Innovation Report 2021

Let us know about your innovation work through the form at the bottom of this page.

2021 “Civil Society Innovation and Inclusive Digital Transformation’’

Our 2021 Innovation Report will be a timely look at how far our sector has come – and is still yet to go – in advancing people-centred and nature-positive digitalisation. It will challenge our sector’s main current focus on digital technology as an internal operational enabler, and consider it instead as a major, ongoing, transformative social force.

In this context, it will highlight the most promising innovations by civil society organisations (CSOs) in delivering solutions for digital inclusion, impact and rights at scale, promoting progressive people-centred, nature-positive approaches and outcomes, and putting digital rights, ethical and sustainability values and norms into practice.

The Report will be centred around the core objectives of using digital innovation to empower individuals and communities with control and use of their own personal data and digital identities in trusted, safe and informed spaces, and to support them with new insights from collective data-gathering exercises. It will also consider innovative digital capabilities being used in conservation or environmental sustainability efforts.

These innovations will not just involve optimal and creative use of or response to current digital technologies and capabilities, risks and opportunities of today’s Internet, but also demonstrate strong anticipatory dimensions to further evolve with rapidly emerging developments.

By showcasing exciting examples of these types of innovation, this Report will contribute to the fast-growing knowledge base supporting the future scale, impact and influence of CSOs in the use of digital technologies and their impact on our societies and the environment around us.

Aims of the report

The report will aim to:

  • Discuss effective approaches, solutions and new ways of working in relation to achieving inclusive people-centred or nature-positive outcomes enabled by digital technology, by showcasing innovative case studies from diverse CSOs around the world;
  • Facilitate interactive exchange and contribute to sector learning networks on practical approaches for people-centred and nature-positive digital transformation outcomes;
  • Provide a common understanding on challenges and opportunities for CSOs in achieving these outcomes, and identify overall recommendations for the sector in this area;
  • Include what might be the first sector-wide look at civil society innovation in relation to the digital transformation dimensions of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020;
  • Highlight influential factors in the evolving external environment and interaction with other global megatrends which will continue to influence future CSO digital innovation approaches.

The report will be launched at the Centre’s Global Perspectives sector leadership conference in November 2021, presenting the key recommendations and interactive case study workshops.

Get involved

CSOs are invited to identify an innovative initiative from their digital programming or advocacy portfolios as a case study for inclusion in the report.

If you are interested in joining this exciting project, please fill in the form below or contact Vicky Tongue, Head of Futures and Innovation, at

About our Innovation Reports

We believe one of our roles is to bring international civil society sector innovations into focus. There is a significant opportunity for organisations to benefit more from the lessons others have learned, or are in the process of addressing, particularly in the context of complex common external challenges. Our reports aim to support this.