SecondMuse Celebrates Ten Years New York Washington DC San Francisco Portland Melbourne Bali Jakarta
Carrie Freeman, Partner at SecondMuse, presents during the SecondMuse Asia-Pacific team retreat in 2018.
We can successfully build economies â€œ across borders, industries and mandates
because we put people first.
TABLE OF CO
01. THE START OF AN EXPERIMENT 02. HOW WE THINK OF IMPACT 03. A CHRONOLOGY OF OUR JOURNEY 04. THE FUTURE
Editors: Chad Badiyan, Rachael Imam, Todd Khozein, Matt Scott, Greg Spielberg | Designer: Nicholas Kong
SECONDMUSE By Chad Badiyan, Arya Badiyan, Greg Spielberg, and Kristin Coates
SecondMuse has been at the vanguard of global innovation for a decade, working with visionary cities, governments, organizations and startups to build financially meaningful and self-sustaining economic systems—what we call “economies of the future.” At the core of our economies are communities and networks, not goods and services. We successfully build economies across borders, industries and mandates because we put people first. From Brooklyn to Bali, our programs span geographies, scales and sectors. What makes us different from other accelerators or innovation agencies? Ours is not a zero-sum game. Our focus is not the next unicorn; we are building economies where everyone succeeds. To date, we’ve built more than 50 economies. Our impact is real—over 60% of our companies are women and minority owned, and 80% of our entrepreneurs succeed. Our programs have engaged over 200,000 participants, prototyped 30,000 solutions, vetted 13,000 innovations and accelerated over 200 high impact companies. These companies have raised over $250M funding, created a market value of over $500M, and yielded $7.25B in positive social impact.
Our philosophy is embedded in our name: SECONDMUSE. We put ourselves SECOND, not first. Whenever we are engaged in a project, our focus is on the collective. We stand shoulder-toshoulder with our partners and innovators building an economy together, around all stakeholders in a system. We are not the masters, we are the MUSE. Our expertise is in facilitating a process, not dictating solutions. Our method enables communities to work towards a prosperous future that is all inclusive, where everyone has a voice including the planet itself. We are able to build economies and not just stand-alone businesses because we use the power of networks. We convene, connect and align people and organizations to generate insights around complex issues, develop and validate strategies, source and curate ideas and solutions, and de-risk transformative initiatives. This methodology animates all our programs from communitysourced incubators to innovation challenges. SecondMuse is a certified B-Corp with offices in New York, DC, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Portland, Melbourne and Bali.
REFLECTIONS ON IMPACT MEASUREMENT By Natalia Arjomand, Director of Social Impact & Learning
At SecondMuse, since our founding ten years ago, weâ€™ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to comprehensively measure our impact. Many different approaches exist for measuring the impact of innovation, or even more specifically social innovation. In fact, there has been a rise in standard metrics through initiatives such as IRIS and B Corp which go beyond traditional measurement. Still, none of these seem to quite capture the full impact of our work. Our network-centered approach to innovation means that there are diverse communities of people working together, often in new or unlikely ways, to create change. The work we do in measuring our impact aims to capture the power of that novel collaboration. This new way of working together means that individuals and organizations must expand their current world views, break down silos, and explore alternative models to solving complex problems. Going through this process has been extremely fruitful to us and many of our clients and network members. How can you measure personal shifts that then go on to impact how organizations function? How do you account for the ripple effects within a network? And how can you accurately assess the social, environmental, or even economic impact that a startup will have years or even decades down the line? Itâ€™s nearly impossible and quite costly to keep track of all of this.
