Engage with our views and ideas. Discover our latest news. Read our latest research insights and learning reports.
Engage with our views & ideas.
Find out our latest news.
Our latest research insights & learning reports.
Learning Live: nine months alongside Health Equality Development Grantees
At Innovation Unit, we have years of experience as a learning partner, helping programme participants understand and share insights about what’s working, what’s not and why.
24 Jun 22
A reflection on the second Collective Change Kōrero – what’s emerging?
Taking the time – having the space to stop, reflect and then converge with other changemakers when there is so much else to be done – is the perfect time to join a kōrero to think about what we are currently doing and what could be possible to make space to create change.
17 Jun 22
Would you like to grow your design expertise to lead social change?
At Innovation Unit, we use design to help tackle the inequalities we see around us. Last year, we established our own in-house service design academy to provide high level design skills, confidence and experience for professionals working in social innovation and public service transformation.
30 May 22
Q&A with Dr Bob Klaber: a blog from the Shelford Group
Dr Bob Klaber, Consultant Paediatrician and Director of Strategy, Research and Innovation at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICHT) and Chair of the Shelford Strategy Directors subgroup, describes how anchor institutions can improve the health and wellbeing of their local populations.
19 May 22
How do you lead transformation? Let’s look at building shared purpose in others
Decentralising leadership and the work of change, and distributing it to the peopl who will eventually be asked to deliver what emerges results in new services and new solutions that are far more likely to meet people’s needs holistically and effectively.
17 May 22
How do you design a structure for partnering across the NHS, local authorities and community groups?
Alex Baylis of The King’s Fund, Savannah Fishel of Innovation Unit and Sonakshi Anand of Institute for Voluntary Action Research have some insights from cross-sector place-based partnerships tackling health inequalities.
12 May 22
Living Well Derbyshire: transforming adult mental health
Innovation Unit is scaling the Living Well approach in Derbyshire: creating new mental health teams who meet people’s needs in their community.
12 May 22
Health Anchors: Moving from Plan to Action
Missed the event? Catch up on the speakers, crowdsourced top tips and everything else that happened.
28 Apr 22
How do we know we’re making a difference? Let’s rethink, and invest in, what we’re measuring
When we considered how to evaluate Living Well, we quickly realised the current ways of collecting and evaluating data wouldn’t meet our aspirations to understand how a person had experienced support or a change in their life – or how ‘healthy’ the system itself was in delivering that support.
08 Apr 22
Trust Takes Time: lessons for VCSE organisations partnering with the NHS
Learnings from The National Lottery Community Fund Health Equality programme and Generation Medics’ NHS partnership
04 Apr 22
Ground-breaking consortium appointed to deliver new online portal for people experiencing homelessness in WA
Infoxchange, Anglicare, Innovation Unit and Anthologie have been appointed as a consortium to deliver a world-first digital access portal for the WA Government and homeless sector.
30 Mar 22
How can the NHS support the most excluded through its role as an anchor organisation?
It has a unique opportunity to help – but more could be done to optimise impact.
23 Mar 22
HALN: one year of learning
Over the past year, we’ve supported anchors during the early stages of their journey, helping them share and learn how to set up an anchor mission, how to work in partnership and how to overcome barriers.
28 Feb 22
How we’re trying to bring anti racism to our practice and project work
Last year Innovation Unit committed to becoming an anti racist organisation.
25 Feb 22
Levelling up: bricks and mortar were never going to be enough
There is a lot to welcome in the government’s Levelling Up White Paper. We support the recognition that tackling entrenched regional inequality will not be a quick fix and the commitment to a long-term agenda of systems change, innovation and devolution.
24 Feb 22
Growing a movement of Radical Caring with community and grassroots projects across London
Thrive LDN is working in partnership with Mind in the City, Hackney & Waltham Forest (CHWF) and Innovation Unit, to grow a culture of Radical Caring in different places and communities across London.
08 Feb 22
How does giving up power transform mental health systems? Let’s look at real co-production
In the mental health space, we often hear people talking about the use of co-production in relation to practice. What takes more commitment, however, is the leadership and courage to weave co-production into the fabric of a system.
04 Feb 22
Growing cultures of Radical Caring
With growing evidence that the pandemic has widened pre-existing inequalities, there is a critical need to radically rethink the way in which support is offered, particularly for marginalised individuals and communities.
