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Lab log #22: How are innovation portfolios employed internationally?

Innovation portfolios are an emerging approach to tackle societal and global challenges because they require multi-stakeholder collaboration and the structures and practices that enable it. How is the approach employed internationally?



OECD’s Observatory for Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) seeks to spread new approaches to innovating in the public sector by working with governments internationally. As part of this work they organized the Exploring Innovation Portfolio Approaches webinar on 27.5.2020. In the webinar the introduced a prototype of their innovation portfolio assessment tool.

The other speakers of the webinar included Director of Strategic Design Dan Hill from Vinnova, strategic advisor Emma Joy from EIT Climate-KIC and specialist Mikael Seppälä from Sitra Lab who spoke about the applications of the approach.

Dan Hill spoke about the participatory methods that innovation portfolios can be used. They started their work with portfolios by hosting inter-organizational discussions which helped them identify societally relevant challenges. Innovation portfolios are also used to develop individual projects around the missions that make them tangible in places and even at the levels of streets. The interesting thing about the approach that Dan Hill was speaking about is that work related to portfolios can be very participatory in both their planning and implementation.

Emma Joy spoke about EIT Climate-KIC’s approach to systems innovation which uses innovation portfolios to coordinate collaboration within an ecosystem to feed into transformation rather than incremental development. Mikael Seppälä spoke shortly about Sitra Lab’s work with innovation portfolios and Sitra’s experiments in developing its operating model.

You can watch the webinar recording here:

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P.S. If you’re not familiar with Dan Hill, you should definitely follow him. Dan is going to be speaking about his work at the intersection of citymaking and societal challenges at September’s HERÄÄMÖ which will be organized as part of the Nordic CityMaking Week.

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