Furthermore, taking a network-centered approach to our work means that we are often accountable to many different types of stakeholders ranging from development agencies to private investors. This adds another layer of complexity as each of these stakeholders has their own set of metrics that they want to see when measuring impact. Throughout these last ten years we’ve experimented with how we want to measure our impact. At the end of each acceleration period, we survey our innovators to better understand what they’ve been able to achieve while working with us. As much as possible, we have used standard metrics such as IRIS and engaged with experts to better understand what types of data we should be collecting. We’ve found that, with surveys, we sometimes missed our innovators’ true impact because we hadn’t gone deep enough to understand their journey. As a certified B Corp, we use the B Impact Assessment to measure and improve our social and environmental impact as a company. In the past year, we even started using this tool for our innovators to help them better measure their impact and start thinking beyond traditional metrics of success. While some innovators were very excited by the idea and were ready to jump in (in one case, one of our innovators decided to prioritize the diversification of their workforce to include more women as a result), others were intimidated, feeling like they were just getting off the ground and couldn’t answer many of these questions. We’ve learned that trying to collect the same set of metrics across all our programs to show our collective impact doesn’t work. We end up imposing metrics that don’t make sense for some and miss the impact that others are making.
Instead of having a one size fits all methodology, we’ve decided to take a logic framework approach which allows us to tailor indicators based on program realities showing how our activities ultimately lead to the impact we hope to achieve. We also want to tell a coherent story of impact which means going beyond just what the data can describe. As a result, we’ve decided to focus on storytelling for impact measurement, sharing individual and community narratives from within the innovation ecosystem to speak to its effectiveness. This means taking that extra step to really understand how the outputs of our work create change in the lives of people. We view impact measurement as an imperfect art and a science. We believe in taking a rigorous approach to data collection and ensuring that we are using this data to help us improve our work and make important programmatic decisions. At the same time, we know that this work is complex and we may not see the full impacts of our work within a six month or even year long time frame. This means using proxies for impact and often relying on short term outcomes as indicators of expected change and sharing stories to inspire others along our journey. We will likely never comprehend the full impact of our work, but that’s okay as long as we know that we are on the path towards creating a more sustainable, inclusive, and meaningful society.
Natalia Arjomand has been part of numerous aspects of the SecondMuse experience including this LAUNCH Circular Forum.
The collaborative spirit of our work creates an â€œatmosphere where everyone is poised to thrive.
SECONDMUSE IS FOUNDED SecondMuse starts ten years ago as a radical experiment, wanting to see if we could build new economic relationships without employing competitive frameworks. We have a theory of change rooted in collaboration and inclusion, and a vision of a prosperous future that was just and equitable for all. We test our theory first with the World Health Organization, and continue to refine and perfect our methodology. Todd Khozein and Chad Badiyan begin the SecondMuse experiment. SecondMuse pairs up with the World Health Organization to address the problem of corruption in the health care sector, an estimated 300 billion dollar problem. We work with WHO to develop and implement a training program for various ministries of health, and lead a week-long training in Geneva with the purpose of developing the capacity of local trainers and defining future anti-corruption initiatives.
SecondMuse founds LAUNCH alongside NASA, NIKE, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the U.S. Department of State. This collaboration is born from the recognition that none of the organizations would be able to fully understand nor solve these complex challenges alone. We introduce our inaugural challenge, LAUNCH Water, in partnership with NIKE, USAID, the U.S. Department of State, NASA, The Pacific Institute, IDEO, and the Columbia Water Center at Columbia University. We found Random Hacks of Kindness, the first global hackathon movement, engaging masses of people in collective action toward specific outcomes. The initial core partners of this program include Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, HP, NASA and The World Bank plus a host of over 225 local partners around the world from the corporate, government, civic and academic sectors.
Click to hear from Beth.
