The Next Dinner Party: Skid Row School + Fast Forward


The first time I heard about the Skid Row School was a few years ago. I finally made it to their training this last January and wasn’t disappointed.  Becky Margiotta and Joe McCannon have translated the IHI model of improvement science into a really accessible set of steps to move from good work to large change in the social sector. They start with why the work is important to you (Ganz-like story of you); identifying the specific intervention you seek to scale; clarifying the aim (goal); identifying the multiple ways to achieve that aim etc. They have both a systematic measurement orientation and a people/behavior change approach.

I wanted to marry them with the entrepreneurs that I met at the Fast Forward conference this last month.  Fast Forward was started by Kevin Barenblat, an entrepreneur turned social good doer who started an accelerator to help more tech start-ups succeed as non-profits.  They held what I hope is an annual conference to showcase who they are working with and why it matters. Kevin mentors the entrepreneurs over several months and helps them create the kind of business models they need to get access to capital.

They have similar goals but go about it in very different ways.  The Skid Row School has more elements of movement making in it while Fast Forward has more elements of markets.  Both movement making and markets are needed to spread innovations.  I guess I need to plan another dinner party.

-C.