Social safari – review part 2

In my last blog post I told more about the case we were working on and with what results we came up. In this blog post I tell you more about the concept of the social safari and how it is related to “let’s play innovation”.

The social safari is a one week think/do tank in which 31 professionals with diverse backgrounds, expertise, nationalities etc work together on a complex social case of organizations working in Amsterdam. The safari is based on 3 principles, namely:

  • Design thinking
  • Think local and global!
  • Diversity creates wisdom

Here you can learn more about the concept of the social safari

Basically, the social safari is two things in one:

  • It’s a ‘solution brigade’ working with the partner organisation to find solutions for complex problems;
  • It’s an action learning program for social innovators, while solving problems they learn about social design, co-creation and establish a network of social innovators.

For me the social safari embedded one of the essences of let’s play innovation. We had a great week, with a lot of fun, we’ve worked our asses off and did work that was valuable to many people. Just a week, but innovation happened,  sometimes without us knowing. The interventions we did, caused other people to (re)gain energy in solving their social issues, we’ve empowered neighbourhood initiatives to keep on going, we’ve engaged the government to take an active role in there district, we’ve created a common language in which both parties can connect. Of course we didn’t solve the problem, but by our actions, other actions have been started.

On the other hand we’ve learned a lot. By doing we’ve learned how to cope with complex issues. Not by coming up with a report, but by actually testing your assumptions to the real world (prototyping). Testing what works and what doesn’t work, learn and develop through failure and success. We’ve learned a lot from other participants (who have very different backgrounds) and established an international network of social innovators by intensely working together and have fun in the process. Fun and working hard connects!
Another discovery was that if you work on a social issue that is relevant to many stakeholders, you’ll establish a network in this field very fast. I think we‘ve spoken to 50 stakeholders who we’re very willing to help us out (so we could help them out ofcourse), but still. It gave me the conformation that if you passionately work on important social issues, you will not do it alone, there are tons of people willing to help you out.

So let’s play innovation, work hard, spend your time on valuable issues and have a lot of fun while doing it.

Here is are the foto impressions of this week

Tigers in the Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam


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