Innovation Report 2021/22

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

2021/22 “Civil Society Innovation and Digital Power Shift’’

Our 2021/22 Innovation Report will be a timely look at how far our sector has come – and is still yet to go – in using inclusive innovation approaches to advance people-centred and nature-positive digitalisation, to either address system power imbalances or capitalise on emerging people power and technological capabilities. 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, 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 civil society innovations across a spectrum from enabling digital equity, generating and managing ‘data lakes’ and filling missing data gaps, and engaging ethically in the inclusive design and application of frontier technologies, such as machine learning.

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 and inclusive innovation approaches, solutions and new ways of working which are helping to shift power in the digital ecosystem, and achieve more people-centred or nature-positive outcomes enabled by digital technology, by showcasing up to 15 case studies from diverse CSOs around the world;
  • Facilitate interactive exchange and contribute to sector learning networks on practical inclusive innovation approaches for people-centred and nature-positive digital power shift 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;
  • Highlight influential factors in the evolving external environment and interaction with other global megatrends which will continue to influence future CSO digital inclusive innovation approaches.

The report will be released in the first half of 2022. Interviews with case study organisations will be shared from November 2021 on the Centre’s Futures and Innovation podcast series.

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

Our innovation partner for this Report: TechSoup

Our innovation partner for this report is TechSoup, which equips changemakers with transformative technology solutions and skills they need to improve lives globally and locally. TechSoup’s Global Network of partners are all leading civil society organisations delivering impact at scale in 236 countries and territories worldwide, and managing a range of capacity building programmes in these countries. Together, they have connected more than 1.2 million organisations with the tools they need to improve lives.

Our co-operation partners for this Report

We would like to thank the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation and the Ford Foundation for their support for this Report.

Ford Foundation logo

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.