The thing LAUNCH taught me is that shared good…. If you’re willing to be persistent and tenacious enough, the product on the other side of the barrier is going to be totally different, so much better, because you’ve had to work through all of the flaws. Dr. Beth Beck, Retired NASA Open Innovation Program Manager
SecondMuse is called in by Nestle to facilitate a gathering where the purpose is to arrive at a coherent and united vision for the marketing of a product in 2010 and to build a website for ideation and collaboration on marketing ideas and concepts. SecondMuse follows the event with training and facilitates online collaborative processes, which involve not only the eight agencies in attendance, but also many of the clientâ€™s local markets in Europe and South America. We introduce our second challenge, LAUNCH Health, in partnership with NIKE, USAID, the U.S. Department of State, NASA, Kraft, IDEO, Vestergaard Frandsen, and TechSoup Global. Our LAUNCH Water team is given the NASA Group Achievement Award
for the creativity and energy you have dedicated to create a form to share innovations in water sustainability to better our world.
SecondMuse organizes and publicizes six simultaneous international events for Random Hacks of Kindness in 2010 bringing together software developers for a marathon global weekend of collaborative coding. These events are held in Washington, DC, USA; Sao Paolo, Brazil, Santiago, Chile; Nairobi, Kenya; Jakarta, Indonesia; Sydney, Australia; and Porto Alegre, Brazil. SecondMuse serves as a planning and partnership advisor to Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) in designing and executing the Understanding Risk (UR) Forum. The UR Forum is the first and largest convening of a diverse range of communities of practice that are united in their shared interest in risk assessment. Understanding Risk is an open and global community of 7000+ experts and practitioners in disaster risk assessment with representatives from government agencies, the private sector, multilateral organizations, NGOs, research institutions, academia and civil society.
We introduce the LAUNCH Energy challenge, a call for transformative advances in energy, science, and technology, alongside partners with NIKE, USAID, the U.S. Department of State, NASA, TechSoup Global, IDEO, MWWPR, NineSigma, General Catalyst, OnGreen, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. SecondMuse implements the Hackathon Against Domestic Violence with the World Bank Group in six countries in Central America, and in Washington, DC as an initiative to develop a community of technologists and experts to co-create technology solutions against domestic violence. An internal World Bank incubator is set up to source the highest potential projects that come out of this initiative and scale them into technology products and services that could be used in the Central America region. Of 42 projects that were developed at the regional hackathon, 12 are supported and scaled through the incubator, covering technologies from communication tools for victims of domestic violence to educational campaigns. SecondMuse designs and builds a knowledge management and communications strategy and platform for WASHplus, a $100M USAID global water, sanitation and health initiative.
We introduce the LAUNCH Beyond Waste challenge, expanding our focus to a broad range of waste and recycling issues, in partnership with The Coca Cola Company, Vestergaard Frandsen, TechSoup Global, IDEO, Architecture for Humanity, the Office of Naval Research, and Recyclebank. SecondMuse co-founds the International Space Apps Challenge, the worldâ€™s largest global hackathon, with NASA. To this day, Space Apps enables public engagement with NASAâ€™s open data to develop answers to some of the most pressing challenges on earth and in space. For the latest event in 2018, more than 17,000 global citizens in 75 countries and 200 locations engage directly with NASA and SecondMuse to build solutions to problems on Earth and in Space.
Click to hear from Mohammad.
This is why I think Space Apps is a fundamentally fantastic platform. Itâ€™s not only for one country or one generation; it actually takes us [all] to that next level. Mohammad Zaman, Lead of the Space Apps Challenge in Bangladesh
Owned by Rio Tinto (RT), the Oyu Tolgoi (OT) copper mine in Mongolia makes the country the world’s fastest growing economy, providing one third of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). SecondMuse engages to co-design OT’s positive impact strategy and identify ways in which OT can create shared value in Mongolia. Additionally, SecondMuse helps co-design and co-implement a collective impact initiative within the tertiary and vocational educational sectors. National Day of Civic Hacking, an annual event that takes place the first weekend in June in cities around the world, is founded by SecondMuse in collaboration with Code for America and nearly thirty government agencies. To this day, the event brings together citizens, software developers, and entrepreneurs to collaboratively create, build, and invent new solutions using publicly-released data, code and technology to improve their communities and the governments that serve them. Intel Innovation Pipeline is the result of SecondMuse’s engagement with Intel on the creation of a framework for a big data and personal data strategy for the company. SecondMuse works with Intel Labs on the Innovation Pipeline program to support and accelerate early-stage data-centric startups and foster their engagement with the value of personal data and new value creation for end-users.
