How does the Accelerator work?

How does the Accelerator work?
Step 1: Preparation

Successful applicants to the program will become IFRC Global Pioneers and will attend a one-week Innovation Accelerator in Europe. Pioneers will also be asked to bring some of their innovation project ideas to the workshop. The Accelerator will help the Global Pioneers to;

  1. Continue to ensure an ethical approach to innovation (principled, demand-driven, user-centred and which does no harm).
  2. Explore different Innovation methodologies (eg. Positive Deviance, Lead User, Frugal Innovation, User Centered design etc.) and ideation tools and techniques.
  3. Learn strategies for leading successful innovation projects and turning ideas into action.
  4. Understand how to foster an innovation culture in their organization/teams.
  5. Learn strategies to build innovative solutions to complex challenges and ‘wicked problems’
  6. Build relationships and partners for change The Accelerator will be residential and will be highly engaging and interactive, the Pioneers will be taken on a journey through innovation strategies around the world and will test their proposed innovation projects using the methodologies being presented.

The Accelerator will be facilitated by expert innovation leaders from the private sector, academia and the UN/NGO sector. Innovation experts from The Airbus Group, Michelin, Nesta UK and the Humanitarian Leadership Academy will be providing training, and many more.
Managers of the Pioneers will also have an opportunity to access training, coaching and workshops to help them in their role of fostering and supporting innovation.

Step 2: Connection

After the Accelerator the Global Pioneers will have a chance to meet and be connected to potential mentors or coaches for their Innovation initiatives. The mentors and coaches are drawn from within the RCRC network as well as from our corporate and NGO partners and will be matched to the Pioneers according to the specific projects and support needs of the Pioneers. A key function of the mentor is to assist the Global Pioneers to access other networks that may help them with their ideas and initiatives. They will also provide ongoing technical support as long as is needed through the program.

The Global Pioneers will also be connected to each other by an online platform and regular WebEx meetings. Connection strategies for those who face challenges accessing internet will also be utilized. The Pioneers will be encouraged to support each other and assist with each other’s ideas and projects.

Step 3: Getting Started

Over the next 6 months the Global Pioneers will work within their National Societies to implement an innovation project or initiative. The innovation project will need to be agreed to with their manager so that it is aligned with the priorities of the National Society. For instance, a staff member working on community based health programs should ideally develop an innovation project related to community based health.
Pioneers may receive a small amount of funding to help them to get the project launched or developed. Mentors, coaches and the wider Pioneer network will provide additional support to help the project develop.

Step 4: Re-Focusing

At approximately 6 months into the program a 2-day Innovation Jam will be held to help review the initiatives and to develop strategies for the final 6 months. Only selected Pioneers will be able to attend, specifically those that have;

  •  engaged with the network and the initiative;
  • had success or some progress with their initiative, or have learnt from their failure/challenges and are trying a different approach.

The Innovation Jam will be facilitated by global innovation experts and additional project funding may be offered to Pioneer initiatives at the Jam.

Step 5 – The Future

At the end of the year, a small selection of the innovations will be presented to Presidents, Secretaries General and technical teams at the IFRC General Assembly in Istanbul November 2017.

The Pioneers will also be involved in helping to onboard and support the next round of Pioneers, some will attend the first training of the new round of Pioneers, and others may be asked to help provide mentoring or coaching to the new round of pioneers.

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Posted on

24th December 2016

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