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A month of DIY

Brenton Caffin

Director of Innovation Skills


Organising a major production like our Development Impact and You toolkit is a bit like throwing a party – you make the necessary preparations and then you wait to see if anyone turns up. Frankly, it can be a little nerve-wracking.

In our case, the preparations were twelve months in the making and while we received great feedback in our co-design and user testing phases, we still couldn’t be sure how many of you would take an interest once we released the toolkit into the wild.


So what has happened in our first month?

First of all, many of you came to the party: 80,000 page views from 20,000 visitors across 150 countries in our first month alone! To say this has exceeded our expectations is a major understatement.

Part of the toolkit’s reach was due to the incredible support we’ve had in social and other media. We’re grateful to our partners at the Rockefeller Foundation, our design partners STBY and Quicksand, our fantastic supporter network and many other organisations and individuals who collectively shared the toolkit to over 300,000 twitter users.

Many of you have also subscribed for our monthly updates and we encourage more of you to do so.

We’ve already had offers to translate the toolkit into several languages including Chinese, Spanish and Russian and we will have more to say on that front soon. We’ve also had requests to incorporate the toolkit into many other platforms and courses.

And people are starting to engage with the tools and share their experiences. Our first detailed case study has already arrived from Armenia. De Waag Society in the Netherlands has already hosted a workshop with our Theory of Change tool as part of a hands-on session to establish a model for social impact for Digital Social Innovation.

All of this in our first month.


Next week we have been invited to the Skoll World Forum to share the toolkit and connect to people who want to use, spread and support the further development of the toolkit and its emerging community of practice.

In coming months, we will be taking the DIY toolkit on the road to deliver workshops across UNDP country offices in Montenegro, Moldova, Armenia and Georgia. We look forward to gathering and sharing many more case studies of how these tools are being used in practice.


It’s been an exciting start to the journey but it is only the beginning.

We know buy cheap tramadol in uk that people learn best when they can see these tools being applied in contexts that are familiar to them, so please share your stories and case studies. We encourage you to use the tools in your work and send us your photos and stories of how you get on.

And while the DIY toolkit has been a major project for Nesta’s Innovation Skills team, this is only one of several initiatives we have underway. Nesta’s strategy is to focus on innovation for the common good, so we are concentrating on building innovation skills in the public sector and civil society here and abroad. In addition to the DIY toolkit, we are embarking on a three-year programme to promote the role of design in public sector innovation across Europe as part of the recently launched European Design Innovation Platform. And working with our colleagues at Nesta, we are developing a series of innovation practice guides. The first guide on Challenge Prizes, was published last month with several more to be produced this year.

To deliver all of this, we are growing the team and have current vacancies for a Learning Experience Designer, a Content Editor and a Senior Programme Manager. If you’d like to be part of this exciting time for the Innovation Skills team, please take a look and apply by 17 April.


Brenton is Nesta’s Director of Innovation Skills, managing Nesta’s global skills development portfolio.

Brenton is an innovative and strategic thinker and regularly presents to and advises national and global organisations, including UN agencies, on a wide range of issues relating to social and public sector innovation. He is an advisor to the Adelaide Festival of Ideas and former board member of the global Social Innovation Exchange and the Institute for Public Administration Australia. From 2009-2012, Brenton was the founding CEO of The Australian Centre for Social Innovation, and previously held executive positions with the South Australian Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Government Reform Commission and WorkCover. He began his career in the Australian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, later consulting to Australian and British governments on public policy, performance improvement and change management. Brenton was also previously seconded to the Home Office Strategic Policy Team. Brenton has degrees in economics and international relations and a Master of Public Administration from Flinders University, where his research focused on public sector innovation.


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  1. […] A month ago we reported on the overwhelming response that we had received for the DIY Toolkit. Amazing as it was, there was some anxiety that this early interest wouldn’t be sustained. […]