Radio Free Asia’s Open Technology Fund (OTF) program utilizes public funds to support Internet freedom projects, seeking to solve the technical challenges of anonymity, privacy, security and information access for communities around the world. OTF engages SecondMuse in developing a process for understanding the needs of at-risk user communities around the world. Inspired by human-centered design research methodologies, SecondMuse’s Internet Freedom Needfinding Framework provides a process for engaging with communities around the world, and discovering their privacy and security-related needs while respecting their cultural diversity and privacy. This framework has been employed with two user communities: the Tibetan Exile Community in Dharamsala, India, and a group of digital activists based in Vietnam. We introduce the LAUNCH Fabrics challenge, a call for innovations with the potential to transform the way fabrics are manufacturing and/or applied, in partnership with NASA, NIKE, USAID, and the U.S. Department of State.
launch is named one of the top 25 innovations in government. Launch is awarded a nike maxim award. Nike employees vote on projects that best represent each of the company’s 11 guiding principles, then choose the project of the year. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition engages SecondMuse to develop the strategy and identify collective action efforts, based on the levers determined through systems mapping, to achieve the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) 2020 Goals developed by the 110+ industry members of the global apparel industry. The United Nations engages SecondMuse in “A Global Education Platform: Harnessing Technology to Deliver Universal Education and Skills Training to the New Global Economy”, a two-day meeting exploring the potential for a new online global education platform to bridge the gap between supply and demand for basic and advanced education. The event brings together business, education, technology and academic leaders for a private ideation session on how to advance the platform. SecondMuse co-creates the design and facilitation of the London meeting which begins the process of defining the mission and scope of the Global Education Platform and energizes partners to commit to furthering the cause.
2014 Every SecondMuse project generates learning and positive social impact. We hold to these metrics so strongly that they are a mandatory aspect of every project we do. Early in our history, we walk away from 60% of our business. While it was the most profitable work in our portfolio, it had failed to generate the positive impact we value most. SecondMuse works with the Walton Family Foundation, the Packard Foundation and others on various issues related to early childhood education, including creating a systems map of the Early Childhood Development ecosystem by collaborating with many different stakeholders with insights into this system. By visualizing the causal relationships underlying a complex and often uncoordinated web of services and actors, the map is intended to serve as a tool to aid collective action to improve early childhood development outcomes. The system mapping process allows for a shared vision and identifies leverage points. It lays the groundwork for a design and build process for an electronic version of the map to be a reference tool for those in the field. SecondMuse organizes a workshop for the Foundation to explore these ideas.
SecondMuse is engaged to provide support for McConnell’s RECODE initiative, a program supporting the capacity of schools to weave social innovation tools and practices into the fabric of campus and community culture. SecondMuse is responsible for three primary activities of RECODE: Strategy and Governance, Partnership Development, and a National Challenges Strategy. The project results in a strategy and implementation plan for RECODE; brings public, private, NGO, and foundations together around a common agenda to jointly scale RECODE’s efforts; and designs a strategy plan with a range of implementation options to pursue for a full RECODE national challenge program. SecondMuse also engages key stakeholders to present and create alignment around RECODE’s high level social finance vision. In March 2014, global leaders in climate and disaster resiliency convene in Washington, DC to participate in the White House Climate Data Initiative Launch, the GFDRR Climate & Disaster Resiliency Open Data Workshop and a strategic event to align on collaboration priorities. As a strategic thought partner and
advisor to White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and GFDRR, SecondMuse brokers a partnership between the two organizations that leads to a coordinated climate and disaster resiliency week in Washington, DC, and joint priorities for the development of a public private partnership. Along with NIKE and a new range of European partners - IKEA, Kvadrat, Novozymes and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark - we introduce the LAUNCH Textiles challenge.
