Climate change. Systemic racism. Vaccine apartheid. Rising wealth inequality.
The world is facing a series of crises that threaten our very existence — and the pandemic has laid bare how ill-equipped our current institutions, systems, and culture are to confront them. If we want to create a future where we aren’t just surviving the catastrophe of the day but are actively shaping a more just and equitable world, then it’s clear we have to change. And how we go about that change matters.
Think Rubix is proud to release our first white paper, “Equity Innovation as Just Transformation.” In the paper, we define the term “Equity Innovation” as the processes and outcomes that arise from shaping change with justice in mind. At its core, EI emphasizes that only a just process can produce a just outcome, and if we’re going to transform our current world into a just one — as we must — then we need to have the right framework to guide that transformation.
Think Rubix is committed to shaping change the right way, and offers this white paper as our approach to solving our toughest problems — from the everyday organizational issues to the existential crises — different from other consultancies.
The Equity Innovation framework outlined here is flexible and adaptable, but it has some non-negotiable elements including:
- Recognizing the problem, the surrounding context, and the positionality of stakeholders involved in building alternatives. Before any discussion of interventions or change can happen, participants need a landscape analysis of the roots of the problem, how different identities have shaped or are shaped by the problem, and how the positionality of different identities involved in the process affect the form and goals it takes on.
- Honoring the lived expertise of marginalized people across all elements of the process. Innovation can make many types of change, but as EI aims to build spaces of opportunities for decolonization, it values people’s experience, labor, vision, needs, and values.
- Refusing change for the sake of change, and upholding what is working. By honoring indigenous, traditional, and community knowledge and practices, we again assert that the people closest to the pain are the closest to the solution, and reject the notion that systems must necessarily be completely upended in order to work better for stakeholders.
We define these principles in the paper, and offer a social and epistemological context to the terms at hand to explain how Equity Innovation is a unique and much-needed approach to shaping change. We emphasize that though this field is relatively new and still in need of much more explanation, we draw on the work of many different thinkers, innovators, and activists to inform our approach, and offer this white paper as a contribution to that growing body of research.
These ideas are a seed, which will build a tree to support the ecosystem of equitable interventions intent on transforming the new world order.