Schooling the system

You may be asking how #outcomefest came about, otherwise known as theFestival of Amazing Outcomes, taking place on 21st January at@hubwestminster.

Let’s go back to first principles. What is it that motivated people to apply to become Scholars on the @hublaunchpad? What was the “rocket fuel” that led us to give up rainy evenings and freezing weekends to meet a bunch of random people, many of which (gasp) weren’t working in the same sector, or even (double gasp) working on the same issues? On top of that, we were challenged to work together (virtually or “in-school”) to apply knowledge we’d learnt from Scholarship workshops on the spot.

Was it the promise of free food & booze? You can’t argue with toffee apples, jerk chicken and punch! OK, so free food does play a role, but more importantly, from what I’ve picked up from conversations with other Scholars, it’s all of the above.

It’s not despite people coming from other sectors that Scholars signed up, it’s because they do…so we could help each other rethink issues we were struggling to tackle with in our own sectors. Like local government officers learning from the startup world how to bootstrap a public service or entrepreneurs acknowledging that influencing commissioning is more important than just writing funding applications.

It’s not despite people working on different issues, it’s because they were…becauseinnovation often happens through solutions that meet needs from different walks of life. People tackling housing issues also need to look at issues surrounding older people and care. People focusing on unemployment could benefit from taking into account the issue of loneliness.

I only realised the importance of this after I joined the Scholarship. I joined it more to get a better idea of “why” people were passionate about the issues and “how” they were tackling them. But perhaps what’s more important is how we work together on how we change the system rather than just the issues within it.

So here you go, that’s one of the reasons why our unconference is focusing on how we tackle systemic issues to achieve common outcomes. If you haven’t signed up to the event, do so now. Even better, suggest a session you’d like to run on the day!