How do you generate the kinds of ideas that change the world? Create a space where the right people are likely to meet at the right time in the right environment.
Innovation Works is a 32,000 square foot building located in the heart of London’s Downtown. It’s designed to attract incredible people, get them talking about one another’s ideas, and offer the supports they need to turn those ideas into an achievable plan.
The Incredible People
We don’t generally arrive at social change by doing the same old thing the same old way we’ve always done it. Change occurs when we introduce something different; a different idea, perspective, or approach that stimulates new ways of thinking. By bringing entrepreneurs, businesses, government, nonprofits and charities under one roof and literally removing the barriers between them, we are creating a condition whereby their differences will collide. This collision, messy and marvelous, is where new ideas are formed and where change begins.
Getting Them Talking
Community Animation is exactly what it sounds like: bringing the community and their ideas to life. We could place a group of strangers in a room, stand back and see what happens, or we can develop an intranet or plan a social event that encourages them to connect. We can let new ideas sit idle, or we can develop workshops that will help tenants to nurture and grow their ideas. Community Animation creates a culture of participation. It is an offering, not a requirement, allowing tenants to dip in and out of the community in a way that feels comfortable and natural to them.
The Supports They Need
The feel of a space and the resources and structures inherent in them can either foster or inhibit social innovation. Having access to resources like desk space, meeting space, and shared office amenities allows you to focus on your mission and generating ideas rather than administrative details and costs. Open spaces that are comfortable, where you can either do focused work on your own or have an impromptu chat with a few people in the kitchen, are more likely to result in the birth and growth of original ideas. Remember, diversity is what stimulates new ways of thinking whether in your perspectives or in your environment. A dynamic space is an innovative space.
Innovation Works occupies the space between sectors. We are the sum total of a dynamic group of people, projects and organizations. We are curious. We are dynamic thinkers. We are socially minded. We are ready to break new ground.
These concepts are adapted from the Centre for Social Innovation’s Theory of Change. Innovation Works is a CSIx affiliate.
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Innovation Works was born in a living room amid a small gathering of community champions. Pillar Nonprofit Network programing, staff and resources support the space but at its heart, Innovation Works is a community-driven initiative, made by and for London.