The challenge of building a social innovation laboratory for civil society

May 31, 2017
Communications Colunga Foundation

On Friday May 26 was held at ColungaHUB the meeting "Building a laboratory for social transformation: The challenge of innovation from civil society", which convened more than 80 representatives of civil society organizations, innovation centers, social entrepreneurs and the State, for the co-creation of the Colunga Social Innovation Laboratory.

The meeting, held with the collaboration of CoLab UC, featured the presentation of the outstanding expert in social innovation and education. Chris Sigaloff, Director of the Systemic Change Laboratory Kennisland (The Netherlands); and the participants learned about the main lines of the Colunga Social Innovation Laboratory and were able to share experiences and rethink social innovation from the perspective of civil society, through the methodology of a World Coffee.

Chris Sigaloff, he emphasized that "innovation is not only about technology and new products, but about new relationships, this being one of the common problems of civil society: lack of connections; money and reflection ". Therefore, its recommendation is to create new ways to connect within civil society, build bridges between diverse actors, and increase learning from the reflection of whether they are doing things really well.

"We need as a civil society, as a community of work, better tools to be able to influence reality (...) We need to improve our interventions and that is why we have set ourselves the challenge of creating a special space for innovation in civil society", comment Arturo Celedón, Director of Development of the Colunga Foundation.

"We want to work together, interconnect, build bridges between the diverse actors of society. In this laboratory we are looking to integrate methodologies, and create a common vision, create a space for reflection and learning so that we ask ourselves things that allow us to reach the solutions we seek in the challenge of transforming society, "he says. Fe Sánchez, Director of ColungaHUB.

Fe Sánchez

Voices of the assistants

"I find it very interesting and a necessary step within what Colunga does, to promote innovation and to be able to provide reflection spaces and tools to grow and think about the future will be highly valued by the organizations that we are here and society in its set ", says Álvaro Castañón, Executive Director of Free Line.

"Being able to sit at a table and listen to different experiences from the Government LAB, or even Chris who explained his experience from the Netherlands, that gives you a global perspective and allows you to broaden your view and see that there are different ways to do what you are doing. I value the experience because it makes us reflect, "he says. Magdalena Mongillo,  Director of Projects and Programs of Fundación Infancia Primero.

"It seems to me that the Laboratory should give a consistent space, where failure is well valued, that allows people to understand that it is part of innovating, and together with that, develop collaboration more than competition in civil society", highlights Juan Pablo Venegas, Executive Director of Fundación Proyecto B.

"My expectation with this Laboratory has to do with being able to concretize even more this collaborative spirit, where partnerships are effective, and that it is a space of exchange between practice, theory, training and self-evaluation," he says. Mercedes Henderson, Executive Director of VE Global.

How does the Laboratory come about?

Since 2014, the Colunga Foundation HUB opened its doors in the heart of Santiago, it has become a meeting place, collaborative work and source of synergies for a network of more than 90 non-profit organizations that work to transform the reality of Chile and Latin America.

Throughout this journey, both from this platform and from the calls for innovation of the Social Investment Fund of Colunga, and from the initiatives of the members of the network, there is the concern of an experimental space that recognizes the need to innovation in civil society as a way to find new ways to solve existing social problems, through the definition of standards, the application of tools such as Design Thinking or Storytelling, or "social technologies" to face the great challenges to which we face.

In this context, in 2016 CORFO incorporates civil society organizations into its innovation and social entrepreneurship strategy, which allows the Colunga Foundation, through obtaining a Concurrent Fund, to create the Social Innovation Laboratory of Colunga

Encuentro de co-diseño del Laboratorio de Innovación Social de Fundación Colunga

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