubs that incorporate accelerators, incubators, mentorship programmes and invest, either by building or buying from SMME’s to identify and scale market-changing innovations



Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Let's kick off with our first set of questions:

What role will innovation play in achieving the SDGs? How can the SDGs help build and strengthen the ecosystem for innovation? What roles can different sectors best play?


(moladi Formwork) #52

Vernacular architecture is an architectural style that is designed based on local needs, availability of construction materials and reflecting local traditions. At least originally, vernacular architecture did not use formally-schooled architects, but relied on the design skills and tradition of local builders.


(Chuck Slaughter) #53

Great point Jolene. Look at the most successful technology companies in Silicon Valley. Google Microsoft Facebook Twitter etc. Even these innovation engines depend for their ongoing success on acquiring small agile companies who are quicker and nimbler at coming up with the next ‘big thing’.



Jolene Dawson said:

Business: Large corporates, although many are appointing Chief Innovation Officers, find it challenging to structure innovation into business. Medium and small enterprise are more agile and better at a harnessing innovation.

Business’ role in delivering innovation and helping achieve the SDG’s lies in collaborating with SMME’s, governments and the development sector, in partnerships, to bring innovation to the areas that need in and scale these at pace. To do this, business needs to:

- Align their business vision, mission and goals with the SDG’s relevant to their industry and business

- Allocate investment to drive no only short-term profits, but long-term sustainability of their business and indeed the communities and environments in which they operate

- Lobby government to put in place regulations that allow SMME’s to flourish and cross-sector partnerships to be successful

- work with the development sector, not only by providing funding, but also by building capacity and leveraging their assets and capabilities to make programmes successful

- Set up innovation hubs that incorporate accelerators, incubators, mentorship programmes and invest, either by building or buying from SMME’s to identify and scale market-changing innovations



Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Let's kick off with our first set of questions:

What role will innovation play in achieving the SDGs? How can the SDGs help build and strengthen the ecosystem for innovation? What roles can different sectors best play?


(Jolene Dawson) #54

Key Success Factors:

- Clear partnership vision, mission, and objectives: all parties need to be clear and know why they are in the partnership, what they are aiming to do and how it will be measured – irrespective of the innovation type.

- Clear and correct strategy: With clarity on direction, a specific plan on how to deliver should be set up. Timing, operating-, delivery- and funding-models all need to be appropriate for the market, community innovation and impact desired

- Leadership, governance, decision-making, and accountability: governance must be simple and effective, with clear escalation processes and delegation of authority to ensure decisions are not delayed unduly. With digital innovations, accountability is often a grey area (and one that government and legal systems are constantly trying to catch up on/get ahead of)

- Clear roles and responsibility: Each partner must have a purpose and value that they add to the partnership and al entities must be clear on what they bring to the partnership table and how it is shared. When talking innovations, questions of intellectual property ownership and rights abound. However, these issues are quickly evolving to be more open source all the time - ownership could, in theory, become obsolete.

- Robust performance management: The old adage of you can’t measure what you don’t know applies. The KPI’s measured need to clearly and directly drive the impact on the SDG (or sub-set thereof) set out to achieve and must be data driven, with supporting richness in qualitative measures. Performance management must be regular, simple and most importantly, provide relevant information to drive effective decision making.

- Open, trusting and transparent communication: Bringing together multiple parties with different cultures, languages, contexts and purposes is challenging. Communication, in all its forms must be simple, open and collaborative.

- Partner collaboration and value creation: Partnering should not be done for the sake of partnering. Each entity must be clear on what they bring, how it will be used, and what value it will drive and specifically how is support the overall vision of the partnership.

- Risk management: Mechanisms must be in place to identify, understand and mitigate risks or manage their impact in an agile manner – this is closely linked with performance management, but also speaks to taking tough decisions to shut down aspects that are not working, changing partners if the partnership is not adding the intended value and embedding lessons quickly into the ways of working to avoid being stuck

- Effective operations and strategic agility: Bringing together the execution of a vision and strategy is down to the detail of how operations are run and how quickly changes can be effected. When working in new areas, never before charted, the ways of working must be such that they allow failure, but also quickly embed learnings and continue to move forward, rather than analysing the ‘why’ to the point of paralysis.



Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Great contributions! Let's move onto our second set of questions:

What are some of the key drivers and barriers to innovations reaching scale sustainably and what are the essential enabling conditions required for success?


(Priya Madina) #55

Access is certainly key and from a healthcare perspective, addresses all three points of this question - it's a key driver, and enabling condition for success, but clearly also a barrier if there is no access. This is why we are always looking at how we can widen access right through the spectrum, from R&D through to pricing and supply.

