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Social Procurement

The challenge

 

 

The Eidos 'The Place' Conversation tackled a significant economic and social gap - enabling government and business to buy from social enterprises to grow the social enterprise sector. The Conversation brought together a diverse national collective at the Brisbane Powerhouse to pull apart the challenge of social procurement and produce the right challenge question to solve. Job done.

Next step?

Harness a broader input into the outcomes of the Conversation. Over the next week, we'll be progressively adding content - notes and film - to provide greater context to the question.

....and then

Eidos will launch a $25,000 award donated by the English Family Foundation for the provider of a strategy and solution.

Thanks for your personal contributions Allan English, Belinda Morrissey, Timothy O'Brien, Khory McCormick, Lindley Edwards, Narelle Kennedy, Jack Heath, Rodd Pahl, Duncan Murray, Kaerlin McCormick, Lesley van Schoubroeck, Luke Terry, Mark Daniels, Sandy Blackburn-Wright, Sarah Kelly, Robert Pekin, and Ryan Menner

 

 

 

Challenge Opened: 04:22 AM, Wednesday 10 May 2017
Challenge Closes: 04:00 AM, Thursday 02 November 2017
Time to go: Closed

 

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The context

Eidos is changing the way problems are solved. Instead of waiting for solutions to come to us, we create space for solutions to Australia’s most important problems to emerge.  We look for economic or social gaps which are yet to benefit from the power of creative problem solving. 

Eidos turns conversations into action through the ideas of the crowd using a 3 step process involving Conversations, Challenges and Connections.  We better define the problem, stimulate engagement and actively seek solutions.  This flips the traditional way of solving problems which are typically procurement led, costly, and time-consuming. 

 

Eidos is a network of foundations and philanthropic partners dedicated to developing ideas through collaboration to improve economic and social outcomes. It works by applying shared intelligence to challenges and building partnerships between social enterprises, universities, governments, businesses and other partners.  We work with our partners to identify economic or social gaps that remain unsolved.

The Eidos Charter seeks to respond to these challenges by:

  • First and foremost, help solve social and economic problems through developing new solutions by connecting with social entrepreneurs, researchers, policy-markers and practitioners.
  • Use a unique process which combines conversations to better define the problem, challenges to find solutions and connections to support solutions to scale.
  • Incentivise problem solvers to address challenges and scale their business for impact
  • Position Australia’s entrepreneurs as leaders; and
  • Strengthen the position and influence of partners at the forefront of thought leadership, problem solving and enterprise – locally, nationally and globally.

Eidos

Who we are: Eidos is a network of partners dedicated to developing ideas through collaboration to improve economic and social outcomes. It works by applying shared intelligence to challenges and building partnerships between universities, governments, businesses, impact investors and other social partners.

What we do: Eidos encourages collaborative solutions to major challenges through the application of shared intelligence. It achieves this goal by connecting together its unique network to better define problems and seek solutions from a network of problem solvers.

How we do it:  Eidos provides a space to turn conversations into action through the ideas of the crowd using a 3 step process combining Conversations, Challenges and Connections. 

  • Eidos Conversations brings together key private and public leaders, influencers, thinkers and entrepreneurs for face-to-face and online roundtables, events, and hacks on Australia’s biggest problems. The events are future-focused - not short-term fixes - and act as a vehicle for cross-over between economic and social issues. The purpose of each conversation is to better define the problem, facilitate thought leadership and public engagement.
  • Eidos Challenges acknowledge and incentivise solutions to key challenges as defined by the Eidos conversation. Via awards, challenges and prizes - donors, corporates and philanthropists can invest in solving key challenges. The challenges will enhance a culture of innovation, collaboration and competitiveness.
  • Eidos Connections using a flexible process to enable the solution to develop. As each solution will take a different form e.g. business vs a policy, the focus is on mentoring the problem solvers and providing connections to ensure the idea comes to life e.g. investors, regulators, incubators.    This process will typically take 12 months with ongoing impact measurement.

Eidos will work with a range of media, innovation, investment and regulatory partners to support this process. 

Eidos Challenge | Conversation | Connection #1

In association with the English Family Foundation, Eidos will pilot the approach with the first conversation kicking off in June/July 2017.  The process will tackle a significant economic and social gap, seeking to enable businesses to buy from social enterprises to grow this sector, which is commonly referred to as Social Procurement.

