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Salvos IDEAS Crowd

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Here is where we share stories, insights, and training about Innovation and what's happening across the movement in this vital area.

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By Simone Worthing, originally published in "Others"

The Salvation Army has released $2 million for the first six months of 2019 to create opportunities for new expressions of mission in local communities across Australia.

This is in response to the “Innovation Fund” announcement by Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd at Still Others in December,

This funding is to “enhance innovation at the front line of mission and serve as a catalyst for fresh and creative expressions of mission with ongoing contribution to the fund in the annual budget provision,” said Commissioner Tracey Tidd, in announcing the Innovation Fund at Still Others (Watch the full video here)

The “creative expressions”, aligned to the national strategy, will enable progress in the “encourage innovation” imperative, under the pillar “We will pioneer”.

Commissioner Floyd Tidd, Territorial Commander, encouraged people to “start dreaming, start thinking, about how we can innovate our mission expressions”.

The $2 million fund, being administered by the Army’s Enterprise Project Management Office, is initially for ideas requiring up to $20,000.

For those wanting to apply, a checklist must first be completed. Applicants can also discuss their ideas prior to application to ensure they are aligned with the fund goals.

For more information and a copy of the checklist, email innovation@aus.salvationarmy.org

Notification of the first tranche of funding will be on 25 February. There will be further tranches depending on the response received.

“We are working on a complementary process for larger innovations over $20,000,” said Chief Secretary, Colonel Mark Campbell. “The Army needs to start to consider new ideas to be able to grow as a movement and be able to respond to Australia’s changing social and political environment,” he added.

Salvos Ready To Pioneer

Posted by Neri Morris (Admin) 3 months ago

By Claire Hill, originally published in "Others"

When I look into the future, I see the Salvation Army in Australia courageously breaking new ground. Our vision is big and bold, and in order to see it fulfilled we will need creativity and outside-of-the-box thinking,” says Commissioner Floyd Tidd, National Commander of The Salvation Army in Australia. He sees innovation as part of The Salvation Army’s DNA.

“The Salvation Army has always been a movement with a pioneering spirit. Some of our most impactful work in Australia has occurred in an innovative space.”

The Salvation Army’s commitment to transforming Australia one life at a time has often resulted in the breaking of new ground. For instance, in 1890, during the Depression, the Salvos established Australia’s first employment bureau; in 2004, we set up Australia’s first centre to address problem gambling; and in 2005, we established a first-of-its- kind, award-winning law firm, using profits from business clients to fund free legal assistance for those who could not otherwise afford it.

At the commencement of The Salvation Army’s national transformation journey in Australia, “Increased Innovation” was articulated as one of six core objectives. Further emphasis has since been placed on the importance of innovation, with “We will pioneer” announced as one of the four strategic pillars in our National Strategy.

Reflecting on this particular strategic pillar, National Chief Secretary, Colonel Mark Campbell, says, “We want to improve our capacity to think differently and act strategically by building on our movement’s best and brightest people and ideas. And we want to form partnerships that help us do that. We are looking to embed innovation throughout the Army. We’ve seen that in order to keep transforming the lives of Australians, we need to keep transforming ourselves.”

Colonel Campbell adds that as we capitalise on the huge potential for innovation, we will “see even more lives transformed with the love of Jesus”.

Cabinet Secretary for Business Support, Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart Evans, agrees. “This national transformation journey provides a unique opportunity for us to innovate, and we are grabbing hold of that,” he says. “I see us deploying national systems and processes that will enable and support frontline mission in ways we have never done before.”

So how has the national transformation journey helped us see increased innovation so far?

According to Commissioner Tidd, “much of the work so far has been about preparing the soil, addressing the drivers and barriers to innovation within territories, divisions and departments: breaking down silos, connecting different parts
of The Salvation Army that were previously disconnected. It’s taken some time, but we’re doing the groundwork to help ensure that innovation will 
be our habit, our normal behaviour going forward.”

