February 2012

Social franchise - can we upscale ‘shape shifting’ for social good?

6th February 2012 by Amanda Long

I have written about ‘Shape-shifting for the future’ in recent blogs. By ‘shape-shifting’, I mean the need for society to engage in major social and economic framework change by redefining the ‘recognised and accepted’ roles of the various sectors - public, private, third. This is at the heart of transforming our society to meet some of the many macro-scale challenges we face.

Social enterprises are interesting examples of ‘shapes shifting’ in society and the benefits which can come from a blurring of the edges between ‘traditional’ public, private and third sector activities. Of course, when we get something good we want more of it. So the question of affecting positive social change at scale comes into play. Innovative new models for up-scaling good ideas are well worth shouting about. Here’s one: check out Chance UK’s Big Influence Campaign at www.chanceuk.com.

Chance UK is on a mission to improve the lives of primary school children with behavioural difficulties who are at risk of developing anti-social or criminal behaviour by offering them tailored, one-to-one mentoring with a carefully screened, trained and supervised adult. One-to-one mentoring doesn’t sound ideal as an example of upscaling for national reach. Nevertheless, Chance UK have a clever partnership model to replicate their successful work.

The mentoring programme is currently being delivered to children and their families in the London Boroughs of Islington, Lambeth and Hackney, as well as in Liverpool, Knowsley, Hemel Hempstead, Derry, and Inverness. Chance UK builds partnerships with local organisations across the UK such as national children's charity Action for Children, and community-basedprojects such as Child and Family Action in East Yorkshire. Chance UK trains them to deliver the programme, maintains quality control and provides ongoing support whilst essentially giving their partners autonomy to deliver the service in their community.

A sort of social franchise model. Can we build on approaches like these to help drive the demands of behavioural change at scale? As someone once said, ‘if we do what we’ve always done……we’ll get what we’ve always got’.  

By Amanda Long, CEO Corporate Culture