Bigger Boat combines an understanding of design thinking, psychology and systems and organisational dynamics, with practical support to incubate and launch real-world solutions to seemingly intractable problems.

Bigger Boat supports participants to:

  • Research a specific problem and identify highly promising opportunities for impact
  • Use design processes to identify and plan a set of ambitious, achievable initiatives that both stand on their own and work in concert to address the problem, and
  • Build a community of organisations and entrepreneurs to incubate and launch these initiatives.

We listen deeply, and turn the wisdom of those who are closest to a problem into new and never-considered ways to take collective action.

So what does this look like in action?

The first stage in a Bigger Boat is a period of deep qualitative research.

We work to develop a practical, nuanced understanding of the problem and the solutions that have worked so far. To do this, we support you in framing a focused question, gathering in-depth qualitative data through practitioner interviews and a literature review, and identifying common challenges and patterns of innovation.

The next step is an in-person gathering to design solutions that address these challenges and leverage the patterns of innovation identified.

Using design-led processes, Bigger Boat convenes and facilitates a two- to three-day meeting for a small number of leading practitioners, funders and policymakers who work together to identify and plan a number of linked, ambitious and achievable initiatives. These initiatives are intended to work both independently and in concert to systemically address the issue at hand.

Each Bigger Boat then aims to launch several initiatives within 18 months.

Bigger Boat helps create a community from which these initiatives launch by offering an extensive programme of one-on-one work, group work, study tours and social events. A combination of reflective work, practical learning and collaboration, and high-value fun supports participants to:

  • Continually explore, learn and better understand the problem
  • Build community, and
  • Get their hands dirty and collaborate to get initiatives off the ground.