The search is on for more potentially game-changing innovations in giving. This week (29 May) we launched the second open call for ideas for the Innovations in Giving Fund.
We received 448 applications to the last call for ideas, which involved a huge amount of effort by the people who applied as well as the Nesta team that had to sift, score and select them. In that process, lots of knowledge was generated. Rather than attempt to give feedback to all those that didn't make the shortlist individually, we decided to try to pull together common themes and messages and share those more widely.
We also want a more general shift towards openness - or perhaps more accurately, legibility - which we're trying to make in the work of the Lab.
The excellent Bryan Boyer from our Finnish sister organisation Sitra puts it far more eloquently than me in his blog post on the subject, but it's about going beyond openness and sharing what we do in a way that can be understood, interrogated and improved by others.
Our work to support social innovation is necessarily emergent and evolving. This is still a relatively young field and often, we're designing entirely new ways to find and support innovators through our programmes and funds. Wherever we can, we build on experience and knowledge - both our own and from others. We want others to do the same and that puts a responsibility on us to be legible.
It also relates to another change that we've made to our approach to programmes recently. When you apply for a Nesta programme now - you're likely to be asked to do so in public - whether through a video or summary of your idea posted online.
I know that some people have found that difficult, but generating and orchestrating knowledge is one of main ways in which we think we add value to the world. Getting innovators to share their ideas helps build a body of knowledge about where the energy and focus is in a field, as well as inspiring others and leading to new collaborations.
It also means that we have to work harder to explain how and why we take decisions to back one idea and not another. That has to be a good thing.