3i – International Institute for Innovation

The International Institute for Innovation (3i) is a virtual ‘community of learning’  grounded in a heritage of stimulating imagineering and conversation as a way to respond to today’s emerging challenges in education, health, energy, innovation, philanthropy, and social enterprise. 3i is dedicated to support innovation in learning and help change the conversation to allow the free flow of ideas and solutions . All in the effort to create equity in society, business and to support the common good.

3i is a culmination of 30 years of passion and hard work from our founding members in the parent organization- Innovation Expedition (IE) Inc.


The original International Institute for Innovation was born out of work from several key individuals at the Banff Centre for Creativity in 1989-90, which had a vision to teach and develop the 21st century skills needed to think creatively and ‘out of the box’. It spun out of Banff Centre as the Innovation Expedition, headed by Dr. Don Simpson as its ‘Chief Explorer’. Today we are recreating the original International Institute for Innovation as ‘3i’, (as part of the Innovation Expedition Inc.) to foster a network of collaboration, cooperation and innovation globally and support personal and organizational learning.

The Innovation Expedition organization’s driving values are: commitmentcommunication and collaboration, and these continue to be the founding values of our 3i.

How it works

The 3i- International Institute for Innovation is organized around three ‘Knowledge’ Centres and one ‘Learning’ centre, each with its own lead and each hosting a variety of activities and ‘expeditions’ aimed at supporting individual members of the Centre in their own journey towards high performance.

The Theory

The aim is to build virtual ‘communities of interest’ which allows for more creative, dynamic learning environment for the individual. These communities become living laboratories of learning, always up to date with latest information, continuously improving knowledge. They maybe anchored by the activities of the 3i centres, but the communities are built by the members themselves becoming known for its knowledge resources, hot topic discussion and real world solutions. Research has shown this learning beyond the classroom leads to a more enjoyable, highly engaged learning experience, which is more relevant to the needs of the individual.

The Practice

The 3i- institute contains the following centres to anchor the learning communities

  • Centre for the Future will explore strategic foresight, both as a practice (the ‘How-to’) and as a way of looking in systematic way at patterns, scenarios and trends. Headed by Stephen Murgatroyd, Chief Scout of the Innovation Expedition and CEO of the Collaborative Media Group, the Centre will support webinars, specific explorations and scenario development and will challenge its engage in active work aimed at understanding the future and its implications.
  • Centre for Change and Public Policy will focus on key public policy issues related to education, health, energy, environment, development, equity and democracy. Headed by Janet Tully, the Centre will also explore issues associated with economic and community development, seeking to learn lessons from around the world which will help members of the Centre explore policy and change options. While the Centre will be of interest to many in the public and not for profit centre, it will also be of interest to those in industry and environmental organizations concerned with public policy, economic growth  and those concerned with the growth of social enterprise as a way of privatizing public service.
  • The Centre for Social Responsibility will focus on the nature and challenges of social change, ethics, and sustainability. It will be headed by Nadine Riopel, also known to many as the Savvy Do Gooder. The Centre takes the position that the meaning and focus for philanthropy is changing, and that the involvement of both organizations and individuals needs to evolve. Webcasts, blogs, curated resources, interactive online dialogue, and mentoring are all part of the work of the Centre. This Centre will be of interest to those who are tasked with managing corporate social responsibility programs, nonprofit and non-governmental organizations, and anyone interested in the mechanisms of how positive social change happens
  • Centre for Leadership and Learning will offer short and long learning programs, mentoring, coaching and learner supports for those wishing to develop their understanding, knowledge and skills with respect to strategic foresight, innovation, leadership, change management, policy development and the use of specific tools, such as the Challenge Dialogue System™ which was developed by the Innovation Expedition as a means of securing engagement and alignment of communities of interest around significant change initiatives.

Joining a Centre

Membership of a Centre is open to all through subscription – (full details will be announced Summer 2014).  The institute works on a ‘partnership learning model’, therefore on joining, members will be asked to complete a simple but focused statement of what they need from the Centre and what they can offer the Centre. Part of the work of the institute is to offer customized and personal supports to each member – we can only do so if we understand what it is you are looking for in terms of your learning journey. We will also invite you to joining specific expeditions (collaborative learning and development journeys) offered by each Centre.

Programs, courses & ‘expeditions’

3i refers to our programs as ‘expeditions’, and we run expeditions at various points during the year. With a expedition lead and team members to support the learning journey.

The Centre for the Future will begin its What is the Future of Energy For North America? expedition in October 2014.

Learning opportunities will be offered through the Centre for Leadership and Learning will offer a short course on How to Undertake a Strategic Foresight as an ‘Expedition’ beginning in September 2014.

In January 2015 it will offer a short course on Renaissance Leadership, based on the book by Don Simpson and Stephen Murgatroyd.

All members of the 3i will have access to a graphical biography as a guidebook, describing the life and work of the Innovation Expeditions founder, Dr. Don Simpson.

How You Will Engage

Once you join a Centre you will engage with others through:

  • Live webcasts with thought leaders and Centre members, where your ideas and thoughts can be shared using our Core Community platform.
  • Focused conversations within small peer groups on key issues and topics.
  • Workgroups working on key challenges connected to your own needs and the agenda of the Centre.
  • Tool Kit Development Projects aimed at creating the tools of 3i or improving tools we already have.
  • Accessing a unique Resource Centre of materials developed by 3i and the Innovation Expedition.
  • Exclusive access to mentors who can support you on your journey.
  • Collaboration opportunities within and between Centres in a community of like-minded peers.
  • Flexible focused learning through the Centre for Leadership and Learning.

The aim is to build communities of interest and commitment within and across each Centre to create a truly global network of innovators, imagineers and change agents who will make a difference in their sphere of influence.


Keep an eye on this space for more information in Spring/Summer 2014