The best initiatives will be those that demonstrate uniqueness and difference from other initiatives in the field. Innovation does not necessarily involve inventing something entirely new. Rather, the initiative may comprise new products or processes, as well as new applications or hybrid combinations of existing tools. In other words, innovation can be present in new approaches to an old idea, or the application of an old idea to a different problem. Applicants should describe how their initiatives are driven by original, ground-breaking ideas.
For changemakers the ultimate goal is to permanently change and improve a system or an industry - in the case of CircularFutures, to build a circular economy. This means that their solutions go beyond treating symptoms of social problems - and are looking to redefine the underlying and broken patterns, mind-sets and structures that cause the problems in the first place. This vision for systemic change looks to address the root causes or systemic drivers of a problem.
In this context, scale focuses less on increasing the size of their organization or having the organization replicate its work in different areas and focuses more on scaling the impact of their ideas. This fundamental shift in approach usually requires strategies that scale both the direct and indirect impact of the organization in order to more quickly reach a ‘tipping point’ - the point at which impact self-accelerates without depending on the initiating organization.
Collaborations that generate indirect impact involve engaging other actors from beyond the corporate actors, social entrepreneurs or public-sector actors. This means opening up the initiatives and empowering others to co-create the solution; i.e. help replicate the idea, advocate for the idea, push for the idea to become policy, build on the idea and/or strengthen the model and its impact with complementary activities. These actions then allow for more efficient and leveraged strategies to ensure that the idea is able to gain maximum impact, moving towards the creation of new norms and real changes in systems.