03 Feb 22
Working at Innovation Unit might be your next big adventure
As Chief Executive, I would say this, but I think now is a really good moment to join Innovation Unit. Over the next couple of months, we are delighted to be recruiting to multiple roles across the organisation.
02 Feb 22
Engaging the NHS as a voluntary / community sector organisation – shared challenges
The National Lottery Community Fund and the Innovation Unit are working together to connect and convene the Health Equality partnerships to generate and share learning, and communicate this learning to wider audiences.
01 Feb 22
We need more and different perspectives, skills and experience to meet the challenges ahead
In 2022, we are embarking on the next phase of our evolution to maximise our positive impact in the world. Like everyone else on the planet, the past two years have been tumultuous and challenging for our team and for our work.
27 Jan 22
Why is change so hard? Let’s explore the human experience of transformation
Over the past four years, we’ve been creating new systems of community mental health in Living Well sites across the UK including Edinburgh, Salford and Tameside and Glossop. So far the programme has supported some 2,500 people who might not otherwise have been helped and generated over five million pounds of additional investment in local mental health systems.
13 Jan 22
Collective Changemaker Kōrero
Inspiring Communities, Hui E! Community Aotearoa, the Innovation Unit and TSI’s Co-Design Lab invited about 30 people from across the country into two conversations about collective change.
18 Dec 21
Innovation Unit ANZ is recruiting!
Innovation Unit Australia New Zealand is looking for a talented and experienced Project Lead or Senior Project Lead, based in Auckland, New Zealand.
15 Dec 21
Engaging with the out-of-home-care sector to produce better outcomes for children and families
To truly make a difference in the lives of children and young people in care and their families, we must be a driving force in sector and system-wide change.
01 Dec 21
IUANZ Learning Series: Insights on Thriving Families/Whānau
If we are going to build the families of tomorrow and help them to thrive, and support them in a way that we all want, we need to make sure that we get the fundamentals right. It is crucial that services meet the challenges that families are facing in today’s changing climate.
19 Oct 21
Achieving better outcomes for children and young people at Parkerville Children and Youth Services through radically personalised shared care journeys
Following a co-design process involving over 100 young people, families, carers, community group representatives and survivors of the Stolen Generation, a new model of Out-of-Home Care for Parkerville CYC is being developed with the support of Lotterywest.
29 Sep 21
5 things we’ve learnt about play in Aotearoa (so far)
13 Aug 21
12 Aug 21
The state of social housing in Western Australia: Ideas and innovations for the future (part 2 of 2)
Making meaningful changes to the state of social housing in Western Australia requires a combination of scaling the solutions we know work, and using innovation to develop new solutions that serve the most vulnerable in our communities.
09 Aug 21
Innovation Unit appointed to the Aotearoa New Zealand All of Government (AoG) Consultancy Panel
25 Jun 21
IUANZ Learning Series: Insights on Thriving Young People/Rangatahi
Our young people are facing an uncertain future, and the context in which young people today are gaining an education and entering the workforce is significantly different from past generations. The future state of education and employment must transition to adapt to these circumstances, and meet the challenges that young people are disproportionately facing.
18 Jun 21
The Case for Change: No Wrong Door shows the way
A picture paints a thousand words, they say, so what better way to explain a fresh approach to children’s social care to staff, young people and their families than through an animation?
17 Jun 21
Learning from a crisis: webinar
Catch up with our conversation with Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Chris Naylor, CEO at London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.
16 Jun 21
Learning from a crisis: how we need ambitious and enabling political leadership
A conversation with Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Chris Naylor, CEO at London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.
27 May 21
A perfect storm: What the end of the rental moratorium says about the state of social housing in Western Australia (part 1 of 2)
There are growing fears that homelessness could rise in Western Australia (WA) with the end of government policies like JobKeeper coinciding with the end of the rental moratorium.
26 May 21
A vision for change publication
How we can work together to make a lasting difference in towns, cities and communities
24 May 21
Place-based transformation takes time. Lots of it.
To really make a difference, you need to be in it for the long-haul. As the final blog in our series explains.
22 May 21
Successful place-based transformation requires an inclusive strategy for local economic growth
The penultimate blog in our series on place-based transformation looks at why new approaches to local economic development are emerging. In particular we look at asking more serious questions about local impact.