Kate Wolfenden said:

Another great question…

For us two of the biggest barriers to scaling innovation using the industrial lever are:

  1. Risk. Or should I say perceived risk? This, too, is multifaceted. It can be business continuity risk, performance risk and indeed financial risk.
  2. Access. Access is a BIG one. As Marcela always shares - Many people chase finance, but really finance comes when there is a market and not before. Therefore providing access to market – and in this case the never more mobilised private sector to the table to tackling accelerating solutions to these SDGs in incredibly powerful.

After markets, it is of course finance. But not just once tranche. This requires joined up thinking. Seed financiers need to engage with venture financiers who need to engage with institutional investors.

After finance it is then next level scale. This requires country level or regional adoption, which requires enabling or supporting policy.

None of this can happen without trust, but with it we can remove one of our biggest barriers to scale – lost time

Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Great contributions! Let's move onto our second set of questions:

What are some of the key drivers and barriers to innovations reaching scale sustainably and what are the essential enabling conditions required for success?


(Dr. Lisa Bonadonna) #56

Jolene I concur with many of your points and would add the following:

  • Breaking down the challenge to facilitate creating a manageable innovation pilot at the expense of understanding the social system the behaviour change must be embedded within
  • Funder apetitie for new undertakings relative to funding initiatives often piloted by others that merit being taken to scale
  • Rejecting the role that for profit enterprises can play in addressing social challenges either in the short or long run


Jolene Dawson said:

Barriers to Innovation Scaling:

Commitment to move beyond pilots – most partnerships that have been underway in pilot have proven their impact but have stumbled when it comes to scaling. Partly due to financing and investment constraints, but also due to slow responsiveness and lack of agility to “fail-fast”, internalise the lessons learnt in piloting and recalibrate for success.

Harnessing technologies to leapfrog traditional growth trajectories – companies, especially large corporates, like most people, resist change. Delivering innovation at scale is perceived a little like “Fixing what isn’t broken” For innovation to be embedded and truly scalable, traditional growth, business, operating and deliver models should be questioned – is there a completely new way we could do this? Mobile in Africa hold great promise, if the mobile network operators can (1) provide reliable and consistent signal coverage, (2) provide affordable mechanisms for people to adopt new technologies (especially smart phones) and (3) manage allocation of spectrum, a finite resource for all MNO’s

Making funding models sustainable from the outset – A key barrier to scaling innovations beyond pilots is breaking the poverty cycle by supplementing the aid flows sustainably. Two elements are needed to achieve this (1) a tangible mechanism to source and cultivate revenue streams in pilots from the outset, and grow these in tandem as the pilot grows and matures and (2) think like an entrepreneurs and embed and formalise mechanisms to transfer of skills, capacity and knowledge to the beneficiaries, creating ownership of the outcomes and sustainability of the programme without dependence on outside parties, development agencies or otherwise.

Business not being able to make pilots commercially viable – even at scale. This is partly due to “best-case- scenario” business cases being presented for funding decisions or some vague assumptions caveating the numbers. I believe the cause of this is due to not truly and deeply understanding and proving how the innovation in pilot is solving the real issue faced by the beneficiaries. This, in turn, is an outcome of working in isolation and not taking a systemic, cross-sectoral view on how to address issues. Without deep community knowledge of the issue, often the outcome is not relevant or appropriate to solve the issue that the community faces. Businesses, grantees and governments cannot fund programmes indefinitely, so commercial viability and volume, even with minute margins, must be the
real issue that is solved for in pilots

Government’s ability to address fast-paced changes in demand – the bureaucracy under which they must operate directly impedes their ability to respond timeously and proactively to changes in their communities. We live in a orld now where what is true and real today, is not that tomorrow – governments are scrambling to keep up and must not focus in the short –term, but solve for the issues anticipated in 10-20+ years, building resilience and flexibility into their programmes consistently.

Mismatch between Pilot success factors and actual impact delivered – In my experience with partnerships, often pilot measure their success on factors not aligned to the impact needing to be delivered to solve the real development issue. In theory is does, indirectly, but in reality it is seldom measured as a key outcome. I’d like to see business, governments and development agencies working to measure the impacts and communicate successes along the specific goals of the SDG’s e.g. % poverty reduced, % increase in gender balance in schools, number of lives saved through access to healthcare…

Lack of collaboration and true partnering – over the last 10 years, Accenture Development Partnerships has seen an evolution of Partnerships from:

- isolated philanthropic contributions unrelated to business, to

- opportunistic projects that bring the strength of the partners capabilities, to

- strategic partnerships where development issues are addressed directly with long term focus, to

- shared-value partnerships that have a meaningful source of competitive advantage.

