External evaluation of Innovation Exchange.

Lyon, Fergus (2010) External evaluation of Innovation Exchange. Working Paper. Middlesex University, London.

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Abstract

From recruiters to estate agents to bankers,brokerage is big business. Within the private sector, innovation brokerage — bringing people together to innovate — is well developed. But what is the power of brokerage to drive social innovation and support much needed social change? These questions are at the heart of Innovation Exchange. Innovation Exchange is a pilot programme primarily funded by the Office of the Third Sector in the Cabinet Office. In its work to 31 March 2010, the Exchange is aspiring to demonstrate the effectiveness of brokerage in supporting third sector innovation through its three core programmes: Festivals of Ideas are events where third sector organisations, commissioners of public services and social investors come together to focus on solutions to pressing social problems. The Exchange has developed, refined and successfully tested the Festival format and facilitated three events so far, with four core scheduled to December 2009.Key features of the format include partnership with public sector bodies ensuring that specific priorities are addressed and the right decision-makers are gathered in the room. A national Call for Ideas surfaces high-potential innovators from the third sector. Strong event design,high-quality facilitation and follow-up support cross-sector conversation and the development of next steps. 1. Participants from the third and public sectors are enthused by Festivals and their potential to support collaboration around new ideas. Innovation Exchange is monitoring the development of relationships formed at Festivals to assess their impact.Next Practice Programme brings together 15 innovative third sector projects and offers them intensive brokerage support to help them grow. Projects are working in two priority areas: supporting independent living and excluded young people.Projects were selected from a pool of over 200 applicants for their potential to develop and grow innovation with possible system-wide significance. While funding has been granted to some projects, the programme emphasises support and sees the main benefits of participation as non-financial. The programme is trialling brokerage practices, including: connecting project leaders to expert consultants, coaches and mentors for short periods of development work; creating opportunities for peer networking within the programme; linking projects to other individuals, agencies and sources of support; designing and facilitating meetings, seminars and workshops to address common needs across the programme; and engaging participants, supporters and collaborators in the programme’s innovations.

Item Type:Monograph (Working Paper)
Research Areas:Business School > Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research
ID Code:7102
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Deposited On:17 Feb 2011 11:08
Last Modified:04 Oct 2014 19:32

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