Call it partnership building, co-creating or collaboration: however you name it, it’s the new normal for changing the world.

Net Change
Change is difficult for age-old bureaucracies, says Christian Bason from Denmark’s Mindlab, but he insists that asking citizens what they want before telling them what they need produces incredible results.

Bason recently came to MaRS to talk about how co-creating solutions to persistent social problems has changed the way the public sector works in his home country.

Mindlab’s ethos was reinforced by Ros Tennyson of the Partnering Initiative later that month, as she spoke to the Ontario Social Innovation Summit – the first of its kind in Canada. Working in the corporate sector for many years, Ros now brokers cross-sector partnerships between business, non-profits and the public sector.

At the summit, 3 government ministries came together to host a cross-sectoral discussion and launch a public wiki – actively seeking out ideas for the development of an Ontario Social Innovation Policy.

Corporate goes social

What brings these sectors together is the convergence of technology and the deepening social and environmental challenges that we face as a global society. Governments all over the world realize that the problems we face are far greater than our capacity to go it alone.

Companies who for many years have been engaged in corporate social responsibility initiatives to improve public relations, are now moving into corporate social innovation – where they apply their competencies and financial resources for greater social impact. Citizens, who previously went to the ballot box to deliver their message to politicians, now use an array of social and mobile technologies to activate both elected MPs and people in making change happen.

Cisco executive closes Net Change week with collaboration strategies

Ayelet Baron, Vice-President Strategy and Planning, Cisco

Net Change Week showcases tools and techniques in the social technology space. It also provides a venue for global leaders working in this new industry. As Vice-President of Strategy and Planning at Cisco, Ayelet Baron has been using TelePresence technology to bring together girls from Kenya with girls in Canada. She has helped these girls interact and develop relationships in ways that were not possible before and encouraged them to consider a career in IT.

With more than 16 years of industry experience and over 10 years of leadership experience at Cisco, including three global roles, Ayelet has a proven track record of success in implementing successful change initiatives. Both through case study examples and her own experience, Ayelet will reveal strategies for collaboration that can help drive local social change initiatives here in Canada, and inspire solutions to more systemic global challenges.

Ayelet will close Net Change Week at 3pm on Friday June 10th at MaRS. Follow this link for further information about CISCO’s Ayelet Baron and to register for her presentation, How Collaboration is Changing the World.

Net Change 2011
Net Change 2011, June 6-10

Geraldine Cahill

Geraldine is the Communications Manager for Social Innovation Generation, a group that addresses Canada’s social and ecological challenges by creating a culture of continuous social innovation. See more…