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Collaborate’s highlights of 2018

As another challenging year for the UK and beyond draws to a close, the Collaborate team have spent some time together looking back over the past 12 months, exploring what we are learning from our work with places and organisations from across different sectors. We have also looked ahead, and made an early collective new year’s resolution for 2019: to be bold about the future we are trying to create. We will explore this further in our January newsletter, sharing the questions we have identified and some ideas about how we’ll do it.

But it’s Christmas! So for now I want to acknowledge the progress we and our partners have made in what has also been a busy, exciting and productive 2018.

Here are our highlights:

Exploring the future of funding & commissioning

Building on our ground-breaking report A Whole New World, written with Dr Toby Lowe, we have spent the past six months convening large-scale workshops around the country for commissioners, providers and funders who are developing more people-centered, collaborative approaches to funding and commissioning (a huge thank you to the Big Lottery Fund for their support for this work). There’s been lots of interest in these conversations (8000 views of the report and counting!), and in February will be publishing a new report which will be full of examples and practical steps for the many people who want to fund and commission in a way that reflects the complexity of social issues. Watch this space!

Progress in place-based system change with Barking & Dagenham and Lankelly Chase

We are two years into Lankelly Chase’s place-based system change inquirywith Barking and Dagenham, and this work has generated rich learning and insights which we will publish in 2019. We have worked at different levels within the system; some things have worked well and some things have been more challenging, but all of the work has taught us all something useful about what place-based system change and the Lankelly system behaviours really mean in the context of place. We hope that next year we will build on the progress made so far by building new collaborations to tackle some deep-rooted complex issues in the borough. This ‘grand challenge’ approach will draw on Mariana Mazzucato’s work about mission-orientated innovation and collaboration.

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