Now, we are seeing more partnerships being set up that are transformational in nature meaning they are setting out to systemically change the status quo and work at the market level, improving enabling environments and setting global standards – it is these transformational partnerships that will drive the market-changing innovations that will push us into new paradigms

Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Great contributions! Let's move onto our second set of questions:

What are some of the key drivers and barriers to innovations reaching scale sustainably and what are the essential enabling conditions required for success?


(Kate Wolfenden) #57

Love this thread Jolene and Chuck,

To build on the collaboration comment, a big thing companies can do is democratise access to their supply and value chains in order to create a more inclusive value chain. This is both in developed countries where sustainable innovations can advance sustainability agendas with new business models and step changing technological advancements if given the chance... and indeed fast developing countries where being able to accept a broader range of suppliers into the value chain can give more people a chance.


Chuck Slaughter said:

Great point Jolene. Look at the most successful technology companies in Silicon Valley. Google Microsoft Facebook Twitter etc. Even these innovation engines depend for their ongoing success on acquiring small agile companies who are quicker and nimbler at coming up with the next ‘big thing’.



Jolene Dawson said:

Business: Large corporates, although many are appointing Chief Innovation Officers, find it challenging to structure innovation into business. Medium and small enterprise are more agile and better at a harnessing innovation.

Business’ role in delivering innovation and helping achieve the SDG’s lies in collaborating with SMME’s, governments and the development sector, in partnerships, to bring innovation to the areas that need in and scale these at pace. To do this, business needs to:

- Align their business vision, mission and goals with the SDG’s relevant to their industry and business

- Allocate investment to drive no only short-term profits, but long-term sustainability of their business and indeed the communities and environments in which they operate

- Lobby government to put in place regulations that allow SMME’s to flourish and cross-sector partnerships to be successful

- work with the development sector, not only by providing funding, but also by building capacity and leveraging their assets and capabilities to make programmes successful

- Set up innovation hubs that incorporate accelerators, incubators, mentorship programmes and invest, either by building or buying from SMME’s to identify and scale market-changing innovations



Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Let's kick off with our first set of questions:

What role will innovation play in achieving the SDGs? How can the SDGs help build and strengthen the ecosystem for innovation? What roles can different sectors best play?


(Chuck Slaughter) #58


Devyani

Totally agree.

It’s really hard to underestimate the importance of leadership from the political / government side. It’s nearly impossible for countries to make great strides in health, education for economic development without strong courageous leadership from government.


Devyani Parameshwar said:

The ingredients for success are leadership, investment, risk appetite, the ability to fail and an enabling regulatory environment. A lack of any of these within the eco-system could prove to be barriers to innovations scaling.

Based on our experience at M-Pesa, I think leadership is critical; a good leader can create ensure that the rest follows. In the context of the SDGs we need strong leadership across sectors, and in many cases we need one sector to lead on an issue in a country/region.



Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Great contributions! Let's move onto our second set of questions:

What are some of the key drivers and barriers to innovations reaching scale sustainably and what are the essential enabling conditions required for success?


(Jolene Dawson) #59

Jim, digital is certainly a huge space for innovation and when you start adding the Internet of Things (machine to machien communication), robotics and artificial intelligence into the space of agriculture and, more broadly livilihoods in developing markets - things get REALLY interesting, very quickly - check out Accenture's Precision Agriculture, where we use drones to help farmers...Accenture Digital - Precision Agriculture

Jim Thompson said:

Innovations coming from the IT community are reducing costs and inefficiencies that we see across sectors. We see that financial services have moved to mobile, humanitarian response now includes online locating services and mapping, and agriculture is also moving to the cloud. Take a look at these connected cows and think of the potential across the entire agriculture spectrum:

http://www.fujitsu.com/jp/group/kyushu/en/solutions/industry/agricu...

Jim - Director of Innovation

U.S. Department of State


Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Let's kick off with our first set of questions:

What role will innovation play in achieving the SDGs? How can the SDGs help build and strengthen the ecosystem for innovation? What roles can different sectors best play?


(Shaninomi Eribo) #60

Hi Everyone, Shaninomi (Shani for short) Eribo here. I'm currently Donor Relations & Fundraising Manager for the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), a business membership organization which is Nigeria's foremost platform for Public-Private Dialogue, sort of like the CBI in the UK.

Interestingly GSK in Nigeria are one of our members and I'm certain they will take advantage of the unique platform the NESG offers to try to address some of the key barriers to innovation in Nigeria which generally centre around ill conceived or non existent policy and access to funding to support innovative enterprise.

Innovation will be at the heart of achieving the SDG's especially those revolving around ICT's such as mobile, which given the level of penetration in Nigeria (currently around 94% and set to hit 100 by 2021), will be key to disseminating information about the SDG's and bringing millions of people, especially those in the rural areas into the primary healthcare system.