The David and Lucile Packard Foundation shared highlights from its learning journey as captured in a ‘Starter Kit’ titled “Sourcing New Ideas through Experimentation.” It outlines steps to take to identify and vet new ideas, and it details the experiences and lessons learned along the way.

It’s easy to get stuck in the same conversations. We find ourselves listening to perspectives from well-known and trusted sources that often reinforce our own worldviews and strategies. We know that connecting with innovative possibilities is critical to making progress on the tough issues. Yet, time and resources are limited and delivering high quality work—and results—through existing pathways is hard enough.

How do we create the space for venturing into unfamiliar territory? How do we get out of comfortable idea loops and challenge the status quo? How can we best tap into fresh ideas and thinking? And, in doing so, how can we cultivate a culture of experimentation? In 2013, the Packard Foundation began taking an intentional look at these questions, through a partnership between Programs, Communications and Evaluation & Learning teams.

This Starter Kit surfaces highlights from our learning journey. It outlines steps you can take to identify and vet new ideas, and it details our experiences and lessons learned along the way. We hope our reality-tested process will provide inspiration and fuel to other funders asking and acting on similar questions.

You can read a copy of the report here.