Virtual meeting

The ILO Skills Innovation Facility has initiated the design of a global Skills Innovation Network

A series of discussions are being held with a selected group of skills innovators to co-design the Network’s objectives and activities.

ILO Skills Innovation Network map
Recognizing the importance of building an innovation ecosystem that supports great ideas and turning these into real world solutions, the ILO Skills Innovation Facility will launch the “Skills Innovation Network”. The Skills Innovation Network will be a global member-driven network of skills innovators, including ILO Constituents, TVET institutions, academia and development practitioners, interested in sharing ideas, experiences and collaborate to develop and scale innovations for identified skills challenges.

To make this possible, a Core Group composed by a selected group of top innovators who submitted the best applications to the Skills Challenge Innovation Call convened four times between November and December 2020 to co-design the Network’s vision and co-lead activities.

1st Core Group meeting
In collaboration with the Business Innovation Unit and Unity Effect, the Core Group met for the first time on 19 November 2020. During the first meeting participants got acquainted with each other for the first time and discussed common areas of interests. At the end of the meeting, a network map was developed as a means of connecting, exchanging and collaborating.

The 1st Core Group meeting began with Patrick Daru, Head of Operations of the ILO Skills and Employability Branch, who provided a brief introduction to the ILO Skills Innovation Facility. This was followed by a presentation, discussion and validation of the network map based on ILO categories on skills interventions. Finally, Milagros Lazo Castro, Technical Officer of the Skills Branch, presented the roles and responsibilities of the Core Group, as well as the benefits of joining the Skills Innovation Network.

Participants expressed their great appreciation, saying that it was an informative meeting. They also stressed the importance of having access to key information and contact details of the organizations and individuals who are members of the Core Group.

Thank you so much for the invitation, also for the selection within this huge amount of participants to join this Core Group. We really look forward to it. We bring along interesting projects connected to many areas that have been raised up during the discussions. We also bring lots of doubts that is why we look forward to this network. We know that we are not alone and the experiences of other colleagues will help us clear out those doubts. We look forward to further collaborating with other innovators."

Tomas Damerau, Director of Labour Studies - Secretariat of Labour and Employment Promotion, Mexico

2nd Core Group meeting
A second Core Group meeting took place on 26 November 2020 for the Core Group members to identify the Network’s shared value. To achieve this, participants expressed and discussed their needs, their strengths and opportunities for collaboration.

During the session, participants noted the importance of peer-coaching and knowledge-sharing for refining their proposals, establishing new joint projects or scaling existing work. They also expressed the need for ILO's expert support across key topics.

In our case, we work in the area of inclusion of persons with disabilities. I know that ILO has been doing a great work on this topic in several countries. We would be interested sharing and experiences and collaborating with programmes already in place in these other countries. On peer collaboration, I went to the Skills Innovation Network map and saw the other participants’ profiles. I saw other universities and organizations that work in different areas and I could identify several areas of complementarity."

Samer Sfeir, Founder/Social entrepreneur, ProAbled, Lebanon

The third meeting focused on the Network's operations. Participants defined the future services and activities of the Skills Innovation Network. Some of the proposed activities included: creating a pool of technical advisors for skills innovators, organizing webinars on how to develop solid skills project proposals, conducting online discussions on identified topics, organizing knowledge sharing events, among others.
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4th Core Group meeting

The last meeting of year was dedicated to drafting a Network Charter that outlines the purpose and foundational principles of the Network. One of the participants highlighted:

...the Network's will strengthen the skills ecosystem by amplifying the voice of the Core Group in order to reach others and gain visibility worldwide. It will also support members and communities by generating tangible tools - such as training, coaching, a platform - and creating connections."

Johanna Diaz, Fundraiser, Anima

Two more meetings meeting are planned for the beginning of 2021 to finalize and validate the Charter. The Core Group agreed that the final outcome of the co-design process will be presented at the virtual launch event of the Skills Innovation Network in 2021 with international participants joining online.