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Social Innovation Learning Group

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Presentation on theme: "Social Innovation Learning Group"— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Innovation Learning Group
From LifeCycle to Ecocycle February 24, 2014

2 Objectives of Session Learn basics of the Ecocycle model
Explore its relevance and use in partner organizations

3 Machine versus ecological metaphor
“clockwork”, “well-oiled machine”, RBM framework: measurable outcomes are appropriate at the outset IF problems are understood and solutions are known Complex issues require an emerging process, focusing on relationships, learning, embracing ambiguity and “failure”: discover the path as you walk it

4 Ecocycle: A biological model

5 Ecocycle

6 Birth Some species thriving, absorbing water, light and nutrients
Pilot projects emerging, demanding focused resources

7 Mature Forest


9 Regeneration: “Log meadow”



12 Maturity Mature trees dominate the landscape, ready for harvesting
Mature programs deliver services, core business


14 Creative destruction Forest fire destroys dead wood, releasing energy
Reorganization, plus opening up new possibilities


16 Renewal Diversity of vegetation growing in chaotic ways
Developing new relationships; undertaking research and development

17 A resilience perspective
A resilient organization functions simultaneously in all four quadrants Different skills / approaches are most valuable in each quadrant Different types of evaluation may be particularly relevant in each quadrant Moving from one level of ecocycle to another

18 Common traps Rigidity trap Charisma trap Poverty trap
Chronic disaster trap

19 High impact organizations
Work at multiple levels: service delivery, policy, research, leadership development Work well with others: “You can accomplish anything if no one cares who gets the credit.” (open source, etc.) Seek out unlikely allies: significant social change involves all sectors (e.g. social enterprise, program related investments)

20 Recognize organizational and community assets (e. g
Recognize organizational and community assets (e.g. a strong volunteer network, skills of community members) Distributed leadership culture: engaged staff, volunteers and boards Strategy versus tactics: have a compass rather than a road map

21 Two questions Where is your organization in the ecocycle?
Does the ecocycle model provide any lessons for the United Way and its community partners in making a transition to a community impact model?

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