Fast Company names NIKE one of the worldâ€™s most innovative companies, giving a special mention to the expansion of the LAUNCH program that year. LAUNCH is included in The Observatory of Public Sector Innovation, as one of 100 programs featured from 20 countries. The platform includes a collection of innovation from a wide range of sectors across the world to inspire innovators in other countries.
New York’s Next Top Makers kicks off as collaboration between the New York Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and SecondMuse as the lead operational partner in charge of design, execution and community management. The focus of the program is to reach, grow, and connect NYC-based hardware entrepreneurs as they establish and grow their product businesses in the city. Our involvement also includes recruitment and management of the partnerships and oversight of processes such as a five-borough Pop Up tour, an online platform and a year-long community-sourced incubation program for six NYC-based hardware companies. NYC Next Top Makers is supported by Autodesk, Intel, Make Media, Microsoft NY, Nike, and Impact Hub NYC among others.
SecondMuse Australia opens NASA Datanauts is a year-round engagement for members from around the world to learn about how to access and use NASA’s open data, and practice data science skills. The idea is born out of NASA’s women in data initiative in 2015. To this day, with a community of 200+ participants, Datanauts is open to anyone interested in technology, data science, earth, and space. Our activities encourage collaboration between members, the merging of ideas, and skill-sharing. We delve into the world of sustainable chemistry with the LAUNCH Green Chemistry challenge, in partnership with NASA, NIKE, USAID, and the U.S. Department of State.
We introduce the LAUNCH Materials challenge in partnership with IKEA, Kvadrat, The Capital Region of Denmark, Novozymes, 3GF, Vinnova, Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark, Region Skane, and the City of Malmo. For our work on the LAUNCH Green Chemistry challenge, we are recognized with the Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Tibbetts Awards are presented to leaders and programs that have been instrumental in the federal government’s research and development needs and the nation’s economy through technological innovation. The Leadership, Learning and Innovation Vice Presidency of the World Bank Group contracts SecondMuse to provide strategic guidance for an event on the topic of big data for resilience, as part of the World Bank Group’s 2015 Big Data for Resilience Annual Meetings. The event consists of leaders in the fields of technology, development and resilience, and showcases big data for development projects. SecondMuse works with the Al Jazeera Innovation & Research team on shaping strategy and vision to launch Canvas, a global community of innovators at the intersection of media and technology committed to building the future of media. We also design, coordinate, and implement the Canvas Media in Context Hackathon. SecondMuse is involved in ongoing engagement with the Canvas community as it continues to take shape and grow.
Click to hear from Keith.
To be frank, there would be no WearWorks if there was no Futureworks and Next Top Maker program. Keith Kirkland, Cofounder of WearWorks, a haptics design company that develops products and experiences that communicate information through touch
In March 2016, SecondMuse is incredibly proud to announce becoming a Certified B Corporationâ„˘. Eight years prior, SecondMuse was founded by the Harmony Equity Group, a network of individuals and organizations operating within a common, evolving conceptual framework, in order to foster human prosperity through the development of more conscious, socially-beneficial commercial organizations. SecondMuseâ€™s Carrie Freeman explains one of these principles:
Justice is a principle that we strive to apply within our company and in the projects we choose to engage. Justice, implies fairness, equity, a sincere search for truth, and a recognition that the well-being of individuals and groups is achieved by promoting the wellbeing of the entire social body. Futureworks Incubator kicks off as a community-sourced incubator, implemented by SecondMuse as lead in design, execution, community management, and startup acceleration. The program is funded by the New York City Economic Development Corporation through a $13 million investment in 2017. Its focus is on accelerating over 85 product-based startups in New York City per year and reaching, growing and connecting the manufacturing and startup communities in the city. SecondMuse has been implementing the program ever since and been involved in partnership building and the implementation of a secondary program named Futureworks Shop, intended to connect maker and coworking spaces across New York City to provide startups and creative teams
