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Get your feet on the ground: insights from scouting local innovations

It’s now common to find innovation via the internet and often the search for solutions can fall into familiar patterns, following well-trodden paths. We decided that this process was ripe for change and so we went off that beaten track and worked with experienced local scouts to find innovation from offline communities in new places. We were amazed at what we found and proud to share our method and insights here.

Local producer of hand sanitiser in Ghana

What we did

What came back

Here are 5 things we’ve learned

1. Having feet on the ground is crucial

2. Communication barriers are a reality

3. It’s almost impossible to work with local innovators if there is no trust in the working relationship

4. Scouts need to be empowered and enabled

5. Offers need to be tailored

We hope that some of our learnings will be useful to others. By embracing inclusiveness across our scouting techniques, we believe we created a true “open call” and one that is bound to evolve as we continue our work. In a world where everything seems so highly connected, and conversations can take place in real time around the world it may seem that the internet is the only way to find innovation. This is clearly not the case.