COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Nonprofits wanting to further their impact need to make themselves more open to new ideas and new ways of doing things, says the organizer of an online forum aiming to help them develop cultures that are open to innovation.
Long-time missions and nonprofit leader Jon Hirst will host Innovation In Mission: Developing a Culture of Innovation on April 20, to coincide with the first United Nations World Creativity and Innovation Week, to be held April 15-21.The week-long focus, part of the United Nations’ annual awareness calendar, aims to inspire people to come up with new ways of making the world a better place.
The need for innovation is widely recognized in the business world, says Hirst, noting that the world’s top 1,000 corporations reportedly spent more than $700 billion on research and development, and innovation in 2017. Meanwhile, many nonprofit leaders are acknowledging that innovation is becoming a necessity for them if they are to continue to grow with fewer staff, and donations, and less capacity, he adds.
“It is time for nonprofits to move beyond accidental innovation that results from one-off projects and invest in creating a culture of innovation,” says Hirst, former president of leading missions research and information group GMI (Global Mapping International). “This is hard work, but the long-term sustainability of many organizations will depend on their ability to re-imagine themselves on a regular basis.”
During the 90-minute Innovation In Mission: Developing a Culture of Innovation event, Hirst will share lessons to be learned from Fast Company’s top 50 most innovative companies. The keynote presentation will be given by Cris Beswick, an entrepreneur and CEO turned strategic advisor and troubleshooter on innovation. The author of the recently published book Building a Culture of Innovation, Beswick says, “Every organization can become exceptional by developing its potential to innovate.”
In addition, the program will feature an interview between Paul Dzubinski, director of innovation at Frontier Ventures, and Derek Seipp, author of Innovation in World Mission and East Asia director for missions group Beyond.
Innovation In Mission: Developing a Culture of Innovation will be presented by Generous Mind, a Colorado Springs, Colo.-based think tank founded by Jon and Mindy Hirst to help people and organizations release their ideas to the world. During his career championing innovation within the nonprofit space, Hirst’s efforts have led to innovations in online evangelism, Scripture digitization, eLearning, eBook design, program evaluation, and data visualization.
Innovation In Mission: Developing a Culture of Innovation will be held April 20 10:00-11:30 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time. The event is being sponsored in InChrist Communications, a full-service Christian communications agency whose clients include a wide range of Christian organizations and nonprofits.
Generous Mind was founded by Jon and Mindy Hirst to help people and organizations release their ideas to the world. Among the organizations they have worked with are the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, SIL, Bible League, the Forum of Bible Agencies, and Bibles For The World. Generous Mind services include editorial and publishing mentoring, product development and social media strategies.