with space, tools, and resources to advance their projects. Futureworks is supported by Kickstarter, Techshop, MITColab, Zahn Innovation Center, Intel, Impact Hub NYC, and others. Connecting with communities, understanding challenges, and engaging to create solutions is integral to our projects at SecondMuse, including our work with Internet Freedom. In June 2016, our Internet Freedom Needfinding Framework, which uses human-centered design to make an impact on a local level, is honored by the Core77 Design Awards. The Needfinding Framework is named a runner-up in the Strategy and Research Category of the awards and joins a diverse assortment of companies, including Amazon, Oculus and SAP, as well as past clients Google and Microsoft, in receiving Core77 recognition. Futureworks Shops is launched as a network of spaces across the five boroughs where product entrepreneurs can turn their ideas into reality. Futureworks NYC partners with 12 production hubs to provide entrepreneurs with a diverse set of resources and discounted services to build and grow their businesses here. Intel engages SecondMuse to gain a better understanding in Vietnam of the systemic forces behind individual learning and capacity-building in the context of preparation for entering and succeeding in the 21st century workforce and create a strategy for intervening in the system. Several methodologies are used including ethnographic interviews, desk research, and systems mapping. These methodologies allow us to identify the disconnect between university educational offerings and the skills needed for students to be able to enter workforce and succeed. By seeing the factors at play, generating insights, and designing a Theory of Change, the client is able to pursue a well informed strategy which identified
the education system and the entrepreneurial ecosystem as key levers in the transformational change for the system. The World Bank Big Data Innovation Challenge is a global competition to identify and scale big data solutions to solve priority issues from the Sustainable Development Goals pertaining to food security and climate change. The innovation challenge program is developed and implemented by the World Bank Group and SecondMuse to identify new data-driven solutions and analytical methodologies. The Innovation Challenge attracts 189 innovative proposals from over 45 countries, and awards 14 projects with support to enable the implementation of big data analytics in their projects. Representatives from over 10 Global Practices and CCSAâ€™s participate in the program. We continue our work in sustainable chemistry with the LAUNCH Smarter Chemistry challenge, alongside partners NIKE, Estee Lauder, and the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute.
Click to hear from Dr. Flower Msuya.
[The Blue Economy Challenge] Aquacelerator helped us a lot during the starting up of the project, and kept on helping us, telling us how it was going and, when we had difficulties, [telling] how they could help. This was a fantastic approach, and it really helped us in the project. Dr. Flower Msuya, Founder of SeaPower, a company improving seaweed farming technology to empower women and protect the environment in Tanzania
Our LAUNCH Closing the Loop challenge kicks off as a call for innovations in the circular economy, in partnership with IKEA, Kvadrat, Novozymes, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. We take up a challenge we’ve never addressed before with the LAUNCH Food challenge, in partnership with USAID and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s innovationXchange. At the same time, our LAUNCH Legends, an initiative aimed at promoting healthy eating and better nutrition in the Pacific region through the use of emerging, interactive and storytelling technologies, challenge kicks off in partnership with the innovationXchange as a regional experiment seeking innovations in nutritionfocused storytelling. In September 2016, the White House Open Data Innovation Summit highlights the Obama Administration’s work in opening U.S. government data and to discuss the path forward to continue this progress. This event is co-hosted by White House, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the General Services Administration, and the Data Foundation and features cutting-edge uses of government open data to promote government efficiency and effectiveness, drive innovation, economic opportunity, and improve the health and welfare of the American public. This includes the National Day of Civic Hacking.
