In an increasingly complex, interconnected and interdependent world, it is increasingly difficult to find answers in isolation. If the main issues of today are systemic, the answers depend more and more on the collaboration of collective intelligence and the intersection between different views. If in the past we thought of the role of the different sectors, social, private and business in a compartmentalized way, now we need to navigate networks of collaboration multi-actors and multi-sectors.

FOCUSING ON NETWORKS AND ECOSYSTEMS

Ecosystem Development Strategies

We can define ecosystem as a set of organisms that live in a given location and interact in a highly interdependent way with each other and with the environment, forming a system in balance. The ecosystem concept also applies to social systems, networks of organizations or businesses. An entrepreneurial ecosystem, for example, consists of entrepreneurs, startups, mature companies, investors, accelerators, universities and many other actors. 


Over the past few years, Sense-Lab has been developing and implementing various ways to catalyze ecosystems with a focus on generating positive socio-environmental transformations, including ecosystems focused on forest conservation and restoration, impact business and territorial development. 


The strategies for the development of these ecosystems include the facilitation of spaces for multi-actors dialogue, the realization of social innovation labs, support and strengthening of plumbers and backbone organizations, among other interventions. 
 

Ecosystem Mapping and Evaluation

An important step in structuring an intervention to boost an ecosystem is the understanding of its structure and functioning. The mapping of the actors that make up the system, their agendas, potentiality and relationships can indicate us the points for their leverage.


In addition to the actors involved it is possible to model the maturity of an ecosystem by defining development axes and evaluation tools. Through this type of approach it is possible to understand the gaps and vectors of development, compare different systems and monitor their evolution.

Organizational Development
and Acceleration Programs

One strategy to focus on an ecosystem is through organizations development and acceleration programs. In this type of processes, several organizations go through a semi-structured process where part of the content and interactions is standardized for all participants and part is structured or customized according to the stage of development and specific context of each. 

Acceleration programs can be focused on impact businesses, civil society organizations, public institutions, networks of organizations, large companies or on diverse projects. Through the coordinated development of key actors in the field of action in question, an entire ecosystem can be leveraged. Acceleration programs are more effective if articulated with other structuring strategies, such as attracting capital to the field, expanding infrastructure and logistics, developing coalitions, attracting large companies, communication and visibility, among others.

Development of Networks
and Multi-Actor Arrangements

Sense-Lab has been working with participatory processes and multi-actors systems in different contexts. We work with network development and implementation, participatory governance models and innovation ecosystems, establishment of multi-stakeholder and multi-sector platforms and stakeholder engagement, whether in economic systems, urban peripheries or in rural and wild environments. 
The application of these processes and systems is quite diverse, including the development of international cooperation networks, integration of inclusive production chains, environmental conservation projects, promotion of thematic ecosystems, among others.