Innovation Day was initially launched in 2019 to expose staff to new ideas, processes, technology, and concepts.

As of March 2022, 57 sessions had been organized collaboratively with 41 different entities, along with speakers originating from the UN Secretariat, UN agencies, public and private sectors, and academia. Popular categories include innovation & risk-taking, collaborative environment, and business transformation. 

What distinguishes Innovation Day from other events is its unique commitment to put its audience at the center, welcoming participant engagement. As a result, invitees leave the session with new ideas or actionable items for workplace improvement.

Responses from a recent Innovation Day survey demonstrate that participants perceive the events to be agile, strategic, and promoting organizational culture change. With a favourable NPS score and 4 star rating, Innovation Day is making an impact. Almost half of participants have also reported that they have applied something they learned to their day-to-day work. Participants are actively engaged, ask questions, and voice valuable feedback, such as:

"It was an excellent learning experience. Thanks to the entire NewWork team for searching high and low for these innovative guest speakers."

"Thanks for the great experience, will share with my colleagues."

"The Innovation Day event is truly a global connector."

The Innovation Day Dashboard (depicted in a visual above) is one of many successful by-products. It provides a centralized database where valuable information, including meeting summaries, key outcomes, links to recordings and other data are stored. It is available internally to all Secretariat personnel. Some of the sessions will be made available via a public forum to benefit more colleagues across the UN System. 

Innovation Day has benefited the day-to-day work life of individuals. Although we continue to face challenges and difficulties in creating a culture of innovation across the UN, with ongoing monitoring and evaluating of feedback, and continuous tracking of progress, the events will further evolve to support UN staff in fostering innovation in their own teams and work. 

Change initiatives often start small. But can have a big impact.