Social Innovation Exchange (SIX) Summer School 2014 Vancouver

Submitted by Tim Draimin on June 10, 2014 - 1:33pm
by Tim Draimin and Kelsey Spitz

“If something catches your eye over the next few days, fly right up to it. Push your possibilities and imagination through! This cannot be taught. You already know. So, please – love, create, listen and enjoy. Be present and be yourself.  We welcome you.”

                                                                                    -- SIX Programme Welcome

 May 27-29, the annual SIX Summer School was held in North America for the first time, bringing nearly 160 leading social innovation thinkers and practitioners, grassroots activists, and policy makers from over 20 countries to Vancouver, BC to explore: How can we increase our impact? Shifting cultures, changing systems and preparing for surprise. 

SIX is a gathering – a forum to investigate key issues facing the social innovation field. As illustrated in the Welcome message, this particular gathering was curated to dive deep into the spirit and humanity of social innovation and to challenge participants to reflect on ourselves, our work and the field of social innovation.  

Hosted by Social Innovation Exchange (SIX), Social Innovation Generation (SiG) and BC Partners for Social Impact, SIX Vancouver approached the question of culture shifting and increasing impact through three lenses: Spirit, Sector, and Society. Who we are, the organizations we work with and within, and the ever-changing conditions of the world were given center stage, to be both celebrated in the spotlight and challenged in the hot seat.  

 From the shadow side of social innovation to nurturing care, session topics encouraged participants to consider how we work and function in systems as social innovators and to explore the interconnectedness of Spirit, Sector and Society in shaping what we view as social good.

SIX closed with reflections from six Witnesses – symbolic Ambassadors chosen to witness specific topics during the Summer School: power & love, empathy, generations, courage, beauty, and empowerment.  The collective wisdom of these Ambassadors was a call for balance – to balance power and love, purpose and process, soul and technology.

SIX Summer School 2014 Vancouver highlighted the value of the rich exchange of global experience, as Canadian and international practitioners were able to learn from each other in practical and implementable ways. SIX and SiG will be producing written and video reports on the gathering.


Related Links:
See the SiG Storify page for a summary of the live-tweets and reflections during the SIX conference as well as their Tumblr page.