We’ve been designed to have blinders... the only way we can understand this set of complex problems is actually by working together and thinking together, and finding a way to weave together our beliefs and understandings about these systems. Todd Khozein, Partner at SecondMuse, at Business Innovation Factory 2016
The Blue Economy Challenge (BEC) is an effort to promote aquaculture solutions in support of development outcomes in economies across the Indian Ocean Region. SecondMuse leads the project from problem definition through research, synthesis, strategy design and implementation of the Blue Economy Challengeâ€™s Aquacelerator. We provide innovator funding recommendations to the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Tradeâ€™s innovationXchange. SecondMuse goes on to support our innovators in raising over $40 million AUD during the course of the accelerator. SecondMuse leads the delivery of the Frontier Innovators program, an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Tradeâ€™s innovationXchange that identifies and supports innovative businesses from the Asia-Pacific. The program supports 15 high impact businesses from across the region by providing them with resources and partnerships that help them to scale their impact. SecondMuse leads the creation of a strategy for the World Bank Development Data Hub platform, a data repository and operational framework to improve the management, curation and sharing of development data across the World Bank and partner organizations. This involves a consultation of more than 600+ stakeholders through a human-centered design and systems thinking approach to develop a well-informed and effective strategy for data management at the World Bank. Our LAUNCH Design and Manufacturing challenge yields exciting innovations in consumer tech, business models, and recycling, in partnership with NIKE, IKEA, Novozymes, Kvadrat, and eBay.
Click to hear from Dr. Stuart Gill.
Collaboration has been our heart, and weâ€™ve found more and more meaningful ways to do that. Dr. Stuart Gill, Partner at SecondMuse
2018 SecondMuse celebrates two years as a Certified B Corporation™, announcing recertification and measured improvements in our environmental, team, community, and governance practices. LAUNCH hosts a Big Think at eBay Headquarters, where brands such as IKEA, LEGO, Apple, eBay, Interface, Dell, VF Corporation, Novozymes, and Kvadrat alongside organizations like the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, GreenBiz, and WeWork, coming together to understand how we can collectively build a circular society.
SECONDMUSE OPENS A NEW OFFICE IN INDONESIA. SecondMuse Community Source Incubation (CSI) initiatives expand from New York and Philadelphia to Florida, Michigan, and Indonesia. Legends, a program delivered through a partnership with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s innovationXchange, and the LAUNCH Food platform, deploys two interactive technology pilots, Our Special Island and Beyond the Stars, in select primary schools in Tonga and Fiji, respectively. The Development Economics group at the World Bank, in coordination with SecondMuse, organizes a workshop on scaling big data for sustainable development. The workshop brings together more than 40 leading experts from a diverse range of organizations in the development and data ecosystems, including Amazon Web Services, LinkedIn, Facebook, MIT, University of Chicago, USAID, Digital Impact Alliance, GPSDD and the National Science Foundation. Following on from SecondMuse’s work on the Frontier Innovators program, we team up with organizations Conveners.org and ygap to deliver Frontier Incubators.
Another innovationXchange initiative, the program supports 30 incubators and accelerators in the AsiaPacific region by building their capabilities through partnerships with global leaders in the field. The Global Partnership for Education, a partnership and trust fund under the World Bank, supports 65 developing countries to ensure that children receive a quality basic education. SecondMuse and Bivee design an $80 million Knowledge and Innovation Exchange fund (KIX) and manage the selection process that results in the selection of grant agents for this fund. Funded by The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, and in partnership with Great Barrier Reef Foundation and The University of Queensland, SecondMuse’s Out of the Blue Box kicks off as a global challenge to source technologies and innovation that can help begin the journey to revive the Great Barrier Reef. Through a new collaboration with Circulate Capital, Ocean Conservancy, WeWork Labs India and McKinsey.org, SecondMuse launches The Incubator Network, a new initiative to accelerate solutions to ocean plastic waste by partnering with existing incubators. SecondMuse, in collaboration with the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, begins the Seafood Innovation Project, building an entrepreneurial ecosystem for the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Indonesia. Through collaboration with a range of stakeholders, the Seafood Innovation Project will accelerate innovative solutions to achieve a sustainable economy, and build resilient communities engaged in the Indonesian fisheries sector.
