Public Policy Lab (PPL), based in New York City and TACSI are, like the Sugar Glider and the Flying Squirrel, are examples of convergent evolution. Entities that have evolved in different environments but have ended up with similar defining features. So what would happen if a Sugar Glider and a Flying Squirrel met, and what would they talk about?
PPL and TACSI actually have met quite often. In London, in Singapore and most recently in Hong Kong. As part of an international network of social innovation labs, fostered by Social Innovation Exchange, we see each other at retreats and conferences and we follow each others’ work from afar. But we’ve never spent time in each others’ offices. That’s until now. That’s until the PPL / TACSI learning exchange.
The idea was to swap staff, to get into the weeds, to see each others’ work in context.
Earlier this month Chris Vanstone, TACSI’s Chief Innovation Officer, spent two weeks in PPL’s offices in the Dumbo neighbourhood of New York City. As part of the next leg Shanti Mathew, PPL’s Deputy Director, will spend two weeks in Australia between Adelaide and Sydney. So after 10 days of learning exchange, working in NYC homeless shelters, taking part in PPLs ‘reading hour’, BBQ, competitive storytelling and one ‘Public Policy Blab’ what did we learn?