Author:The Southern Initiative TSI, Auckland Council
Source:The Southern Initiative. TSI Auckland Council
Local boards:Māngere-Ōtāhuhu, Manurewa, Ōtara-Papatoetoe, Papakura, The Southern Initiative
Extract from the Introduction:
The Southern Initiative is a team providing a place-based innovation platform that champions, stimulates, facilitates and enables social innovation in South Auckland. In practice this calls for experimenting, learning and delivering what it takes to assist real social and economic transformation. TSI is dedicated to supporting South Auckland to be a prosperous, resilient place where children and whānau thrive. Business-asusual practices in both the public and private sectors are not bringing about the changes needed at the pace required. So as a part of Auckland Council, the TSI team works with families, local changemakers, grassroots entrepreneurs, businesses, agencies and other organisations on key areas they identify as urgent to change. Together they explore, develop, model and test radical solutions to some of South Auckland’s most pressing social and economic challenges.
Reflecting its community, TSI takes an integrated approach to social and economic development. It focusses on both quality and transformation to ensure big leaps, as well as incremental changes. Responses are taken to the immediate stressors for whānau. At the same time, longer term shifts are catalysed in the policies and systems that prevent improvements to the current socio-economic conditions. Integral to the work is providing space for, and reconnection to the innovation inherent in mātauranga (Māori knowledge) and indigenous knowledge systems. This includes building capacity and room for more whānau-centric approaches. Families and community co-design and lead local initiatives that align to the aspirations and outcomes sought by South Aucklanders. To further this integrated approach, TSI works as a broker, facilitator and translator communicating across different worlds.
2018 was a period of growth and consolidation for TSI, building on its earlier development in collaboration with the Auckland Co-design Lab. This development set up a base of knowledge, relationships and activities around the ecosystems of employment, children in their early years and technology innovation in South Auckland. This work helped identify the ways in which TSI, as a local government innovation platform, can most effectively work alongside community, iwi, business, philanthropic and government partners to contribute to unlocking transformative change for South Aucklanders.