Stories of hope and humanity
The world is in lockdown. It is affecting our mental health, our wellbeing, our lives. Yet there is also much generosity and kindness. We want to be sharing these stories, understanding that some will be harder to tell, and to hear, than others.
The opportunity of a generation
How the NHS Framework for Community Mental Health Services can help us to rebuild in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
Research project into play in Aotearoa, New Zealand begins
Innovation Unit ANZ are delighted to be working with Sport New Zealand | Ihi Aotearoa on a new project to understand experiences and perceptions of play from sector stakeholders, parents, and children, to create more quality play experiences.
An age-friendly Tāmaki Makaurau
A new report from Innovation Unit NZ investigates approaches to making Auckland an age-friendly region.
How to tell people about 100 projects?
Innovation Unit recently undertook a project to share learning from the DfE Innovation in Children’s Social Care Programme across the UK. In this blog Caroline Wierzejska discusses the key features of our approach.
Transforming care experiences for young people in Sheffield
Innovation Unit Senior Associate Siobhan Edwards discusses Sheffield’s journey in adopting the No Wrong Door approach to Children’s Social Care.
‘Be a man’ – toxic masculinity, social media and violence
A report by Innovation Unit into youth violence in Greater Manchester reveals pressures on young males to conform to toxic images of masculinity, and the role of social media in this.
Cultural competency in the workplace
Rachel Knight from Innovation Unit Australia New Zealand discusses how Innovation Unit started her cultural competency journey, and some ways to help people engage with Te Āo Māori in the workplace.
Ka Mua, Ka Muri
How to look back to Te Āo Māori/the Māori world to advance your design research practices.
This is one of two blog posts based on Rachel and Kataraina’s talk at the 2019 UX New Zealand conference, which you can watch here.
Listen to the community to tackle violent crime
PRESS RELEASE: 350 people in Greater Manchester share their experiences and solutions on violence affecting young people in new report out today.
Co-designing whole-school STEM culture in Western Australia
Innovation Unit is delighted to congratulate 2019’s winner of the Governor’s School STEM Awards – Brookman Primary School – and runner-up Pannawonica Primary School, who have been awarded for their approach to bringing a whole-of-school STEM culture to life.
False choices and gaps in the mental health system
Matthew Horne, Deputy Chief Executive at Innovation Unit, explains why we need new systems of support that help people to live well.
Two-year international learning project on urban health begins
Innovation Unit are delighted to be working with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity on an international learning project to help them build their understanding of how living in urban areas affects people’s health and wellbeing.
New research helps reimagine education
PRESS RELEASE: Seven in ten teachers say they wish schools were preparing students for more than just exams. New report on reimagining education launched by charity Big Change and Innovation Unit.
Classrooms are not enough – new research report suggests
PRESS RELEASE: A radical new report from World Innovation Summit for Education-Innovation Unit calls for learners to get out of the classroom more and grasp the opportunities of flexible modern ‘learning ecosystems’.
Thoughts on the Long Term Plan
In this blog series we explore three priority areas of the NHS Long Term Plan and provide our view on what we think it will take in practice to achieve the ambition it sets out.
In this first instalment, Sarah Dew discusses the importance of scaling solutions that work for people, not conditions.
Falling through the gaps – new research into care leavers’ experiences
A new research report reveals key insights about the experiences of care leavers leaving prison, and the opportunities and challenges they face following release.
Looking ‘under the bonnet’ of No Wrong Door
We’re helping six Greater Manchester local authorities adapt and adopt No Wrong Door – last week they visited North Yorkshire to experience the model first-hand
Three new board members join Innovation Unit
PRESS RELEASE: Innovation Unit appoints Directors from HMRC, Ufi and Richmond Upon Thames Council to their Board.
We’re one of the UK’s Leading Innovation Consultants!
We are delighted to feature as one of the FT’s Leading Innovation Consultants in the UK for the second year running.
New school models in the US: 10 things we have learned
Innovation Unit has been visiting and working with innovative schools in the United States for the past decade. Here are some important things we have learned.
How Social Innovation is Deeply Māori
In this article, Kataraina Davis, one of our New Zealand based Project Leads, reflects on her journey into social innovation.
Mindsets for Social Innovation
The following mindsets for social innovation were developed by Innovate Change prior to its merge with Innovation Unit.
Congratulations to our first Coach4Care coaches!
Last week ten ex-carers became the first Coach4Care coaches to offer support to carers and those they care for.