14 May 21
10 creatives to help bring your stories to life
We’ve loved collaborating with a range of talented creatives over the years, and encourage others to work with artists – such as illustrators, designers, photographers and videographers – to communicate complex issues in better ways.
12 May 21
People power: working together to make a difference
The next in our series on place-based transformation looks at using community organising to create radical local change.
10 May 21
Why existing and emerging local leaders need space and confidence to fail, grow and thrive
Part seven of our place-based transformation series looks at grow-your-own local leadership
18 Mar 21
How to get the schools we need? Rethink their purpose
We need an overarching goal for schools that is aligned to the new reality we are in.
12 Mar 21
Why place-based transformation requires teams to work at all levels of the system
Part six of our series shows how successful, sustainable change requires action from top to bottom and back up again.
09 Mar 21
We need new solutions for sustainable recovery: Innovation Unit response to 2021 Budget
Plans for sustainable recovery in the budget are welcome but the government still doesn’t seem to understand what it will really take to improve people’s lives.
03 Mar 21
Lateral leadership and custodianship – a legacy of Covid?
This piece is about leadership and governance, informed by the insights of 100+ front-line workers and leaders across Greater Manchester and their reflection on what they experienced and learned during their Covid response.
26 Feb 21
Reform of NHS England: Innovation Unit’s view
In response to the news that the government is planning to reverse reforms of the NHS in England, Sarah Gillinson, chief executive of Innovation Unit says more should be done to achieve greater integration and innovation.
11 Feb 21
How Greater Manchester rapidly adapted systems and processes to meet people’s needs
This blog is about what happens when the state gets firmly behind a clear, shared purpose in local communities and the lessons that emerge when it does.
04 Feb 21
How to learn your way forward when you don’t know what the next step will bring
The next in our series on place-based transformation focuses on the role of learning as you go when delivering large-scale community change
03 Feb 21
Working in a crisis: what Greater Manchester learnt about how we work
We are in our third National lockdown, and have been told once again to work from home, where we can. There is so much that we have learnt in this crisis about how we work, communicate and collaborate, and so much that has already been transformed.
28 Jan 21
From programmes to people
“This is what we have. Who needs it most?” From programmes to people in Greater Manchester’s Covid response.
27 Jan 21
How ‘getting on with it’ can reap the rewards when it comes to place-based transformation
Part 4 in our series on place-based transformation argues that meticulous planning is unnecessary and that more progress can be made by starting and doing
26 Jan 21
How to understand people and places
Part 3 in our series finds there can be no vision or meaningful action for place-based transformation without an appreciation of the locality and its residents
22 Jan 21
Disruptive learning in and from a crisis
Learning from innovation in a crisis: how the disruption of Covid has given Greater Manchester the chance to ‘design forward differently’
13 Jan 21
Learning from innovation in a crisis
13 Jan 21
Why a bold, positive vision is essential for any successful transformation of place
Part two of our series on Place-Based Transformation is on the need for inspiration and ambition as the starting point of a strategy for change
12 Jan 21
What does it take to transform a place?
Part one of our series shows how place-based transformation substantially improves the life chances of local residents – when it’s done well.
07 Jan 21
What does the Covid-19 pandemic mean for young people’s mental and emotional wellbeing in Lambeth?
The new report, ‘What does the Covid-19 pandemic mean for young people’s mental and emotional wellbeing in Lambeth?’, captures the experiences and emotional lives of a group of young people living in Lambeth during the Covid-19 pandemic.
22 Dec 20
Talking to young people in Lambeth
As we move towards nationwide vaccination and we look forward to the end of the pandemic, we should take the time to think: what has 2020 meant for the emotional lives of young people? What does it mean for future forms of care and support?
22 Dec 20
Innovating our way through a pandemic: the Strengthening Families, Protecting Children programme
Learning from scaling innovation in children’s social care.
16 Dec 20
Human Connection, Socially Distanced
Shining a light on intergenerational connection through the COVID19 pandemic.
14 Dec 20
A collaborative approach to innovation and living well could transform the way we deliver care
Innovation Unit head of health and social care William Roberts sets out a vision for a stronger, more sustainable model of care that supports older people to live better lives for longer.
