bold ideas better lives challenge 360 critique
Post on 20-May-2015
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DESCRIPTIONSummary of the Bold Ideas Better Lives Challenge
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2. 2" 3. In creating the Challenge, we wanted to give local people the opportunity to lead thisexperimentation.We believe that people and communities affected by a particular social issue are the bestarchitects of possible solutions.The Challenge put that resource to the test.We saw an opportunity to:- Identify what is happening around the country in neighbourhoods and in local communities- Build a portfolio of practical examples showcasing social innovation in Australia- Explore our role in supporting people to turn good ideas into better livesSo we asked Australia: What do you think are the big problems facing our society, and howcan we solve them?The opportunity: access to $1 million dollars of investment and the support of TACSI and ournetwork of mentors to test out those solutions in practice.And so began the largest social innovation competition of its kind ever held in Australia.3" 4. Our first step was to identify the cream of innovative ideas, methods and people.We put the call out far a wide and received applications from Cape York toLaunceston, Sydney to Broome and everywhere in between. All in all, 258 inspiringapplications were submitted online, outlining the core issue, their bold idea and howtheir approach would make for better lives.Here is the initial pitch from one of the Challenge Winners, Who Gives A Crap:4" 5. 5" 6. To help us in our search, we pulled together a four member Advisory Panel whoassessed each application against the following criteria:Innovation: The creativity and innovation of the proposal (this included older ideasnot tried out in practice or in a particular context)Impact: The relevance of the proposal to the Australian context and the degree ofbenefit and lasting impact on communitiesImplementation: The practicality of the idea and ability to muster the resourcesneeded to implement/replicate the idea plus the risks of implementation.The 12 finalists each received an incentive grant of $1000 in addition to specialistexpert mentoring to further develop their pitch and project plan.They were then flown to Adelaide to personally present their pitch to the judgingpanel, the TACSI Board.From this shortlist, the judging panel selected the following 8 winning projects: 6" 7. Aged Care Digital Lifestyles engaging older people with technology to improvetheir quality of lifeAroundYou.com.au enhancing social inclusion by connecting people with eventsand activities in their local neighbourhoodEmployment Pathways for Deaf Students creating amazing communicationtechnology that will help deaf students get jobs in cafes and hospitalityHello Sunday Morning changing Australias binge drinking culture by gettingindividuals to take responsibility for their drinking behaviour.Renew Australia placing creative, social and cultural initiatives in disused buildingsto re-vitalise urban areas.Sharing Universal Stories of Healing from Depression raising awareness ofdepression among refugee communities through digital storytelling.Tjungu: Learning Country building social entrepreneurship in remote Aboriginalcommunities across central Australia.Who Gives A Crap turning consumers into philanthropists through toilet paper thatgives twice.More information is available in the booklets handed to you as you came in or on theTACSI website. 7" 8. TACSI was keen to be more than just a funding body we wanted to play an active role in theimplementation of these projects.I came on board to mentor and support the projects fulltime.My first challenge was to put in place flexible systems that promoted ongoing communicationwith the ventures. This went beyond a traditional progress reporting framework and enabledus to share what we were learning along the way as playing an active role in the success ofeach project.But how were we going to know what kind of mentoring or support they needed?Inspiration was drawn from four key domains:1. What were the day to day challenges they were facing2. Issues / needs identified in reports3. TACSIs aerial perspective as the intermediary across all projects and with one stepremoved from the frontline4. Reflecting on evidence demonstrating the social impact being created by the projectBut it was much more relational than this. It involved working in the caf with deaf students toget a real sense as to what the project meant in real life. Or getting a sense of what makes asuccessful brand by sitting in supermarkets observing the way people select their toilet paper.When I began the process of pin pointing the individual steps and actions undertaken over thepast year to get our ventures off the ground, four critical areas emerged. These are the fourfoundations a venture needs to successfully succeed. 