New social work model: taking a longer term view
The Named Social Worker programme has a simple goal: to help people with autism, learning disabilities and mental health conditions lead a good life.
Mission accomplished? Not quite.
We’re looking for two new UK Board Directors to help us get there. If you’re an experienced leader with values that align with ours we would love to hear from you. Please register your interest by 23rd November 2018.
Revealing potential for Healthier High Streets
Over the past year we have been working with a dedicated partnership of funders and London Councils to explore the potential of business and community led ideas that help people make healthier food choices on our high streets.
Tender opportunity: Evaluator for the Living Well UK programme
Want to assess the impact of a new model for community mental health services? We are looking for an evaluation partner for a new ambitious programme supported by the Big Lottery Fund running over three years.
Can an end also be a beginning?
Nick Webb, our lead for mental health, writes an alternative job description for the new Minister for Suicide.
Living Well UK programme announced
PRESS RELEASE: New Living Well UK programme will take innovative approach to improving mental health to four new areas thanks to £3.4 million in National Lottery funding.
Single mothers’ journeys reveal a broken housing system
A new report reveals deep gaps between housing support services, and shines a light on opportunities for system-level change.
Improving outcomes for care leavers with prison sentences
Funded by The Oak Foundation, Innovation Unit and partners have begun work to develop a deeper understanding of the issues facing care leavers given prison sentences and their experiences of being in custody and following release.
Upcoming webinar: learning from the Named Social Worker
On Tuesday 31st July Innovation Unit and SCIE will be hosting a free webinar to share and discuss learning from the Named Social Worker Programme.
How edtech can transform learning for the better
In the third contribution to Education Week’s Learning Deeply blog series, Sarah Ward and Tom Beresford share successful examples from Singapore and the United States that show how technology is implemented in schools makes all the difference for student learning.
Healthy High Streets in the news
BBC News coverage of Public Health England’s work on mapping fast food hotspots mentions Tasters Fried Chicken’s new healthier menu for children, which came about as part of our work on Healthy High Streets.
Takiwā Waihangā – Our Māori identity
As New Zealand’s Innovate Change merges with Innovation Unit, we create a new Māori identity that connects us to our place in Aotearoa.
Merger with NZ social change agency Innovate Change
On 1 July 2018, Innovate Change will merge with Innovation Unit, a not-for-profit social enterprise that creates new solutions for thriving societies.
New school-design partnership with Unlocking Potential
Innovation Unit are delighted to be working with Unlocking Potential to support them in the design of a unique primary school for children living in the London Borough of Brent.
Helping you adapt and adopt innovation in children’s social care
On Friday 20 April, we brought together social work leaders and managers from across the UK to learn from innovative approaches to working with adolescents with complex needs.
Scaling innovation: a collective endeavour
How can healthcare leaders create cultures in which innovative solutions can scale up? Sarah Dew, Project Lead at Innovation Unit, explores what needs to change.
Decisions that can make or break an integrated care strategy
Jonny Mallinson, Head of Alliances for Change at Innovation Unit, reflects on the rapid progress made by West London CCG as they move towards community-based models of care that are innovative, integrated and sustainable.
Flogging Dead Horses – Making the case for new school designs
In the second contribution to Education Week’s Learning Deeply blog series, David Jackson explains the need to build new schools in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.
In conversation with… William Roberts
The latest NHS Confederation podcast looks at new care models in the NHS. Innovation Unit’s Health and Social Care Lead, William Roberts, offers his insight and experience of successfully spreading change across networks.
Scaling innovation twitter chat
On Thursday 15 March Q Community hosted a Twitter chat with David Albury and Tim Horton, discussing how innovations are successfully scaled in the NHS.
We welcome William Roberts as Head of Health & Social Care
William joins our expanding team, bringing significant health experience from both the NHS and local government, where he has held a number of key roles over the last twenty years.
Turning the tide on tragedy
How do we create thriving societies for good mental health? We need to stop working person to person and take a more holistic approach, supporting connected groups of individuals, friends, families, neighbourhoods and caregivers.
Healthy High Streets features in healthy eating campaign
Yesterday, Vicki Purewal joined the launch event for a new report on inner-city childhood obesity to talk about Healthy High Streets – the healthy eating project we are delivering with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.
New solutions, impact at scale: innovation for the many not the few
Scale is a word on many lips and wish lists. And nowhere is scale a more urgent or important priority than in our public services. So how do you scale an innovation that works? How do you persuade and support people to adopt a new solution to a wicked problem that actually has impact?
