Development challenges today are inherently complex and interconnected. What is needed is a move beyond traditional sector approaches to solving critical issues. The UNDP (United Nations Development Programme, headquartered in NYC) has recognized this in a shift to create space for co-creation, to take an inside-out perspective, and to take measured risks.

I am delighted to announce that I have been accepted into the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) expert roster for social innovation and design support services. On behalf of the MaRS Solutions Lab, I will provide strategic advice and capacity building training with local teams where needed to inform the UNDP’s policy and programming on social innovation.

Speaking from personal experience with the international development sector, I truly believe it is critical to work not just in a ‘participatory’ way (which often becomes more consultative); but rather in a collaborative manner, where people at all levels are enabled to provide critical input and literally co-create the very solutions meant to improve their own lives.

This is a great opportunity for us at the MaRS Solutions Lab to enable the UNDP’s adoption of new problem-solving approaches that are iterative, co-creative and that take a systems-level approach. The expert roster for social innovation and design services has been set up by the UNDP’s newly created Innovation Board. The roster is composed of a range of individuals who can provide the UNDP with strategic advisory support for policy and programs, as well as capacity building for both local and international teams. I am delighted to be amongst a group of innovative thinkers and do-ers that are passionate about solving our most complex social and economic challenges worldwide.