07 Dec 20
Fund local innovation to tackle local inequality
Up to 10% of the government’s new levelling-up fund must be dedicated to innovation if the initiative is to achieve the impact intended.
25 Nov 20
A Journey to Recovery: shifts in thinking about women’s refuges (part 2)
KEY INSIGHTS FROM CO-DESIGN
19 Oct 20
A Journey to Recovery: shifts in thinking about women’s refuges (part 1)
GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR WOMEN’S REFUGES
19 Oct 20
IU expands its leadership capacity in New Zealand and Australia
PRESS RELEASE: Jade Tang-Taylor to lead Innovation Unit New Zealand
05 Oct 20
NEW REPORT: Building stronger communities through parent-led support
23 Sep 20
Bridging the Gaps
NEW REPORT: Bridging the Gaps – new approaches to improving outcomes for care experienced young people given prison sentences.
31 Jul 20
Redesigning the mental health system around people and communities
23 Jul 20
From Crisis to Renewal: Redesigning the mental health system around people and communities
The new report, ‘From crisis to renewal: Redesigning the mental health system around people and communities’, captures changes in the mental health system in response to Covid-19 and advocates for a new mental health vision shifting power towards communities.
16 Jul 20
Tackling youth violence, now young people are online more than ever
How can we use the covid-19 crisis as an opportunity to reduce youth violence?
10 Jul 20
The Power of Story
Our work as part of the Living Well UK Programme has shown us that stories are vital for producing change and improving people’s lives.
02 Jul 20
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.
18 May 20
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.
18 May 20
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.
06 May 20
An age-friendly Tāmaki Makaurau
A new report from Innovation Unit NZ investigates approaches to making Auckland an age-friendly region.
17 Apr 20
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.
15 Apr 20
An age-friendly Tāmaki Makaurau
Auckland Council commissioned Innovation Unit ANZ to bring to life key opportunities for system-level collaboration to make Auckland a more age-friendly region, based on feedback from older Aucklanders.
14 Apr 20
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.
09 Apr 20
‘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.
02 Apr 20
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.
16 Dec 19
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.
11 Dec 19
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.
05 Dec 19
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.
03 Dec 19
Ngā Kokonga Ngākau Perceptions and Experiences of Māori Heart Health in Te Tai Tokerau
The Heart Foundation of New Zealand commissioned Innovation Unit Australia New Zealand to lead a social innovation process in Te Tai Tokerau to explore how they might enable Māori to be screened for cardiovascular disease at a younger age.
29 May 19
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.
08 May 19
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.
07 May 19
Reimagining Education Together
This report from Innovation Unit in partnership with Big Change demonstrates how important it is for parents, teachers and pupils to be brought along, as well as the communities around them.
02 May 19
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.
02 May 19
Local Learning Ecosystems: Emerging Models
The report, Local Learning Ecosystems: emerging models is part of the WISE report series, in this case in partnership with Innovation Unit, a leading innovation social enterprise.
30 Apr 19
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’.
30 Apr 19
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.
15 Mar 19
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.
28 Feb 19
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
20 Feb 19
Three new board members join Innovation Unit
PRESS RELEASE: Innovation Unit appoints Directors from HMRC, Ufi and Richmond Upon Thames Council to their Board.
11 Feb 19
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.
30 Jan 19
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.
18 Dec 18
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.
04 Dec 18
Mindsets for Social Innovation
The following mindsets for social innovation were developed by Innovate Change prior to its merge with Innovation Unit.
03 Dec 18
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.
20 Nov 18
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.
12 Nov 18
The opportunities and challenges of ICT for learning
Innovation Unit in partnership Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) and Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) have been working with UNICEF’s regional offices in sub-saharan Africa to better understand the opportunities and challenges of ICT for learning on outcomes for young people.
06 Nov 18
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.
30 Oct 18
Healthy High Streets Final Project Report
Finding ideas from the high street to make healthy eating easier for children and families.
23 Oct 18
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.
23 Oct 18
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.
16 Oct 18
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.
12 Oct 18
Housing Instability in Tāmaki Makaurau
Auckland Council commissioned Innovation Unit Australia New Zealand to understand peoples’ experiences of housing instability to inform a cross-sectoral homelessness plan for Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland)
26 Sep 18
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.
20 Sep 18
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.
20 Sep 18
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.
31 Aug 18
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.