In addition to this groundwork, The Salvation Army in Australia has committed to implementing a “centrally coordinated, geographically dispersed” model within business and support services. We will locate people where they can best support frontline mission, utilising technology in our interactions so that we can accommodate a nationwide footprint.

“God has positioned The Salvation Army at the forefront of our nation as a key solution designer to assist in the solving of complex problems,” says Commissioner Tidd. “I am excited by what lies ahead of us. The Salvation Army will continue to pioneer and innovate to ensure all Australians can discover the full and abundant lives that Christ has come to bring.”

This is part 1 in a series on the ‘whys’ of the national transformation journey. Read about the national vision statement here.

Claire Hill is the Communications Coordinator for the Transition Support Team

It may seem a little strange given the age of the Salvation Army, but innovation is not a new idea for Salvos globally. A culture of pursuit to bringing hope to where it’s needed most for the glory of God has always run deep within the Salvation Army.

The roots of innovation run deep as can be seen when looking back of the long history of the Salvation Army globally. From culture changing moments like Catherine Booth firmly establishing equality for women within the Salvation Army through her 1859 pamphlet ‘Female Ministry’ which was truly ahead of its time, to launching people focussed services like Legal and Aged Care. History tells us that the Salvation Army really was raised on a ‘diet of faith-filled risk and outrageous innovation.’

Below is just some highlights of some of the most innovative initiatives the Salvos are responsible for:

-       The world’s first feature film: Operating from 1897 to 1910, The Salvation Army Limelight Department was Australia’s first film production company. Among its many achievements, The Limelight Department is credited with producing the world’s first multimedia presentation using the moving picture film technology of the day. The film, ‘Soldiers of the Cross’, was produced during 1900 and the Limelight Department also recorded the birth of the nation at Federation in 1901.

-       Australia had the world’s first Social Program: In 1883, Major James Barker led the way to establish the first Salvation Army social institution anywhere in the world on a permanent basis, known as the "Prison Gate" programme. Barker saw that prisoners being released from the Melbourne Gaol had nowhere to go and no work, so they inevitably re-offended and returned to gaol. Barker leased a small house in Lygon Street, Carlton, to provide accommodation for prisoners discharged from Melbourne's gaols. This led to the formation of the Prison-Gate Brigade, the members of which met discharged prisoners upon their release and offered them a home and the prospect of a job.

-       The Red Shield Appeal: In 1965, after a great deal of consideration and thought, the first Red Shield Appeal was run in Sydney as a doorknock. Never before had a fundraising appeal been held in the form of a doorknock, with friends and family of The Salvation Army banding together to visit homes across the city. The idea caught on like wildfire in The Salvation Army, with parts of Tasmania, Melbourne and wider Victoria holding their own “Red Shield Appeals” in the months and years afterward. The appeal inspired the best in the Australian people, who not only donated much needed funds but their time, effort and their talents.

Innovation, which can be described as a new idea, method or product, was present even in the early days of Booth’s ministry. When Booth found himself without a church to preach in, he became a travelling preacher, spreading Christianity wherever he could and on the streets. In 1865, he was invited to preach in London's East End and was provided with a piece of land on which to preach, which just so happened to be situated in a graveyard. Despite the melancholy surroundings, the graveyard sermons became a big success and the location became the first Salvationists' base of operations, providing an unlikely point of origin. 

With such a deep history of innovation, one could be forgiven for thinking innovation just naturally happens. But what we can glean from these stories is that innovation comes from those who have an idea. Who see a need, an issue or problem and have a thought or idea about how it can be addressed.

IDEAS is a platform designed to facilitate the next era of innovation for the Salvation Army.

To remain committed to our innovative roots, it was realised that there needed to be a better way to capture these ideas. So, the first Innovation Department was born and has been charged with task of enabling the growth of the innovative spirit within the Salvos.

We invite you to take a look around, share your ideas and join us in making impact possible. 

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