Systems Innovation Hub
Si Hubs are a global network of local “spaces” for learning about and doing systems innovation — we are the local chapter for the London area. We see ourselves as an open collaborative platform for learning and applying the new ideas and methods of systems change. bit.ly/silondonhub Systems innovation is something new to most of us, so maybe you are not familiar with the concept. This is a new approach to innovation that tries to tackle complex problems and enable transformational change through the use of ideas from systems thinking and new networked ways of organizing; it is an approach that has huge relevance given the complexity of the challenges in the 21st century.
I’d recommend attending their next sessions
- Introduction to Systems Innovation
- New Approaches to Leverage Points for Systems Change
- Mapping the Transition Towards a New Financial Paradigm
I was asked to say a few things about the following topics
1. Why systems change is important to me and my role?
- I’m French and English and lived & worked in different countries, I’ve always felt “in-between” cultures. It’s helped me understand that when you’re experiencing a different culture, you become more curious about other people, their practices and the opportunities for collaboration
- That’s why I’ve always tried to cultivate those “in-between” spaces between people from different walks of life, and for me, it’s rooting them in issues people want to tackle together, and at a neighbourhood level where different people live and work side by side, like the Cooperative Council, Think & Do or Public Collaboration Lab.
I lead on policy, research, public affairs, funding and partnerships for Newham. That’s ultimately about:
- Mobilise the energy that gets people around a common cause, to put themselves in each other’s shoes, test solutions to show visible impact, helping amplify the work they do and connecting them to people & practices which can help them work differently like people on this call, as help put the building blocks to help people make the change stick
- Enable people across the organisation to do strategy, research & partnerships themselves through valuing the skills & lived experience they bring and helping amplify that and connecting them to people & practices which can help them work differently
- I also facilitate the London Policy & Strategy Network which exposes councils in London to other ways of working and sectors.
2. Why me or my organization think systems approaches are important
We describe our systems change work as community wealth building, where we work with our anchor institutions and our communities to bring their skills & resources to:
- Develop new forms of welfare, innovative preventative services to help tackle insecurity on food, debt, homelessness & employment rights
- Transition our local economies to 15-minute neighbourhoods that are greener, value our key workers and our young people
We embed wellbeing at the heart of everything we do, which is so important as we navigate the impacts of the pandemic. As well as mobilising communities and partners through Help Newham, it’s one of the first boroughs to focus on livelihood & well-being as a key measure of economic success.
Systems change has to start with putting citizens at the centre. We are a council that is embedding participative democracy through having the UK’s first-ever standing citizens assembly, doing participatory budgeting with each of our neighbourhoods and developing youth movements. We want to go further and scale up this work
3. How about systems change in the context of London?
- Like other global cities, London as both institutions and businesses that have a national and international influence, with distinctive neighbourhoods with their own unique strengths and identities. How do we connect those hyperlocal and global players together to bring their different skills to tackle these issues?
- We need to reinvent our infrastructure, which is still designed for living in the 20th century, balancing what we design in for the long term v testing what we can do now. How could we use high streets as our test bed to learn from each other and experiment activities we can test now to bring to life the future infrastructure we need?