Scaling my Expectations of the Social Sector

Natasha Shaw shares insights from her two week internship at our London office

Two weeks spent at ICSF has changed the way I see the social sector working. Coming from a small local charity to intern with the team here has been invigorating and I’ve been inspired by the variety of exciting and significant projects ICSF is undertaking.

There’s been a lot to take in as the projects are so diverse; ranging from partnering with large foundations engaging with unemployment in the developing world to working with UK charities to develop research projects and new business models.

With different backgrounds, visions and objectives, each project I’ve come across through ICSF is distinctive and yet working here has shown me that social initiatives, even based countries apart, can be experiencing the same challenges and could benefit from sharing the same solutions.

I’ve learnt that initiatives worldwide are spending time ‘reinventing the wheel’ in trying to build new solutions, whilst other successful projects with a proven impact are struggling to replicate. This is where ICSF comes in: to scale promising social solutions to increase social impact and reach more people.

ICSF has found that proven social initiatives need to operate at a much greater scale to achieve significant transformational change. Seeing firsthand the ways in which the often fragmented social sector can been drawn together through ICSF’s methodology and their Social Replication Toolkit has been incredibly motivating for me. Additionally, it has been even more inspiring to see the opportunities for impact that partnering with ICSF can offer.

Through providing knowledge, networks and consulting services to organisations wanting to replicate and scale up their social impact, ICSF work with partners to build bespoke plans for development and scaling of social impact. It’s exciting to know that whilst ICSF will design a model to grow a charity which inspires young people in the UK to share and explore their interest in reading, they’re applying the same methodology to enable a business mentoring network to scale their work and expand in to new continents.

Two weeks at ICSF has changed the way I see the social sector. The ICSF spans continents, systems and sectors; it’s fast paced and comprehensive, enabling its partners to successfully impact change on a global scale and tangibly enacting change itself in doing so. Being part of the dynamic, highly energised team has been a really worthwhile experience, leaving me excited to move forward in the work I do in the social sector with a renewed focus on process and impact.

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