SOCIAL INNOVATION CHALLENGE 2023: The Search for Volunteer Innovators to Build a Better Philippines

SOCIAL INNOVATION CHALLENGE 2023: The Search for Volunteer Innovators to Build a Better Philippines

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Steve Jobs

The Philippines, like many other countries, has faced various challenges, including natural disasters, social inequalities, and the pandemic. These challenges have highlighted the need for innovative solutions that can help the country recover, rebuild, and create a more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable future.

iVolunteer’s Social Innovation Challenge is returning with the theme “Building Back Better: Innovating for Resilience, Inclusion, and Sustainability in the Philippines”. This challenge aims to inspire and mobilize individuals, organizations, and communities to cultivate innovative solutions that can address the pressing challenges faced by the country and contribute to positive change.

If you are an experienced volunteer with an innovative idea that can help improve the country, we want you to be part of this challenge and this journey.  

What is the Social Innovation Challenge (SIC)?

This is a program that will run from July to December 2023 that intends to develop and equip volunteer leaders to better execute creative ideas that address societal issues. SIC caters to individuals who have already started and tried their innovation. The focus is on volunteer leaders and changemakers who are ready to take their ideas to the next level.

Through capacity-building and mentorship, SIC aims to develop, strengthen, and improve initiatives that will help address societal issues and will produce new volunteer opportunities. This is an avenue for seasoned volunteers to further develop their skills to think creatively and to implement strategically. 

Some of the topics that will be covered by the program—particularly during the workshops and mentoring sessions— include: Understanding the Self; Strategic Planning; Business Models and Design Thinking; Communication, Marketing, and Pitching; Resource Mobilization and  Fundraising; Volunteer Engagement; Leadership and Team Development; Network and Partnership Development, and  Monitoring and Evaluation.

Program Flow:

Registration and Screening – Interested applicants will be shortlisted based on their credentials and the potential of their creative solutions. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed to assess if they are fit for the program and to better understand their social innovation idea

Phase 1: Online Workshop Series (5 Weeks) – A five-part skills-building will be conducted on scaling and sustaining the impact of the innovative solutions

Phase 2: Mentorship & Incubation (3 Months) – Select participants will work on developing and implementing their projects, considering feedback and guidance received during the workshop series. Participants will implement their project plans with the support of mentors; with regular monitoring and evaluation.

Pitch and Graduation Participants will be required to submit a final report documenting their social innovation journey, including lessons learned, challenges faced, and results achieved. Instructions for submissions will be given.  Select participants will have the opportunity to showcase their social innovation where they can present their work to a wider audience, including stakeholders, partners, and potential investors.

What are the mechanics for the Social Innovation Challenge 2023?

  • This season will provide a space for capacity building that prioritizes volunteer leaders who seek to improve, scale, revive, or pivot their existing projects or programs (social innovations). 
  • Such social innovations should have already been started, tested, or implemented.
  • Aspiring participants should have at least one year of experience in volunteering and leadership. 
  • Aspiring participants should already have a clear potential solution to a specific social challenge they wish to address. 
  • The initiative should be implemented as a non-profit and have opportunities to engage volunteers. Solutions in the form of social enterprises will not be considered for this program. 
  • Aspiring participants shall sign up as an individual. A pair of individuals who are working on the same project/idea may participate in the program but should sign up individually. 
  • Participants must be ready to allot about 30 hours from July to December 2023 for capacity building sessions and mentorship/check-in calls. 
  • To ensure commitment in the program, confirmed participants will have to submit Php 5,000.00, in cash or in check. This Php 5,000.00-peso bond will be returned to the participant completing the workshop series and completion of all necessary requirements (complete attendance in the workshops, accomplished pre- and post- workshop surveys and exercises). 
  • Individuals who would like to join the program but would need financial support are invited to indicate intent to be considered through the application form. (Up to 2 slots may be allotted for truly deserving applicants with limited capacity)
  • The innovation that created the most impact and/or showed the most significant progress within the program timeline will be announced as winner of the Social Innovation Challenge. Participants have a chance to win prizes from corporate partners. 
  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview as part of the selection process. 

How to apply for the Social Innovation Challenge 2023?

For interested volunteers, kindly submit your application HERE by June 16, 2023. Take note of the application deadline and tune in to our FB page to get updates. For inquiries regarding the program, just send an email to  [email protected].

Want to know more about the Social Innovation Challenge?

Visit our other blog articles to get an idea of the previous runs of the Social Innovation Challenge:

Visit, follow and like iVolunteer’s Facebook Page for Regular Updates:

Sign up for Volunteer Opportunities through iVolunteer’s Website: