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SiG's partnership with SIX to co-host the 2014 SIX Summer School in Vancouver was a pivotal moment for Canada. The Summer School, benefitting from the participation of SIX's global network, brought Canada's emerging social innovation constituency together for the first time from all sectors: community, business, government, and academia. Conversations and relationships started or reinforced at SIX Vancouver have strengthened cross-sector work and contributed to such outcomes as a new provincial social innovation network in Alberta and the development of practical program partnerships among social sector organizations, government and business. The reports from SIX Vancouver are actively informing program and policy decisions across the country.

- Tim Draimin, Executive Director, SiG, Canada, 2014

Focusing on different cities or countries’ social challenges and practice of social innovation, we create and curate thought provoking events, exploring the most imporant issues facing the social innovation community.

Participants don't just attend one off events, they become part of the SIX community.

We run 2 types of placed based events: The flagship SIX summer schools, and the Unusual Suspects Festival.


SIX Summer Schools: Building the field of social innovation globally 

From 2008 – 2016, we hosted 9 summer schools in 9 different cities across 6 continents. The SIX Summer School was our annual gathering organised for the core members of the social innovation community - the drivers building the global social innovation field. The Summer School programme was unique, smaller and more interactive than other events in related fields.

Each event was designed in partnership with local partners. Together, we picked a theme relevant to the hosting city, as well as taking stock of how the field of social innovation is developing in terms of methods, financing models, public policy and uses of technology and so on.

We worked intensely and collaboratively with a local host partner to co-design and curate every part of a SIX Summer School so that as well as providing a valuable experience for the participants, SIX Summer Schools have a lasting impact on the host cities.

Case studies of all the SIX Summer Schools can be found below.


The Unusual Suspects Festival – A city based approach connecting diverse communities

Designed around a city in collaborations with up to 30 local organisations, this is three-day festival of ideas, solutions and debate exploring what happens when social innovation meets collaboration and how together we can meet some of society’s most pressing challenges

We hosted the first Unusual Suspects festival in London in 2014 with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation UK branch and Collaborate. Since then, the Unusual Suspects has been hosted in Glasgow, Scotland, Belfast and Derry-London Derry in Northern Ireland. Case studies can be found below.

Find out more about The Unusual Suspects Festival and our Summer Schools and how to replicate these activities in your city or country. 

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Case studies