From July 28-31, 2016, over 200 people gathered in Puebla, Mexico, for Global Innovation MX. Hosted by Enseña por México, the event was designed to highlight social impact projects launched by alumni of Teach For All network partners around the world and to foster a network of social entrepreneurs working to address educational and social inequality in their countries.
Attendees of the four-day event participated in two intersecting “tracks”: 36 Enseña por México participants took part in social innovation “bootcamp” training sessions led by specialists from Teach First’s Innovation Unit, while 32 network alumni entrepreneurs from 13 countries engaged in workshops led by internal and external experts in social impact, networking and feedback opportunities, and formal “pitch sessions” for their initiatives. Guided by Gina Cicerone and Lucy Ashman of Teach First’s Innovation Unit, the Enseña por México participants worked in teams to develop projects that would positively impact educational equity in the Mexican context. Throughout the week, the teams received feedback and training from the global alumni as well as successful local and international social innovators. The event culminated with a competitive pitch session with an impressive panel of internal and external judges.
Global Innovation MX generated 13 ideas for social impact projects specifically designed for the Mexican context and resulted in numerous connections made between alumni social entrepreneurs across the Teach For All network. “Co-creating with others new ideas for how to work through challenges we face, in both the programmatic and leadership aspects of our work, has allowed me to build better and smarter, and interact more adeptly with various stakeholders to keep moving [our] vision forward,” reflected Teach For America alumna and Indy Pulse founder Lauren Hall. Many of Hall’s fellow attendees agreed, expressing excitement for developing similar events that catalyze collaboration and connectivity between network alumni working in the social innovation space.