Timeline:

  • Conversation: June/July 2017, Brisbane, venue and date to be announced
  • Challenge: August 2017, 6 week process, $25K prize
  • Connections: October 2017 onwards

Conversation:

  • The diagram below provides the detail of 4-hour experience for participants who will engage in a process that includes storytelling by those directly involved, problem exploration using a series of open questions, perspective taking to build empathy and reflections to better define the problem 

 

  • 8 to 12 individuals from diverse backgrounds including influencers, creative entrepreneurs and individuals engaged in the problem
  • The conversation will be made available live or after the event via audio or video engaging a larger audience
  • A challenge brief video will be made to summarise the defined problem that will engage problems solvers in the challenge phase
  • All media is made available through the Eidos website

Challenge:

  • Key networks of potential problem solvers are identified with specific strategies to engage each of them via a mix of social media, traditional media and events
  • Potential problem solvers will be pointed to the Eidos website and challenge page
  • An online forum will be made available on the challenge page to enable individuals to explore the problem with each other hosted by MindHive
  • Individuals with an idea will download a problem solvers pack with a template for submitting the ideas
  • Ideas will be submitted to a specific email address
  • Each idea will be screened by Eidos and provided to the judging panel
  • The panel of judges will shortlist 5 ideas and who will be interviewed or pitch to the panel

 

Extended Version of the Video

 

Please note: A full podcast of the conversation can be found within the solution document. 

Challenge Opened: 04:22 AM, Wednesday 10 May 2017
Challenge Closes: 04:00 AM, Thursday 02 November 2017
Time to go: Closed

Do you want to contribute to this challenge?

Challenge Activity

Challenge Activity

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Kerri Shilvock is now contributing to this challenge Social Procurement

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Janine Pohe is now contributing to this challenge Social Procurement

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Carolyn Ballinger (Dr) is now contributing to this challenge Social Procurement

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Matt Singmin is now contributing to this challenge Social Procurement

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Bruce Muirhead commented on the solution Eidos Conversation: Social Procurement

The spcial procurmeent issue requires a different level of thinking

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Tim Potter is now contributing to this challenge Social Procurement

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Vern Hughes is now contributing to this challenge Social Procurement

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Vern Hughes commented on the challenge Social Procurement

In this discussion, everything turns on how 'social' is to be conceived. If we limit our historical knowledge to the last 15 years, then 'social' tends to be taken to mean enterprises which attach themselves to one or other fashionable causes or social segments (environment, youth, LGBTIQ) but not to causes and social segments which are unfashionable with the affluent and upwardly mobile (unemployed males over 50 years, people with intellectual disabilities, users of dysfunctional public services). Furthermore, 'social enterprises' will tend to be confined to supply-side businesses with a cause, not demand-side aggregations of market power.

150 years ago, 'social enterprises' in Australia were, to a large extent, the reverse of the current pattern. They were predominantly demand-side enterprises in health, welfare, community services, education (friendly societies, bush nursing associations, mechanics institutes), and they were principally whole-of-community in scope, rather than socially segmented.

Although Australian Governments operate today largely without historical memory - following the obliteration of history in school and university curricula, and the prevailing culture of instant gratification - it is worth trying to reintroduce these past forms of social enterprise into the current discussion of social procurement. This would mean three things:

1. In the human services, governments exclude whole-of-community ventures in demand aggregation, and prefer service delivery contractors (for-profit and not-for-profit). This should be reversed in health, education, community services, employment services and indigenous affairs. It would mean, for instance, embracing the Empowered Communities model of indigenous services, and excluding the army of consultants and providers who live off indigenous disadvantage.

2. It would mean excluding those social enterprises which are extensions of identity politics (based on social segmentation) with preference going to those which intentionally encourage a multi-generational, multi-racial, multi-religious generation of social capital and cohesion.

3. Across large and small private and social sector suppliers, a preference should be extended to those firms with established employee ownership arrangements and shared employer-employee governance. Shared ownership and governance within firms is irrefutably associated with enhanced social capital and social cohesion.





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David Lee is now contributing to this challenge Social Procurement

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Mike Metcalfe commented on the challenge Social Procurement

Did you see Eva Balan's PhD on the emerging business models (organising principles) of Australian Social Enterprises? At University of Adelaide, Centre For Entrepreneurship. It usefully sets up an empirical based framework which might be used as a straw man for focusing discussion? 