16 Jul 18
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.
09 Jul 18
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.
05 Jul 18
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.
15 Jun 18
15 Jun 18
People Powered Health: Health for people, by people and with people
15 Jun 18
Myths and Mechanisms of Scaling Innovations
15 Jun 18
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.
08 Jun 18
10 solutions for 21st century healthcare
A collection of healthcare innovations that are beginning to answer some of the most challenging questions in healthcare.
06 Jun 18
10 Ideas for 21st Century Healthcare
The ideas in this booklet describe how radically different services might be achieved. They are some of the vital principles that should underpin 21st century healthcare.
06 Jun 18
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.
30 Apr 18
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.
27 Apr 18
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.
27 Apr 18
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.
26 Apr 18
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.
25 Apr 18
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.
19 Mar 18
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.
16 Mar 18
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.
01 Mar 18
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.
01 Mar 18
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.
28 Feb 18
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?
02 Feb 18
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.
31 Jan 18
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.
31 Jan 18
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…
31 Jan 18
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.
25 Jan 18
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.
24 Jan 18
Against the odds: successfully scaling innovation in the nhs
Innovation Unit and The Health Foundation have joined forces to call on system leaders and policymakers to do more to create the right conditions for innovations to scale in the NHS.
24 Jan 18
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.
24 Jan 18
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.
22 Jan 18
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.
12 Jan 18
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.
14 Dec 17
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.
11 Dec 17
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.
29 Nov 17
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’.
24 Nov 17
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.
23 Nov 17
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.
16 Nov 17
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.
09 Nov 17
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.
08 Nov 17
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.
02 Nov 17
Human-scale at Scale: Cultivating new education cultures
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.
01 Nov 17
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.
31 Oct 17
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?
27 Oct 17
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.
26 Oct 17
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.
25 Oct 17
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.
19 Oct 17
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.
18 Oct 17
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.
10 Oct 17
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.
09 Oct 17
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.
04 Oct 17
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.
02 Oct 17
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.
29 Sep 17
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.
27 Sep 17
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.
27 Sep 17
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.
20 Sep 17
Apart of Me
This digital platform helps young people and adults find resilience when someone in their family is dying or has died.
15 Sep 17
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.
13 Sep 17
Tackling childhood obesity
Innovation Unit to start work on exciting new project to tackle childhood obesity on three of London’s high streets.
11 Sep 17
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.
07 Sep 17
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.
04 Sep 17
We’re hiring! Join us as an IU intern
Innovation Unit is looking for three interns to join the team.
25 Aug 17
STEM, STEAM, STEMM – does it matter?
What’s in an acronym, and how do ‘brands’ create permission for educational change?
18 Aug 17
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?
16 Aug 17
Update on Named Social Worker Pilot
Last year’s pilot scheme shares findings and prepares to roll out further.
11 Aug 17
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.
28 Jul 17
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.
18 Jul 17
Department of Health and Social Care Named Social Worker
Between 2016 and 2018, Innovation Unit and the Social Care Institute for Excellence supported nine local authorities to develop, implement and evaluate a Named Social Worker approach.
18 Jul 17
What Does it Mean to Thrive?
Innovation Unit CEO Sarah Gillinson shares her response to our recent event ‘Learning to Thrive’
05 Jul 17
In a changing world, we must find a common vision that unites us.
05 Jul 17
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?
28 Jun 17
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.
27 Jun 17
Context is King
How can we use edtech in schools and what does it mean for school design?
22 Jun 17
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.
19 Jun 17
Local Family Offer
When children are exposed to certain kinds of conflict between their parents it affects their mental, emotional and physical well-being, when they are young but also in later life. The importance of improving family relationships is clear. What is not clear is who should help, and how?
15 Jun 17
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.
13 Jun 17
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.
12 Jun 17
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!
09 Jun 17
Children’s social care innovation programme
In 2014 the Department for Education (DfE) announced a two year, £100m innovation fund to support 53 bold new approaches to transform outcomes for children and young people in care. The success of the programme led to a second phase beginning in 2016, with £200m committed over four years.
06 Jun 17
Scale and innovation in early years
Sarah Gillinson, asks ‘what can the UK learn from the transformation journey made by Goodstart in Australia?’.
