Innovillage tools for sustainable change – National Institute for Health and Welfare [Finland] – 2014

Posted on March 25, 2014. Filed under: Health Systems Improvement | Tags: , |

Innovillage tools for sustainable change – National Institute for Health and Welfare [Finland] – 2014

Juha Koivisto, Kristel Englund, Merja Lyytikäinen, Niina Peränen, Niina Pitkänen, Pasi Pohjola & Kati Virtanen. Innovillage tools for sustainable change. National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). Discussion paper 5/2004. 32 pages. Helsinki, Finland 2014. ISBN 978-952-302-128-0 (printed); ISBN 978-952-302-129-7 (online publication)

“This report presents an open, national innovation environment, called Innovillage, developed in the welfare and health field in Finland. The report starts with a short development history of Innovillage and then presents and discusses the innovation model of Innovillage. The co-development tools of Innovillage are then presented and their workability discussed. Finally, the further development of Innovillage and matters related to the scaling of its innovation culture are considered.

Innovillage began in 2007 at a time when similar observations were being made by different stakeholders in the social and health field in Finland. The ageing population, the threatened availability of skilful professionals, and a recession within the public sector are challenging the existing modes of service production. New models and solutions are needed to meet these challenges. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the other authorities in the field have funded numerous development projects over the recent decades, but the models and solutions developed have only seen limited scaling-up within the sector, with very little development activities working across the sectors. Separate development projects have developed similar solutions over and over, without knowing of each other. New tools and practices are needed for co-development and for boundary-crossing that would strengthen the scaling-up and implementation of new models and solutions. Earlier the key organizations in the field, such as the National Research and Development Centre for Health and Welfare, the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, and different third-sector organizations, each developed their own databases for ‘good practices’. They were typically ‘passive’ systems, where the developers described the models and/or the local practices developed in their projects. A unified and more interactive platform enabling and supporting real time co-development processes was recognised as necessary in the sector.

According to the Innovillage innovation model, innovation activity is an open, transparent, and collaborative activity that adopts and adapts models already developed by someone else or develops totally new solutions and models. The innovation model consists of three iterative and mutually constitutive sections: Stimulate, Incubate, and Enact. Each section should be worked on to achieve successful solutions and sustainable change in a local site. The sections are not phases that should be worked through in a linear order; they rather include different development tasks that are performed simultaneously and interactively; a change in one thing may generate change in another thing. In addition, the innovation model includes an activity for generalising from a local solution to arrive at a general enactment model that can be applied in
any other innovation activity.

The tools for co-development within Innovillage consist of both web-based tools and face-to-face tools, where actors meet in person. The tools are as follows: Networks Tool for the different networks to collaborate; a Project Database to design and report on development projects; a Development Environment to carry out development activities; Innoworkshops to co-develop face-to-face; Events, to offer a meeting point for the developers (peers), a place where ideas, practices and models can be discussed, marketed and scaled-up; and finally the Innotutor training for developers to practice the innovation culture and learn how to use the Innovillage tools.

One of the key tasks of Innovillage in the near future is to scale-up the Innovillage-like development culture to other sectors. Different sectors typically develop their solutions and models in silos, though often a good solution would entail co-development and collaboration between different actors and practitioners across sectors and organizations.”

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