What's New

Root Change Ventures invests in Lome Social Networks
Root Change Ventures is excited to announce our first investment with Lome Social Networks, an innovative enterprise that is developing a groundbreaking online platform that maps in real-time relationships between individuals and organizations across social sectors. The network mapping platform, built by Lome founder and chief developer, Blazej Zak, with support from his talented team, has powered GIIMAP, a global map of the impact investment sector. GIIMAP was co-designed by Root Change and Lome, and is currently being piloted in Mexico and Central America, where to date, over 500 actors have been identified.

At Root Change Ventures we launch and support pattern-breaking social enterprises that advance new ways of connecting people, organizing efforts, and promoting open innovation. We think you will be excited and surprised by the many new features Root Change and Lome hope to bring to the network mapping platform in the coming months. While networks and alliances have long been seen as valuable "tools" in development work, we see enormous potential to take network thinking and practice to the next level: from "tool" to "worldview”. Our dream is to enable people to harness the power of their extended network to increase their social impact.

GIIMAP findings presented at the LAFLII 2013 in Merida, Mexico
GIIMAP was successfully showcased this February at the Latin American Forum for Impact Investment (LAFLII) in Merida, Mexico. Initial findings on the impact investment sector in Mexico were presented during a panel discussion with representatives from Root Change and partners ANDE, Spectron Desarollo, Promotora Social, and Anáhuac University. Additionally, Spectron Desarollo and ANDE facilitated a round table discussion attended by 40 diverse actors working in Mexico. Participants discussed GIIMAP findings and provided ideas and feedback how to improve engagement and collaboration between social entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, capacity builders, universities, and foundations, within the impact investment ecosystem.

Our videographer, Steve Zeugner, captured video interviews with our Mexican partners and other entrepreneurs and investors who are starting to use the platform in some significant ways: from an entrepreneur who is using GIIMAP to strategically grow and inform new partnerships, to the US Mexico Foundation who is using GIIMAP to provide insights into the foundation’s role in the sector and opportunities for strengthening the ecosystem. We will soon be releasing a video that will highlight these stories and the experiences of GIIMAP users, so stay tuned!

Root Change develops GIIMAP, a dynamic online network mapping platform that updates in real time
Root Change, with funding from the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs and technical support from Blazej Zak, will soon launch a unique organizational network mapping platform accessible online to the global development community.  GIIMAP (Global Impact Investment Map) allows users to quickly and easily complete network surveys and immediately access a visualization of their network.  Users can continually update their network connections and describe relationships with new users as they enter the network.  This interactive approach creates a dynamic, constantly evolving representation of the network identifying the key resource hubs, active networkers, brokers, and influencers in the network as well as each user's ranking.  Root Change will first pilot GIIMAP with the Central American and Mexico Chapter of ANDE with plans to incorporate Red Cross national societies and others by the end of 2012.

Root Change is also working with Ashoka Mexico to develop in-depth GIIMAP profiles which will enable more strategic investment and partnering in Mexico's social entrepreneurship sector.  Investors and small businesses will be able to securely share relevant information on their investment practices and needs, respectively, to facilitate discovery of potential investments and inform future collaboration.  Because the profiles are supplementary to GIIMAP, the information available in user profiles will evolve and grow as more organizations join the online network.

Root Change assumes leadership of the Impact Alliance, injecting new energy and vision into the well-respected capacity development hub
Root Change has recently assumed leadership of the Impact Alliance (www.impactalliance.org), a global capacity building network founded in 2002. The Impact Alliance connects diverse representatives from over 150 organizations and 3,000 individual practitioners, two-thirds of whom are from middle and lower-income countries. The Impact Alliance takes full advantage of the unique diversity of its members to bridge actors across the global North and South, facilitating collaboration and knowledge sharing on member-driven initiatives and topics. The Root Change leadership team has been involved with Impact Alliance since its launch. We see enormous potential to broadcast the latest innovations of local capacity development leaders and we hope to continue to provide a platform for knowledge sharing between regional actors. Look for some exciting new initiatives in the next few months.

Root Change collaborates wih American Red Cross to produce STAR
Root Change has recently collaborated with the American Red Cross (ARC) to produce STAR, (System for Transformation and Results), a change process and a tool suite that promotes sustainable organizational development within Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies. The development of STAR is based on findings from a two-year global study on how Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies achieve sustainable organizational development (completed in 2011). STAR's innovation is to simultaneously measure performance on six capacity “drivers”, identified in the OD study, while also measuring six factors that significantly shape driver performance. The STAR Tool Suite includes a participant-driven process to assess and analyze findings and the STAR Change Planner helps users link assessment findings to capacity-building initiatives. The combination of the capacity assessment and planning process is designed to be, in itself, transformational. Implementation of STAR among Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies is ongoing. Root Change plans to integrate an online platform for the ARC that will allow the mapping of real-time partnerships among Movement and Non-Movement actors. Additionally, a network strengthening handbook and 100-day change strategy are to be designed and implemented this year.

Root Change works on “Transitioning to the Future: An Organizational Development Approach for IBP”
Root Change is pleased to be working with the International Budget Partnership on an initiative titled Transitioning to the Future: An Organizational Development Approach for IBP. The International Budget Partnership was initially created as a project of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Its mission is to ensure that government budgets are more responsive to the needs of poor and low-income people in society and, accordingly, to make budget systems more transparent and accountable to the public. Now in its tenth year, IBP has grown substantially beyond the early vision of its funders and has enjoyed enormous visibility and success. At this juncture, IBP leadership has begun to think seriously about its future and whether or not becoming an autonomous organization separate from the Center would enable it to have more impact, agility and freedom to pursue innovative initiatives.

To that end, IBP has formed an “institutional futures” team to identify organizational options for IBP and to help guide the transition process in the intermediate term of 2-3 years.  The IBP Director has stated “We think that we are at a point in our history when it is appropriate for us to be considering these questions, but we would like to be guided by some help in thinking through what are the most viable options for us, when and how each of these options would be good for IBP to pursue.” Root Change has been asked to play that role and to accompany and support IBP in making informed and strategic decisions about its future

Root Change supports "WBI Nets that Work"
Between March and June, 2012, Root Change supported the “WBI Nets that Work” Community of Practice and its members through facilitated, group learning sessions and individual consultative meetings. Eighteen Bank staff representing ten different networks gathered regularly over the course of 3 months to establish a learning and action program aimed at building and maintaining high-performing networks. These working sessions facilitated cross-network learning around the challenges and needs of WBI-led networks, and uncovered common challenges faced by Team Leaders and frontline network managers. Building on the success of business model generation tools, Root Change worked with WBI network teams to profile their target audience (network target segment) and clarify exactly what each network aims to solve or deliver (their value proposition).

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