31 May 17
When my dad was dying, they forgot to ask him how he wanted to live
Professionals arrived to do the job they were sent to do – take bloods, give drugs, request a hospital bed at home. They didn’t take the time to understand that what Dad wanted most was to be outside, to feel the sun on his face.
22 May 17
3 Ideas for Fostering
This Foster Care Fortnight, we celebrate three fantastic examples of work happening across England, Scotland, and Wales.
17 May 17
Enough conversation. Let’s do death differently.
It’s Dying Matters Awareness Week: A time when we are all encouraged to talk about death, in the hope that it will help us to ‘die better’ than we would in silence.
11 May 17
Today we launch IU Australia. Time to feel proud.
Today we launch Innovation Unit Australia. On both sides of the world, we are seriously proud and excited to have got to this point.
03 May 17
Innovation Unit spins out Australian organisation
Innovation Unit Australia will offer disciplined approaches to social innovation aimed at tackling the increasing inequality experienced across Australia and further strengthening our international capacity.
02 May 17
How to have a better death
We’ve been talking to patients, their families, doctors and community services in Lambeth & Southwark to see how our health service can better deal with death. Here’s what we found out:
01 May 17
Thrive: schools reinvented for the real challenges we face argues that, given the real challenges we face in the world today, it is essential we ask what job we want schools to do?
01 May 17
Scale and innovation in early years – roundtable discussion
On Thursday 25th May 2017 we’ll be holding a roundtable event in London for a select group of early years leaders, innovators and experts.
21 Apr 17
To Intervene or Not to Intervene?
How local authorities can reduce parental conflict to improve outcomes for children.
07 Apr 17
CCG Innovation Fund wins patient experience award
City and Hackney CCG Innovation Fund wins major patient experience award Innovative commissioning programme celebrated for working directly with local communities to transform health and wellbeing outcomes.
22 Mar 17
Why relationships are key to good social work
Positive interactions between social workers and families are essential, but too often policies and practices act as a barrier.
17 Mar 17
Social innovation is a serious business. Seriously.
Social innovators from around the globe came together to explore how social innovation can have even greater positive social impact in the coming decade.
23 Feb 17
Named social worker — what we’re learning from local authorities
Having a named social worker means having the opportunity to develop relationships that really work.
14 Feb 17
From Finland to Torbay — 3 Inspirational Mental Health Innovations
Three examples of great innovations that are inspiring and we believe can make a real difference to mental health outcomes for everyone.
13 Feb 17
Remind me — what is it that you do?
Innovation Unit creates new solutions for thriving societies. To be clear about what this means we need to be clear about the impact we hope and expect to see in the world.
31 Jan 17
Trapped on site: scaling new practices in Australian schools
We take a closer look at our experience on the ground in Australia in designing and developing school models that are fit for the future, and what we can learn about education around the world.
31 Jan 17
Our Collective Mental Health Is Getting Worse — But Why?
The case for open-mindedness, curiosity and multidisciplinary collaboration.
11 Jan 17
Better Endings: creating new solutions for end of life care
Everybody deserves great support for themselves and for their families at the end of life. We know that at the moment this doesn’t always happen.
06 Dec 16
Is the UK in Need of a Micro School Revolution?
Thinking about new solutions for how we ‘do’ education, schools and learning has never been more important, but neither has it been more difficult.
30 Nov 16
Now more than ever
We’re in the midst of a major, global upheaval of norms and values that we have taken for granted as the aspirations of Western democracies. We must create serious, sustainable impact with and for communities that have been left behind.
09 Nov 16
Education Endowment Fund report published today
This EEF evaluation is an important contribution to the knowledge base about what it takes to implement new practices in English secondary schools.
04 Nov 16
Why the UK needs to understand when and how PBL really ‘works’
The truth is that the education sector is still not as close as it would like to be in really understanding when and how Project Based Learning has an impact on student outcomes.
04 Nov 16
Strong relationships as the golden thread in thriving societies
We all know that relationships matter. We are social beings. Our quality of life, indeed our happiness, is directly related to the degree to which we feel connected to others.
03 Nov 16
Most Likely to Succeed? Not currently.
What should the future of schooling in England look like and how can we make it happen?
01 Nov 16
Our Education System Needs More Architects — of School Redesign
To go beyond improvement and begin the process of reimagining and redesigning ‘school’, a certain kind of leadership will be required.
