Innovation and Evaluation are Inseparable
On August 12th, thought leaders from diverse organizations and viewpoints came together for a roundtable workshop to discuss the theme of this series, Innovation in Evaluation. The resulting conversations were inspiring and productive. As a platform for discussion, each of us shared a story, case study, or tool that has prompted us to rethink or refine our measurement approach. Our group was made up of people who are already thinking innovatively about evaluation, which helped us cover a lot of ground quickly.
Participants in the August 12th workshop:
|Anne Marie Bourgone||Draper Richards Foundation|
|Lakshmi Karan||Skoll Foundation|
|Gabriel Kasper||Monitor Institute|
|Sara Olsen||SVT Group|
|Brad Presner||Acumen Fund|
|Sean Stannard-Stockton||Tactical Philanthropy|
The IDEO team set the stage with a short presentation explaining the motivations and approach of an innovation firm like ours to engage in the evaluation arena. Connecting the innovation and evaluation efforts makes us better designers, makes our work stronger, and increases our impact in the world. In fact, the theme of the day was that innovation and evaluation are inseparable. Introducing the evaluation viewpoint early on in the innovation process enhances the resulting innovation and improves the effectiveness of the evaluation. Please see this linked presentation for a review of our five principles.
Throughout the day, all of the workshop participants generated challenging questions. The walls were filled with post-its, and the session ended with an intensive clustering, sorting, and voting exercise which elevated the major themes. The resulting subjects have been synthesized into the following ten challenges which will serve as the questions we ask for the remaining ten weeks of this blog conversation. Please join in the discussion each week as we explore the following challenges:
August 26: How might we put people at the center of evaluation?
September 2: How might we celebrate learning through evaluation?
September 9: How might we increase comfort as we navigate uncertainty?
September 16: How might we leverage informed intuition for decision-making?
September 23: How might we zoom out to evaluating with a systemic view?
September 30: How might we measure what's most meaningful?
October 7: How might we visualize data in more effective and inspiring ways?
October 14: How might we evaluate in the appropriate time frame?
October 21: How might we use the right tools and methods for the task?
October 28: How might we emphasize cost-effective evaluation tools?
For this week, I invite you to continue the conversation we started at the round table and comment on one of the following questions:
- How have you incorporated evaluation into the innovation process?
- What innovative approaches to evaluation have you seen?
- What are some of the most inspiring trends you've noticed in the field of evaluation?
The Vision for a 21st Century Drive-in Way out in West Texas, a grand plan for a drive-in movie theater promised to invigorate an entire community.
A New Social Network for Marijuana Users So stoked on that joint that you just have to share it with the world? There’s an app for that.
A $113 Million Idea Conquering the World is a Beautiful Thing to Watch A hypnotic data visualization of the spread of one of history's most viral phenomenons
Spreading the Word on High-Impact Nonprofits, a Dollar a Day A site created by volunteers and a Kickstarter founder offers you a small way to support innovative philanthropic organizations.
The Show Must Go On An interview with Tig Notaro Tig Notaro on comedy, creativity, and cancer.
5 of Rory’s Favorite Books That Perfectly Explain Gilmore Girls Rory Gilmore, a rolemodel for a generation of bookish young women, expressed herself best through literature.
Vermont Farmers Pilot a Whiz-Bang Solution to Fertilizer Pee-cycling saves water, feeds plants, and helps low-income farmers. What’s not to love?
Freelance-Friendly Cities Being your own boss has never been so affordable. Work-Life Balance: What makes a Freelance-Friendly City?
This Yoga-in-Schools Program Just Raised $31,000 in Crowdfunding R.I.S.E. introduces Bay Area teens to yoga, to help with self-image, grades, and other adolescent nightmares.
A New Olympics Just For Nomads Playing polo with a 100-pound goat carcass to save nomadic culture and build national pride in Kyrgyzstan.
New Detroit Program Trades Houses for Literary Excellence Write a House names Brooklyn poet Casey Rocheteau as first recipient of free home in Detroit
A Chance in Hell Yaks, America, and The Apocalypse Up against an $88 billion beef industry, it takes a leap of faith to raise yak in the United States.