Scaling play-based learning innovations
The Re-Imagine Learning Globalizer Summit, organised in partnership between the LEGO Foundation and Ashoka, took place at the LEGO London Hub, on 17–19 June 2016. The Summit aimed to help accelerate selected innovations within learning through play.
The Globalizer process began at the end of last year, with the selection of 16 social entrepreneurs whose models were ripest for scale from among the pool of entrepreneurs identified earlier through the Re-Imagine Learning Challenge and an additional selection process. Over the last six months, the selected social entrepreneurs have been through an intensive process to develop and refine their scaling strategies, with consulting advice on a weekly basis from Ashoka’s pro-bono support partners such as McKinsey. The Summit was the culmination of this process and each of the three days covered a specific theme.
Day 1: Ecosystem Day
Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes the support of the ecosystem to scale innovations. The Ecosystem Day therefore brought together 60 participants from business, philanthropy, INGOs and academia, among them representatives from the LEGO Group, the H&M Foundation, IKEA Foundation, SOS Children’s Villages, BabyCenter and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to meet and mingle with the social entrepreneurs. The day included a fascinating panel on Future Trends in Play and Education featuring Valerie Hannon, The Innovation Unit, UK who argued that we need to shift focus from a knowledge based economy to a ‘wisdom based society’.
Day 2: The Accelerator Day
Saturday, the Accelerator Day, was the “big day” for the 16 social entrepreneurs. Each had 1:1 mentoring sessions with four of the 16 high-level “Strategic Thought Partners”, who were primarily experienced entrepreneurs and CEOs. One of them Paul Lindley, Founder of Ella’s Kitchen, a $100 m turnover company rocking the baby food sector, shared that his best advice to entrepreneurs are “Lessons learned from Toddlers”, among them “Show, don’t tell”, “Have fun” and “Get attention”. He certainly got our attention with his call to “grow down”, dressed up in an Elvis mask. At the end of the day, the 16 social entrepreneurs were full of new ideas that had been sparked by the mentoring sessions with the Strategic Thought Partners, including LEGO Foundation CEO Hanne Rasmussen.
Day 3: Peer Learning Day
The last day was the Peer Learning Day. The social entrepreneurs shared key learnings about scale with their fellow social entrepreneurs and explored how and when to work together to multiply their impact.
By Mirjam Schöning, Global Head of Programmes and Partnerships