At Social Innovation Lab (SIL), we test new ideas, design prototypes, learn and share what works and what doesn’t in solving the most complex social problems, as part of the largest development organisation in the world. Since 2011, SIL is working as a knowledge and experimentation hub, and has been continuously supporting BRAC for tomorrow’s challenges by capitalising on emerging opportunities and catalysing innovation throughout the organisation.Here’s our journey so far
What We Do
How We Work
When it comes to innovation we believe
Nothing is impossible-except perfection.
Dedication and simple ideas can solve any problem, given enough time and the willingness to refine, adapt, and improve.
Don’t expect to solve problems with programme design and planning.
Get in the field, do what can be done; figure it out as you go. The first attempt—successful or not— will at least help you see what’s possible.
Sometimes you have to think really big.
Sustainable self-reliance is not always possible for those without opportunity or social capital. Be prepared to change the environment, creating markets for the skills you teach and the goods you equip clients to make.
If the community isn’t leading the way, change won’t last.
Poverty has many dimensions beyond economics, such as self-worth and behaviour. At the heart of any new intervention is facilitating a new mind set or behaviour. Getting people to drive change can take time, but it’s half the battle. Get this right or you’re wasting your time.
Innovation is continuous.
In our work, no solution is ever complete. It can always be further refined, better understood, or reproduced in other contexts. Not only is the world constantly changing, but every problem you solve opens the door to new challenges.
Most of what you need is already out there.
Mobilise and build on local resources, rather than reinventing the wheel. Focus on building capacity through teaching or training, to best use the raw materials and potential at hand.
Change must be inspired, not imposed.
You can’t address poverty and social justice by imposing upon clients a ‘right’ way of thinking. Long-term change may mean adjusting your programme to best suit existing power dynamics, cultural norms, and social practices you encounter.
Innovation doesn’t end when scaling begins.
It’s not simply a matter of copying a clever idea onto a larger canvas; you have to re-examine, assess, and refine at every step. Seemingly small changes in size, geography, environment, or language may require you to come up with solutions as creative as your original idea. Don’t get complacent!
If it were easy, somebody would have done it already.
Solving difficult problems may necessitate bold steps. As they grow, organisations can lose the willingness to take risks on new ideas. You may miss opportunities to solve new problems—or do a better job with the old ones.