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Lewe Atkinson is now contributing to this challenge Social Procurement

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Lewe Atkinson commented on the challenge Social Procurement

Hi there - I have recently been working with a CRC bid relating to the Native Foods Industry and the supply chains from food/ingredient suppliers operating in remote communities.  The following reference was a nice summary of the issues and changes for social enterprises in this space re: scaling on the supply side in these circumstances... http://www.socialventures.com.au/assets/ISEF-Lessons-Learned-Report-FINAL.pdf

 

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Mike Metcalfe is now contributing to this challenge Social Procurement

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Kerry Miles is now contributing to this challenge Social Procurement

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MindHive Support commented on the solution Eidos Conversation: Social Procurement

my test comment jimmy

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Kaerlin McCormick commented on the solution Eidos Conversation: Social Procurement

Include:

Governments are often the customers of social enterprises, but their purchasing policies and people are designed to stick with the low risk, tried and true service that is proven elsewhere. Governments tend to over-specify the product or service, rather than describe the outcomes they want which can be open to a contest of different approaches. There is a structural problem of over-regulation that stifles innovation in the procurement process. How do we fix this?

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Kaerlin McCormick commented on the solution Eidos Conversation: Social Procurement

Also include the following regarding customers/buyers as stakeholders:

Sophisticated and demanding leading edge customers/buyers are a driving force that pulls through new skills and capabilities in sellers, in this case, social enterprises that rise to the challenge of meeting buyers' needs more imaginatively than competitors and/or in ways that are hard for others to copy. Collaboration between buyers and sellers is key to this approach.

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Kaerlin McCormick commented on the solution Eidos Conversation: Social Procurement

Incorporate the following additional context regarding the private sector's engagement with 'for purpose' businesses:

'For purpose' activities are becoming a more mainstream concern for corporations, as prospective employees and consumers become more informed and demanding. Social procurement can be a bridge between the for profit and for purpose motives.

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Iain Walker is now contributing to this challenge Social Procurement

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Eidos Institute commented on the challenge Social Procurement

Kaerlin McCormick are you OK to synthesise Narelle Kennedy 's comments into the Solution section as we prepare to move the context and challenge content to the Eidos website for the launch of the Challenge.

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Narelle Kennedy commented on the challenge Social Procurement

....and more:

  • 'For purpose' activities are becoming a more mainstream concern for corporations, as prospective employees and consumers become more informed and demanding. Social procurement can be a bridge between the for profit and for purpose motives.
  • Sophisticated and demanding leading edge customers/buyers are a driving force that pulls through new skills and capabilities in sellers, in this case, social enterprises that rise to the challenge of meeting buyers' needs more imaginatively than competitors and/or in ways that are hard for others to copy. Collaboration between buyers and sellers is key to this approach.
  • Governments are often the customers of social enterprises, but their purchasing policies and people are designed to stick with the low risk, tried and true service that is proven elsewhere. Governments tend to over-specify the product or service, rather than describe the outcomes they want which can be open to a contest of different approaches. There is a structural problem of over-regulation that stifles innovation in the procurement process. How do we fix this?
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Narelle Kennedy commented on the challenge Social Procurement

Some further thoughts to help shape the social procurement challenge:

  • How do social enterprises become more successful? Focus firstly on understanding what buyers want, not what you provide and who you aim to help.
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Narelle Kennedy commented on the challenge Social Procurement

The challenge question must be rephrased without the jargon, e.g. "supply side", so that what we are asking is simply understood.

Alternative suggestion: How do we encourage  social  or 'for purpose' enterprises to build their capacity and skills to meet the needs of buyers in flexible and collaborative ways and to grow these businesses successfully?

Narelle Kennedy

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Timothy London is now contributing to this challenge Social Procurement

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Kaerlin McCormick commented on the solution Eidos Conversation: Social Procurement

Suggest amending this section to include the following:

"Centralisation, decentralisation and aggregation"

Content:

The issues which purposeful businesses and organisations are seeking to address are diverse and disparate (in terms of their subject matter and their locality) and warrant collaborative and decentralised solutions (or at least a centralised solution which recognises their diversity and meets it). What is the optimum structure or medium for collaboration at scale to address these issues?

A practical reality is also that large procurers and traditional supply chain procurement processes generally are used to or want a singular supplier. Given the scale of social procurement and its current configuration, perhaps social enterprises can (or need to) collaborate flexibly to meet procurers’ needs. Are there models of aggregation which might work? Social entrepreneurs also talk about the multitude of opportunities which they simply do not have the ‘bandwidth’ to meet. How do we get social entrepreneurs to collaborate to respond to market challenges or demands which they are presently unable to scale to meet?

