Social Entrepreneurship 2.0: Collaboration for Systemic Change

How can we inspire collaboration in the social entrepreneurship sector?

How can collaboration help scale social impact without also growing an organisation? What are the benefits and challenges of social entrepreneurs working together? How can we activate our networks and bring together different players in the field to create a collective impact?

In this session, we will explore these and more questions on collaboration as a means to achieve systemic change and co-develop tangible solutions with you.

We look forward to tackling this important challenge with you at the Old Fire Station! Please find further details of the session below:

Social entrepreneurs are often the heroes of social change, yet examples of a single idea, founder or organisation changing an entire system are scarce. They most likely lack the necessary resources and outreach to tip a whole system all by themselves, especially in the increasingly complex world we live in. Hence, it takes more than a solo effort and collaboration seems to be the way forward.

Today, the most common partnerships are found between social entrepreneurs and large corporates or government institutions but we see less cases of social entrepreneurs partnering, collaborating and forming strategic alliances among each other, let alone starting joint ventures. At the same time, many work towards the same overall aims and appear to have significant overlap in their work.

The potential impact that collaboration can achieve by blurring boundaries and building on synergies among organisations with a similar purpose and approach is substantial. Collective impact is already heralded as the next stage of social entrepreneurship and many call for a shift in focus beyond founders towards collaboration and channelling efforts into collective movements.

So why is collaboration not as prevalent as it should be, especially in a sector which calls ‘social’ its most cherished attribute? Is it perhaps the result of a disproportionate focus on founders, also termed heropreneurship? Or maybe a tendency of funders to support shiny new ideas and specific interventions rather than long-term systemic efforts involving a complex set of multiple actors?

Exploring and mapping these challenges with your input will be the first step in our session before we move on to co-create tangible solutions to the identified issues. At the end of this session, you can expect to walk away with a good overview of different forms of partnering and new ideas on how to drive collaboration in your sector and beyond. We intend to capture and redistribute all findings of this session in a thought leadership piece in collaboration with a media partner.

Tentative agenda:

30min: Introduction and inspiration from successful examples of collaboration

60min: Co-creation session exploring the details and challenges of collaboration

15min: Intermediate results sharing and regrouping according to key challenges

60min: Co-creation session with groups focused on one key challenge each

15min: Final results sharing of new insights and ideas from the co-creation session


Arts at the Old Fire Station

40 George St, Oxford OX1 2AQ, United Kingdom

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