Tricia Ann Francis – Scope Projects Lead at Scope Group. Scope Group’s mission is to create impact by design through harnessing the power of social innovation and partnerships for social good and leveraging technology and cross-sector collaborations to deliver. Their range of products and services extends from bespoke learning and development engagements to facilitation of public private partnerships, social venture and impact incubation, strategic venture philanthropy advisory and implementation support.
Q1: What do you appreciate yourself in the business mainly for?
For me personally, two programs during the time I was here. One is VIP, a volunteering program, because it’s one of those programs where you manage to get people from the top, ministry, strategic level people looking at community projects and you see communities working together to create impact. In that sense it’s one of the great success stories, where you have politicians and community working together to solve some issues, and focusing and zooming on 10 impact projects. Over 2 years we’ve done 20 impact projects. That’s a good success story. Another one is the Asian Impact Challenge, that’s social innovation Challenge across 10 Asian countries, we piloted it last year. When we started we thought if we get 10 teams from each country participating we will be happy – that was our measure of success that moment because we didn’t know if we managed to get people take part in it. At the end of the first phase we had something like 500 applications. And I think personally it was a really nice project as well because at the end we brought 100 people to Malaysia, 20 teams. Sometimes you are in Malaysia running those programs across Asia, you don’t actually meet anyone, you are supported by partners in different programs. Having met them in KL, we realized how the Challenge has actually changed the way they are doing things, giving them a platform beyond their countries. And also when they pitched looking how this great idea could be something replicated across Asia… that was nice. To see a sort of community level impact in different countries suddenly have potential to scale into different areas of Asia. I think it’s also an interesting success story.
Q2: What is the biggest challenge for you now?
There are few levels of challenges. If we speak about community level it depends on communities. Dealing with sort of urban folks, the concept of social innovation, social enterprises, is something easy for them to understand and they heard about that already. But bridging rural communities, getting awareness around and getting them to take action and find solution themselves, changing mindset to not depend on somebody else, that’s a challenge. Different communities have different types of challenges and needs. I think that’s one. Another big challenge is looking at the system, how the system can change as a whole to be more supportive to social organizations.
Q3: What advice do you have for yourself in this situation?
From the community perspective it’s working with partners, because as much as we think we understand the community, actually when you are in the perspective of community members, it’s really different than your own, you are still an outsider. Bridging that, working with partners is very important. Without partners we can’t do it, they know inside. And partners can be NGOs or community leaders within communities, they know what’s needed. It’s like going to a community and telling them you are doing that, let’s do it that way and you can earn more money but maybe it’s not what they want, maybe what they earn is already enough. It’s about understanding, not telling we will give you more technology, make you earn a lot of money, people get to know about your story… but maybe it’s not this. Understand that every community is different, it’s not homogeneous, everything is very diverse. Within one community even there is so much diversity…
Would you like to add something more?
It’s good timing. 4-5 years ago, it was very new and now it changes, people see that the work we do is actually important. You can still face issues and challenges, it’s not easy to make impact but also make money on it, make it sustainable. It’s interesting time, all across Asia. People experiment, trying to find out what is working in Asia. A lot of new ideas.
The questions were asked on our behalf by Anna and Andrea from How to (ex) change the world.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 9th June 2016