SecondMuse collaborates with NASA on the 7th annual International Space Apps Challenge, taking place in a record 200 cities and 75 countries with nearly 3,000 teams working to use robotics, data visualization, hardware, design and many other specialties for the public good. NYSERDA taps SecondMuse to run M-Corps, the first statewide accelerator that helps cleantech startups manufacture and get to market faster. M-Corps will support growth-stage startups over the next two years as part of the Empire State’s ambitious energy targets. LAUNCH convenes partners IKEA, eBay, VF Corporation, Novozymes, Kvadrat, and Region Skåne along with Forum sponsors Walmart, Waste Management, Nature’s Path, Sympatex, and Cisco for the LAUNCH Circular Forum in Bentonville, Arkansas, home to Walmart’s Headquarters. The Forum brings together 30+ Council members in support of the 9 newest LAUNCH Innovators. SecondMuse begins a partnership with NYCEDC to run the NYC BigApps Blockchain Challenge, which will launch in early 2019. The program includes a series of workshops to introduce blockchain to government stakeholders and to the general public, and an open call for blockchain solutions that address issues in the public sector in NYC.
Discovering fertile ground for a
future of impact By Todd Khozein, Partner
A decade ago we were born as a company with one insight, that in order to understand or address the most pressing problems we face as a human civilization we would need to engage in unprecedented collaboration. The dirty little secret of complex problems is that, try as you may, you simply can’t understand them alone. These problems are just not exclusively about individual intelligence or hard work. You need to team up and think with people that come at the world from fundamentally different approaches. Very early on, through Random Hacks of Kindness and LAUNCH, we recognized that innovation, the process of taking new ideas and technologies from a napkin into the real world, was incredibly fertile ground for the kind of collaboration we need. We would set an inspiring stage with wonderful partners like NASA or Nike, execute well-designed programs and watch multi-billion dollar partnerships emerge from some of the most unlikely partners. Bring different people together to try to solve a hard problem and people will elevate the relationship and engage in a way that previously they may not have been able to. Bilateral negotiations will at best get you what you want while truly collaborative relationships would open up opportunities, be they markets, solutions or approaches, that you hadn’t even considered. So we spent the last 10 years perfecting our approach to collaborative innovation. We would obsess over tweaking our way to maximize building connectivity into everything we did. We need to do research a new market, design a corporate strategy, take a cohort of businesses to market or help one technology go to scale? We figured out how to do it while optimizing for community-building. Because many of these communities were nascent, we were able to influence the composition and culture of those communities. We ensured the inclusion of traditionally excluded communities and set a precedent of collaboration and care. As it turned out, this wasn’t just the “gooder” thing to do, making a positive impact, it was also the better, more effective thing to do, as tested by our 80% success rate for our entrepreneurs. As these communities have grown over the last 10 years of work, we have watched these cohorts of entrepreneurs and mentors and the vast support network that engage with them look a lot less like an incubator and a lot more like an economy.
Our work has always been about getting really good at what weâ€™re doing, looking at the biggest barrier facing our efforts and then getting really good at doing that next thing. While we will continue to build these economies of the future by consolidating and growing our core as a top-tier manager of incubators, led by the collective visions and insights of the communities and networks we serve, we will begin to expand our relationships to the capital that funds these ecosystems. In late 2018 alone, we have led the design of a ~$140M fund focused on education, are general partners of a $30M fund focused on community revitalization and are the operating partner of a ~$120M fund focused on the elimination of ocean plastics.
For the last decade, SecondMuse has been using business accelerators to build economies that create social and environmental justice. In doing so we have learned that the most resilient economies are those that are inclusive and adaptive to local circumstance. In the next decade we will increasingly manage and deploy capital to support these efforts. The work that we have done has always been challenging, but we feel better equipped than ever to take it on because of a tremendous network of partners committed to positive impact.
HEREâ€™s TO THE NEXT 10! 41.