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Kaerlin McCormick commented on the solution Eidos Conversation: Social Procurement

Suggest including an additional section entitled "Funding" (and removing the tax treatment discussion from "Public and private sector motivators and constraints").

Content:

There are arguments to be made that the financial viability of these businesses and organisations are the most important element of their longevity and ability to scale and have impact.

Leaders in this space have suggested that one of the major impediments to the growth of the supply side is a lack of sufficient capital – whether in the form of grants, angel/venture capital investment appropriate to the corporate structure of the relevant organisation, or via other funding models.

Access to funds is neither transparent nor easy. Seed capital to start and additional capital to build capacity are still incredibly difficult to source. Most social entrepreneurs spend a significant portion of their time raising funds which takes away time and energy which could be better devoted to creating and building their solutions to social issues. The market at present is not receptive to this plight. Does your solution address funding issues directly or indirectly?  When thinking about funding, also bear in mind the tax treatment of social enterprises – perhaps your solution might also flag tax changes which would encourage movement into this sector.

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Luke Terry commented on the challenge Social Procurement

How do we build social procurement opportunities? I don’t know if I have the right answers for this but this is personally where I'm at.

As a social entrepreneur in regional Queensland everywhere I go I see social procurement opportunities and deals that could scale to large opportunities. Road Building, Large Scale tourism ventures, Funeral Homes, Grounds maintenance, Quarries and commercial painting (just to name a few).

I personally feel that right here and now we are starting to see philanthropists and investors willing to invest in social enterprises. Corporates and certain levels of government willing to provide contracts but the missing piece is the social entrepreneurs who have a spare two to three years and income stream to pay the rent and put food on the table. Unfortunately, I personally feel like we don’t yet have the community on board to fund these social entrepreneurs from the ground up. To fund a role like this in Australia we need theory’s of change, Strategic plans and outcomes all in place. This isn't always possible...

Back in 2004 somehow the European Union funded me in London through the auspice of a mental health charity to establish three social enterprises over three years to create impact for people living with mental illness. For me, that was the job of a lifetime and a lasting legacy and we created 8 social enterprises.

Fund the right entrepreneur and the entrepreneur will seek the deals, find the money and create lasting impact.

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Luke Terry is now contributing to this challenge Social Procurement

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A new solution was published Eidos Conversation: Social Procurement

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Rodd Pahl is now contributing to this challenge Social Procurement

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Challenge Progress

  • Impact Reported

Impact Phase

  • Online discussion, editing & synthesis
  • Panel Selected

Consultation Phase

  • Solution drafted
  • Crowd gathered
  • Context Published
  • Challenge published

Framing & Gathering Phase

Solution proposal

Eidos Conversation: Social Procurement 7 comments

Meet the panel

Kaerlin McCormick Consultant
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Hiver

Timothy O'Brien Founder
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Bruce Muirhead Chief Executive Officer
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Jack Heath CEO
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Lesley van Schoubroeck
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Allan English
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Kaerlin McCormick Consultant
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Narelle Kennedy Managing Director
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Rodd Pahl Managing Director
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Lindley Edwards Group CEO
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MindHive Support Support
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Sandy Blackburn-Wright Managing Director
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Belinda Morrissey Executive Officer
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Luke Terry Vanguard Laundry Services
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Timothy London Head of Product and Design, MindHive
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Iain Walker Executive Director
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Carolyn Ballinger (Dr)
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Kerry Miles
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Mike Metcalfe Consultant
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Lewe Atkinson Global Partner
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David Lee
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Vern Hughes Director Civil Society Australia
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Tim Potter Executive, Brand and Allied Services
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Matt Singmin
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Janine Pohe Director
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Kerri Shilvock
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Documents associated with this challenge

File name File type Date uploaded Size (KB)
Social_Procurement_in_Australia_Report_-_December_2010.pdf
.pdf
5/10/2017 4,192
Social Procurement - LG Professionals Australia .pdf
.pdf
5/10/2017 1,223
SC_Social_Procurement_in_LG.pdf
.pdf
5/10/2017 99
Eidos Conversation June 8th .pdf
.pdf
5/31/2017 1,515
Social procurement success: what it takes - Social Ventures Australia.pdf
.pdf
5/31/2017 277
Social Enterprise for Employment Outcomes_Aug2015 (1).pdf
.pdf
6/28/2017 622
 

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Eidos Conversation: Social Procurement

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