Innovation Unit nominated as MCA Awards 2018 Finalist
We are delighted to have been nominated as a finalist in the Change Management in the Public Sector category at this year’s MCA Awards for our health and social care project My Care, My Way in partnership with PPL and West London CCG.
What does it take to deliver truly person-centred care?
As part of the Named Social Worker programme, Innovation Unit, SCIE and the Department of Health & Social Care hosted a webinar to explore what it takes to deliver person-centred care.
Named Social Worker Update
The six pilot sites have been busy implementing their approaches to Named Social Work over the past few months. Here’s some of what has been happening…
Deeper learning demands deeper purposes
In this first contribution to Education Week’s Learning Deeply blog series, Valerie Hannon and Amelia Peterson explain why education systems need to rethink what it means to be educated.
Scaling up innovation requires action at multiple levels
A new research report looks at ways to ensure the successful uptake of innovations in healthcare to relieve the NHS’ financial and operational pressures, say Will Walburton and David Albury.
Against the Odds: Successfully scaling innovation in the NHS
New research published today calls for new approaches that ensure more tried and tested healthcare innovations reach those who could benefit.
We’re one of the UK’s Leading Management Consultants 2018
We are delighted to have been named in the Financial Times Leading Management Consultants 2018 list in the ‘Innovation, growth and new business models’ category.
Innovation Unit welcomes Heather Rolinson as Director
We are delighted to announce that Heather Rolinson has joined Innovation Unit as Director of Innovation Consultancy. Heather takes on the role that was previously filled by Matthew Horne, who is holding the post of Chief Executive whilst Sarah Gillinson is on maternity leave.
Innovation Unit begins research with Save the Children UK
Innovation Unit are excited to be working alongside Save The Children UK to conduct deep, ethnographic research with a families living in poverty across the South East.
Better Endings final learning event
Everyone deserves great care and support for themselves and their families at the end of life. We know this doesn’t always happen.
Hertfordshire Family Safeguarding wins top Guardian award
Congratulations to Guardian Public Service Awards 2017 overall winner Hertfordshire County Council for their Family Safeguarding model, funded by the DfE’s Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme.
Innovation Unit at the Hospice UK Conference 2017
Today, 24th November 2017, our Chief Executive Sarah Gillinson is sharing insights from Better Endings, a year-long innovation programme funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, as part of a session on ‘Applying design thinking in end of life care’.
Innovation Unit Australia is hiring!
Innovation Unit Australia is looking for superstar social innovation senior project leaders, senior service designers and other researchers, practitioners and changemakers.
Named Social Worker Update
Interested in person-centred care, learning disabilities and social care? Join our free webinar on 6th December to hear from speakers across the social care system.
Ella Walding wins International Service Design Award 2017
Congratulations to Ella Walding for winning Service Design Network’s International Service Design Award for her project helping the Maltese Government to apply design thinking and make change happen.
Collaborating for greater impact across the UK public sector
We’re delighted to announce that Innovation Unit support and services are now available across the UK public sector through a pan-government framework agreement.
Human-scale at Scale – Cultivating new education cultures
We’re always looking to learn from others about what it takes to take innovation to scale. Human-scale at Scale is a report based on a 10-week research fellowship, funded by Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. It explores how student-centred approaches to learning can scale and spread beyond their site of origin.
Flogging Dead Horses – Making the case for new school designs
A building revolution is taking place across Australia. State governments and education systems are commissioning new school builds in response to population growth and the changing demographics of both regions and metropolitan areas across their jurisdictions.
Healthy High Streets Challenge
Calling all business owners, entrepreneurs and community changemakers – do you have an idea that will make healthier food choices easier for children and young people on the high street?
Healthy High Streets
How can we make our high streets healthier for children and young people? Innovation Unit announces the three London high streets we’ll be working in to tackle childhood obesity.
Digital Learning in Africa
Innovation Unit starts an exciting research project working with UNICEF, in partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation and Aga Khan Education Services, to envisage the opportunity for digital learning in and across Africa.
Three new sites launch phase two of Named Social Worker
Delivered by Innovation Unit and the Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE), six local authorities will now be supported to design, implement and evaluate a named social worker approach.
Innovating around the world: extending our impact to New Zealand
Innovation Unit Australia has formed an exciting new union with New Zealand’s Innovate Change, as the two organisations signed an official partnership agreement today.
