The very first pilot experiment that The Internews Center for Innovation and Learning supported was a Social Innovation Camp in Bosnia, in 2011. Following the Bosnia Social Innovation Camp, Internews held a number of similar events in different countries during 2011, 2012, and 2013. Some of these events were called Innovation Labs; others were called Camps. All of these events shared much in common with the first Bosnia Camp, with some variation in structure, goals, and outcomes. This blog has chronicled some of our observations about the Bosnia Camp and subsequent events. A couple of the Camps/Labs had formal research evaluating their effectiveness, but we were interested in looking across a wider group to see what we might learn.
A new report, Social Innovation Camps and Labs: Lessons from Internews’ Experience, takes a broad look at the Innovation Camps and Labs convened by Internews during 2011 and 2012. It identifies what they can achieve, how best to run the events, and pitfalls to avoid.
The study focuses on these key questions:
- The organization and process of the Innovation Camps/Labs: what were the main events and activities? Which were most useful? Why?
- How can organizers recruit appropriate participants? What combinations of people work well together?
- In the structure and process, what worked, what didn’t work, and why?
- What types of goals best suit the structure of an Innovation Lab?
- What were the main outcomes of Innovation Camps/Labs?
- How can organizers promote the sustainability of the work produced in Innovation Camps/Labs?
A visual cookbook outlining the basics of how to run a Social Innovation Lab is also available.