toolkitting transformation

Recently, NESTA published a great toolkit on social innovation, specifically targetting practitioners of international development. I’ve been working with some of the tools I hadn’t come across yet in Zimbabwe and Indonesia and found them very useful. Overall I found the toolkit very user-friendly and accesible. Check it out yourself here and let me know what you think.

However, what the toolkit does NOT offer is also very telling: no tools for gender analysis for example, and very little information about power relationships. Indeed the toolkit confirms often heard criticisms that the SI-field is a bit naive and a-political.  It also begs the question why practitioners of international development would need such a toolkit. Surely, the field of international development offers a vast resevoir of tools, expertise and decades of hardcore experience about adressing wicked problems in contexts of scarcity for example. Perhaps they should write a toolkit for the new social innovation kids on the block!

In this blog  we write that what’s really needed is a conversation and exchange on more equal terms between progressive and innovative forces across sectors to up the ante against what Unger recently dubbed a dictatorship of no alternatives .  We look forward to your feedback

Remko Berkhout

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