8" 9. InvestmentMore than just our own initial investment.This is about ensuring long term financial sustainability for ventures through activitieslike financial modelling and well as brokering relationships with potential financingpartners.StrategyThis encompasses business development activities like research, marketing, strategic& operational planning.Hours were spent honing the pitch for investors down to the last word.Knowledge & Relational CapitalThis is about identifying and forming the relationships and connections needed to getruns on the board. Its also about using TACSIs brand & relationships to open doors.Sometimes this included playing Private Investigator trying to work out how to get anidea across the desk of influential people like Dick Smith.Impact AssessmentThis is about helping the projects evaluate the real life impact of what theyre doing.How does AroundYou.com.au know whether the technology theyre developing isactually enabling Tanya in Kununurra to connect to the playgroup in herneighbourhood and how does this experience shape the ongoing development ofthat technology.9" 10. So what are the outcomes of our work?1. Are these eight bold ideas actually resulting in better lives?2. Has TACSIs involvement helped amplify these solutions?3. Was TACSIs investment worthwhile?We are still learning about what impact these ventures are going to have because some of theprojects are only now entering the implementation phase. Were seeking to create long termchange which takes time to galvanize were not looking for short term impact.To give you an idea of some of the goals the more advanced ventures have been kicking:Hello Sunday Morning now have 2139 registered HSMers which equates to influencing21,390 peoples attitudes to drinkingAroundYou.com.au is connecting 150,000 unique visitors per month to information abouttheir local community. They are also partnering with Melbournes Herald Sun and LeaderCommunity Newspapers to take those events to their readers. Youll soon be able to see theseevents through AdelaideNow.DVDs showcasing Universal Stories of Healing from Depression that were madecollaboratively with Afghan, Burmese and Sudanese communities are now available on theiSee-iLearn and BeyondBlue websites to promote understanding of depression and healingwithin refugee communities.The experiences of turning vacant buildings in Adelaide, Townsville and Newcastle into vibrantcultural spaces has created a new national organisation, Renew Australia, which is beinglaunched in Newcastle this coming Monday. Renew Australia is tailoring the Renew model tosupport local communities who want to revitalise empty spaces in their towns and cities.For TACSI, this experience has enabled us to develop a methodology which will shape ourongoing work supporting innovation and entrepreneurship across Australia. 10" 11. What have we learnt along the way?1. The challenge exposed innovation happening in the real world by real people our involvementprovided capital, a national platform and access to a rich network of mentors, partners and people tohelp them get to the next level2. The selection process used yielded projects with a higher capability of effecting large scale socialchange3. You have to be 100% certain of the impact youre aiming for, so that you dont end up off track4. Feedback from our ventures has clearly demonstrated the value of providing mentoring and supportinstead of just investment $$5. Active participation by TACSI as the investor enabled a more reciprocal relationship transcendingthe barriers of traditional funding models6. Reporting doesnt have to be onerous. Our flexible approach meant that reporting actually benefitedthe ventures. Some used a blog to track their progress for future evaluation data, others needed amore frequent verbal approach which enabled conversational feedback, some used it as a chance toproduce a monthly report card.What would we do differently:- We underestimated the level of interest the projects had with the other ventures & in TACSI. Next timewe would spend more time fostering the community across our projects.- TACSI was able to provide a stronger level of support to ventures when we untapped a broader rangeof stakeholders including other TACSI staff and TACSI Board members rather than just relying on theVenture Support Officer.- And finally, financial sustainability needs to be a standing item on the radar. For most of these ventures,TACSIs investment was their first or main source of income. To ensure maximum return on ourinvestment and social impact, we, as the main investor, needed to put more of a focus on the venturesfuture financial sustainability beyond our involvement. 11" 12. A year into the Challenge, were already seeing amazing results emerge from theoutstanding work of our ventures. Were looking forward to hearing the feedback fromtodays panel so that we can continue to strengthen the mentoring and support weprovide.Stay tuned to the TACSI website to continue this journey with us. 12" 13. 13"