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Change is the most important outcome, or impact measure, of social innovation.
The end seems in sight. Through all the roads taken and traveled, your innovation is showing promise. You have stewarded it through cycles of prototyping and iteration, perhaps you have run a pilot project, and now the innovation is being implemented on the ground and starting to create the desired change. And then someone comes along and asks you to implement the innovation somewhere else – to scale it. Roya Damabi, Alberta CoLab.
So often we think about how to scale our interventions once we’re ready – but it’s important to remember that we are scaling within an existing, changing environment. We need to keep those conditions in mind and adapt to them.
Change is the most important outcome, or impact measure, of social innovation. In order to bring your social intervention to scale, first focus on the question: what is the change you’re trying to bring about?
You might be trying to scale a service, product, or competency for greater impact. But what is it that you are trying to scale or change? The goal could be significant improvement in indicators like youth employment or physical activity, policy or regulation change, or it could be a social movement; a new social norm.
When working to bring about change, here are some questions to ask yourselves:
  • What is the targeted impact, who is impacted?
  • What changes are you trying to bring about?
  • What interventions or solutions or changes do you have to implement and scale to realize the impact or changes?
  • When should these interventions or solutions or changes be recycled, reviewed or renewed?
  • How should you stage the implementation and scaling?