Asia P3 Hub covers 3 main innovations:
(1) Relationship Innovation: Partnerships that give rise to new operating models between the public sector, business and civil society (such as NGOs, academia, and community-based organizations).
(2) Process Innovation: Time, talent and treasure. This process includes being able to champion causes, spark new ideas, and transform thinking into measurable action through social Innovation challenges.
(3) Products & Service Innovation: Training courses/ boot camps on the model of multi-sector partnerships.
Khoo Shu Wen
Case Western Reserve University - Weatherhead School of Management
Water is for the second time on top of the Global Risk Ranking as the most important global challenge for the next ten years, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). Water is the key driver for development. One out of seven people do not have access to clean water. Of that number, 635 million, or just under two thirds of them live in Asia, with China and India leading at 120 and 100 million people respectively. For its initial focus, Asia P3 Hub will leverage Singapore’s reputation as a center of water excellence and global hydro-hub to ensure that people in Asia have universal access to clean water. Asia P3 Hub identified the following challenges as the main challenges across the Asian market to focus on: (1) Lack of local capacity or capabilities (2) Lack of sufficient knowledge to enter / expand the business (3) Context complexity (4) Lack of partnering knowledge and brokering capability across all stakeholder groups - business, civil society and government.
When asked about the parties that supported her vision to be a reality, Christy Davis, the Executive Director of Asia P3 Hub said, "World Vision International’s South Asia & Pacific Office and the Singapore Economic Development Board provided guidance and a strongly held belief in the Asia P3 Hub model". In addition, she shared "Consultations with the Public Utility Board of Singapore (Singapore’s water agency) also provided helpful context about Singapore’s value added position for water resources and expertise". The Asia P3 Hub proudly launched during Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) in July of 2016.
We asked Wayne Chia, the Innovations Lead of the hub, on a simplified way to describe this innovation. He summed it in 3 pertinent areas of: "Relationship Innovation, Process Innovation, Product & Service Innovation."
Globally, World Vision International is recognized for its work driving strategic, mutually beneficial and long-term collaborations with corporates, especially in the area of clean Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). Combining a 50-year track record and a global network of more than 700 technical experts, World Vision International is currently one of the largest non-governmental provider of clean water in the developing world.
Equipped with its knowledge and best practices, the Asia P3 Hub will serve to enable the forging of valuable WASH related partnerships in and from Singapore, as demonstrated through World Vision International’s existing partnerships with companies such as Procter & Gamble and Kohler.
Over the past several years there have been many conversations about tri-sector collaborations. When asked about how it all began, Christy shared "This incubation hub idea of bringing sectors together in Singapore for water began during her Singapore Management University Masters of Trisector Collaboration program in 2015." This is often termed as “Combinatorial Innovation” by Christy.
Wayne shared that there is a high alignment with his personal values, the team and organization. He was truly able to join an organization that paid him to learn, go the ends of the earth and experience how innovation can be created for impact. He shared passionately that “Different companies speak different languages. Can we as the conveners, the middleman and the brokers make them speak the same language?”. World Vision and Asia P3 hub aspire to serve the poor, make an impact and alleviate poverty. This profile was constituted by him as " serving the least of the least" and "serving the lost, last and little." This is "not just innovation for the sake of innovation."
Phearak Svay, the Senior WASH & Partnership Advisor of the Hub, shared about "appealing to the collective hearts of corporations from various business sectors who share the same vision: working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation and justice."
Asia P3 Hub’s overall impact can be shown through various projects that they undertake. All of the Hub’s project projects and deals included multiple partners and obtaining the buy-in from significant industry players. For example, in the recent Seagate partnership, a round table was conducted across the parties at the government, research institution, NGO and business level, which eventually sealed the sponsorship deal. Ongoing workshops and boot camps on multi-sector partnership are conducted to influence key decision makers which open inroads for new opportunities.
Short-term progress is measured by 3 metrics:
(1) Income: Measuring how much revenue is generated from the various partnerships
(2) Impact: Quantitative measures such as volume of clean water or number of individuals/households/schools with improved sanitation, and qualitative measures including perception change
(3) Influence: Primary reach through influencing key decision makers and Secondary reach through social media channels.
Long-term progress measurement include transforming the multi-sector partnership model from a transactional one that has sustainable transformation. This is done through:
(1) Discover (what everyone has)
(2) Design (structuring the partnership)
(3) Deploy (implementing the partnership)
The biggest aspiration for Wayne is for "more people to believe in this partnership model and eventually enhance multi-sectorial effort across all 3 sectors, especially the private sector". Phearak added that "Vision with action can change the world and stories would garner strong financial support to realise the vision."
All projects engineered by Asia P3 Hub should ideally include a compensation or revenue generation model to ensure sustainability as well as high quality of planning and execution.
Seagate (a market leader in the Hard Drive industry) recently sponsored Asia P3 Hub to conduct a study and go into a deeper dive into the recycling industry, specifically on the recycling of printed circuit boards (PCB). Neither Asia P3 Hub nor World Vision are the experts in the industry. While the master agreement was signed under Asia P3 Hub/ World Vision, they would partner and share the fulfilment of the research with another company where the General Manager (GM) is an expert in electronics. The project includes enlisting veterans in the technology industry who have made their first pot of gold from there and eventually wanting to give back. Seagate have been very interested and responsive in this and bringing in the bigger players. Innovating a solution would have been impossible without innovation on the relationship. It is a strategic alignment between businesses for mutual benefit.
Asia P3 Hub’s process innovation includes multi-sector partnership training courses or boot camps taught at various institutions such as Singapore Management University (SMU), National Council of Social Service (NCSS), and even social enterprises supported by the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). These trainings provided a revenue stream for Asia P3 Hub. It involved teaching other companies on re-positioning, business development, partnership for market access. Asia P3 Hub’s impact on society is a model for sustainable transformation through multi-sector partnerships that are mutually beneficial for all parties.
By being hosted by World Vision, they are able to leverage data that World Vision already has or is able to collect. For example, the reach of World Vision spans across some of the most remote ends of the earth as they have access to data that no one else has. Asia P3 Hub’s project with Seagate is one focusing on prevention and reparative work. The study allowed them delve into the issue of improper disposal of printed circuit boards, which poisons soil, flows into the river and may adversely affect the health of villagers and children downstream. Asia P3 Hub nearly closed a deal with a cloud solution provider company. They partnered with social enterprise to geo-tag (using image recognition technology) public toilets as clean/dirty or functional/non functional. The end goal was to provide the dashboard to the local government to convince them that the state of the public toilets requires further intervention, using insights to drive action.
Wayne Chia, Innovative Programmes Lead
Christy Davis, Executive Director
Phearak Svay, Senior WASH & Partnership advisor
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Business Website: http://www.asiap3hub.org/
Year Founded: 2016
Number of Employees: 2 to 10
Asia P3 Hub, the for-profit arm and hosted by World Vision International is a multi-sector incubator driving market-based developmental solutions to bring about transformational change in communities across Asia Pacific. Asia P3 Hub retains it’s own division and branding) and water is it's first focus area. The initial focus area of water will serve as a springboard to cement this new way of working.