Imagining a future system for mental health
At Innovation Unit we marked World Mental Health Day 2017 with a small, informal workshop which brought together a group of passionate advocates to consider new solutions around mental health.
Improving outcomes for children & young people by spreading innovation
PRESS RELEASE: Innovation Unit has joined together with SCIE to create a briefing which looks at how to mobilise learning from new ideas so that more children, young people and their families can benefit.
What is innovation, and what does it have to offer end of life care?
Over the last year, we’ve been working on an end of life innovation programme, Better Endings. Based in Lambeth and Southwark, and funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, we’ve been exploring what radically better end of life care could look like.
Delivering asset-based services for young people
This time last week we took part in a conference hosted by North Yorkshire County Council to share how the No Wrong Door model has helped rethink care for adolescents.
Will the UK Metro Mayors change British Politics?
Vicki Purewal, who leads our work on Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, responds to the key question raised at an Institute for Government (IfG) and Joseph Rowntree Foundation panel event at the Labour Party conference fringe earlier this week.
Coach4Care workshop – how you can get involved
Coach4Care is a service that improves the resilience and well-being of those who are caring for someone at the end of their life using coaching methods from experienced caregivers.
Patients must be at the heart of the NHS – and of innovation
The third instalment of the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) series from Amanda Begley explains why health innovators must adopt the core principles of the NHS Constitution, ensuring that the patient is at the heart of everything they do.
Starting conversations that matter
We’re in the prototyping phase of Better Endings and need your help! Join our conversation challenge and help to test a kit that is designed to help you have more meaningful conversations with your loved ones.
Apart of Me
This digital platform helps young people and adults find resilience when someone in their family is dying or has died.
The power of interdependence
The ageing of the baby boomer generation brings both excitement and anxiety. Excitement about how this rebellious generation may change the way we look at older people, and anxiety about the social care support they will need in the future.
Tackling childhood obesity
Innovation Unit to start work on exciting new project to tackle childhood obesity on three of London’s high streets.
IU on the radio
Congratulations to our Service Designer Un-Jeong Ko, whose team won BBC Radio 4’s The Fix with their policy design to encourage people to cut down on excessive drinking.
Come and help us change the world…
We are recruiting to three senior posts that will complete Innovation Unit’s talented and committed leadership team.
We’re hiring! Join us as an IU intern
Innovation Unit is looking for three interns to join the team.
STEM, STEAM, STEMM – does it matter?
What’s in an acronym, and how do ‘brands’ create permission for educational change?
Healthcare professionals need to raise the ‘weight issue’
We all recognise the scale of the obesity problem, and that stigma attached to being overweight makes it difficult for people to ask for support, so why aren’t more health professionals identifying the problem and taking action that can help?
Update on Named Social Worker Pilot
Last year’s pilot scheme shares findings and prepares to roll out further.
Developing innovation with impact
In her second post, Stacey Quince, Principal at Campelltown Performing Arts High School (CPAHS), reflects on the journey her school – and her system – is taking to transform the purpose and nature of learning.
Engaging in work that matters
In the first of two posts, Stacey Quince, Principal at Campbelltown Performing Arts High School, reflects on the journey her school is taking to transform the purpose and nature of learning.
What Does it Mean to Thrive?
Innovation Unit CEO Sarah Gillinson shares her response to our recent event ‘Learning to Thrive’
In a changing world, we must find a common vision that unites us.
The Role of Evidence in Scaling Healthcare Innovation
How can we build trust for healthcare innovations that have the potential to change lives for the better?
Learning to Thrive:- Special Event
A special event co-hosted by Innovation Unit, Webb Memorial Trust and Compass to discuss what it means to thrive in a changing world.
Context is King
How can we use edtech in schools and what does it mean for school design?
The edtech litmus test
What does it really take to reap the promise of technology? Five experts judge the value and role of technology in education.
Thrive: Schools reinvented for the real challenges we face
Valerie Hannon’s new book, being launched in the UK on 28th June 2017, challenges us all to rethink the fundamental purpose of education for our time.
We are asymmetric: what the election says about what divides us
It is early days, but I think the data will indicate, as in the US, that our divided politics reflects a more culturally divided society.
To team IU: a note about the election result…
Just a very quick note from me before the day gets going to acknowledge the latest seismic event in our elected politics!
Scale and innovation in early years
Sarah Gillinson, asks ‘what can the UK learn from the transformation journey made by Goodstart in Australia?’.