26 Oct 16
Thriving families need thriving communities
We believe that the Troubled Families programme failed to recognise and respond the important evidence of relationships within communities, as well as families.
24 Oct 16
Bloomberg Philanthropies European Mayors Challenge
In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced the winners of its first European Mayors Challenge, an ideas competition that encourages cities to come up with bold, inventive, and shareable responses to today’s toughest problems.
03 Oct 16
Social Prescribing: Making it Happen
Social prescribing is a way of linking primary care patients to sources of appropriate, non-clinical support in the community (Kinsella, 2015). This webinar explores how three different models of social prescribing work in practice.
21 Jul 16
Sarah Gillinson Interviews Paul Miller – Bethnal Green Ventures
An interview with Paul Miller today who leads strategy and partnerships at Bethnal Green Ventures – an accelerator programme for people who want to change the world using technology.
15 Jul 16
An open letter to the Prime Minister, Theresa May
Build a better future for all: create great public services that build agency and enable communities to thrive
13 Jul 16
Greater Manchester Guide: Developing Asset Based Approaches to Primary Care
This is a practical guide for getting started and growing asset based care at scale.
16 May 16
Wigan Community Link Worker Service Evaluation
The Wigan Community Link Worker (CLW) service has been jointly commissioned by Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group and Wigan Council with the aim of improving the health and wellbeing of local people through better connections to appropriate sources of support in the community.
15 May 16
How School System Leaders Can Create the Conditions for System-wide Innovation
This report produced in partnership with the RSA and the support of WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education) explores how school systems can create the conditions for successful innovation that transform outcomes for all learners.
01 Mar 16
From professional learning community to networked learning community
The world is becoming profoundly more knowledge-rich, and networks, in response, are now an increasingly significant organisational form. Characteristics of network-based knowledge and learning systems are paradigmatically different from the prevailing orthodoxies of the past.
02 Jan 16
People Powered Health: By us, for us
By us, For us: the power of co-design and co-delivery is one in a series of learning products which explain why People Powered Health works, what it looks like and the key features needed to replicate success elsewhere.
15 Jun 13
Cultural education in London: Making the Case for Change
Cultural Education in London: making the case for change presents the process and outcomes from a workshop held in Spring 2013 with colleagues from creative and cultural organisations around London.
08 Jun 13
10 Ideas for 21st Century Education
Around the world there is a growing global movement towards achieving the vision of 21st century education. 10 Ideas for 21st Century Education presents our view of what this vision looks like in practice.
06 Jun 13
21st century children’s centres
The Innovation Unit and the Pen Green Research Base were commissioned by the DfE (then DCSF) to organise a series of Think Tanks to ask some fundamental questions about children’s centres and their future.
06 Jun 13
10 Schools for the 21st century
Both collectively and individually we are heading for an uncertain future. The world is changing quickly and education must change with it.
06 Jun 13
The business case for people powered health
The Business Case for People Powered Health is intended for leaders, managers and practitioners across the health and social care system.
15 Apr 13
Learning a Living: radical innovation in education for work
Learning a Living is a timely, engaging and original contribution to the debate over the relationship between education, innovation, work and the workforce.
03 Jan 13
Work that matters: The teacher’s guide to project-based learning
A guide on project-based learning and advice for teachers, published by the Learning Futures Special Initiative in partnership with Innovation Unit.
15 Oct 12
The Engaging School: A handbook for school leaders
This handbook is designed for secondary school leaders who want their students to be much more deeply engaged in learning, their staff to be more engaging practitioners, and for their schools to be rich in engaging learning opportunities for the whole community.
08 May 12
Developing an Innovation Ecosystem for Education
In this paper, Valerie Hannon, Alec Patton, and Julie Temperley set out a comprehensive view of the context within which education systems and system leaders operate, and offer a practical approach to building in current and emerging innovative practices
05 Dec 11
PLACE: A case study
PLACE: Building a learning community without going to school is a case study part of a set of free, open-source publications.
15 Jun 08
Big Picture Learning
In 1995, Big Picture Learning burst upon America’s languishing public education system. This brainchild of two daring educators, Dennis Littky and Elliot Washor, has grabbed the hearts, hands and minds of young people, inspiring them to become: Lifelong learners. Productive workers. Engaged human beings.
06 Jun 08