Who we are
The Adora Foundation is a launchpad for social innovation. We generate inspirational vision, creative connection and transformational action on a global scale.
We rigorously incubate, test, replicate and scale up projects, programmes and initiatives. From this we derive models, applications and methodologies to influence policy and practice, from the global stage the smallest locality.
The Adora Foundation Innovation Lab
The innovation Lab is where we brew our innovations. It is a "do tank" rather than a think tank. It consists of a brilliant team of thinkers, doers and creators who we focus, not on policy statements, but on actionable ideas that can speak our vision in practice like no white paper could. It is this impressive network of Ideas Donors, our champions, consultants and partners who with our staff team comprise the Adora Foundation Innovation Lab. Read below who they are to gain a sense of the calibre of minds and hearts that are helping design our social innovations, and maybe join our innovation tank yourself. All you need to qualify is a willingness to think outside the box and a desire to contribute.
Our Ideas Donors
Below are the names of all the wonderful thinkers and makers and doers whose ideas have fed the constantly evolving vision and practice of the Adora Foundation. Whatever we achieve, we achieved together.
Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director of Global Indicators and Analysis with the World Bank Group. Former Chief Economist at Davos/the World Economic Forum (USA)
Roy Steiner, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Arthur Dahl, President, International Environment Forum, and former Deputy Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (Switzerland)
Shobha Das, Director of Programmes at Minority Rights Group International
Alison Hope, Principal at Hope Philanthropic (UK)
Elaine Flint, Director at Social Enterprise Works (UK)
Graham Miller, Chairman of Equity Investment Committee at Triodos Bank (UK)
Sin Ellas No Estamos Todos - Mothers advocating on behalf of their dissappeared daughters, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Abu Jalloh, National Youth Officer at Sierra Leone Red Cross, Child Soldier Advocacy Reintegration Project (Sierra Leone)
Alicia Jimenez, Project Coordinator, Earth Charter Secretariat (Costa Rica)
Kit Bigelow, American Society of International Law, 2011 National Award from the International Religious Liberty Association
Rob Richley, Partner, Westword Communications (UK)
Liz Mitchell, Choreographer, Movementor
Katrien Beekman, Head of Department of leading INGO (Switzerland)
Clare Daly, Bloomsbury Institute, Bloomsbury Publishing (UK)
Tammara Anderton, Partner, Anderton & Boyd (Switzerland/UK)
Amdis Boyd, Partner, Anderton & Boyd, (Switzerland/UK)
Arabella Tresilian, Founder Director, The Therapeutic Media Company (UK)
Zainab Hassan, Founder, Growthvantage Limited (UK)
Professor Marie Harder, Brighton University (UK); 1000 Talents Professor at Fudan University (China)
Hannah Brennan, Internal Recruiter at RSG (UK)
Jane Lewis, Transactional Support Officer at Bristol City Council (UK)
June Burrough Founder Director, Pieran Center (UK)
Lou Matter, Royal Society of Arts
Cardiela Amezcua Luna, Head of Dance and Theatre, Michoacan Government, Mexico
What we do
We do four core activities. Rather than apply these activities separately or in parallel, we try to integrate all four into all our endeavours, believing that together they move and unite our hearts, heads, will and relationships in action.
Evidence-based social innovation: We deliver programmes, projects and activities across a maximum diversity of thematic areas, populations and approaches. Bridging and interconnecting maximum diversity requires and leads to conceptual, practical and affective innovations.
Academic, policy and action research: We find the most rigorous evidence and analysis both in existing academic literature and in our own investigation. Some of it we publish in peer-reviewed academic journals, some are evaluations and studies commissioned by other organisations, and some are internal reports as part of our Innovation Lab.
Artistic and other non-cognitive activities: We use the arts to generate a creativity that enriches, challenges and illuminates our modes of understanding and approaching the world. Most powerfully, the arts also tap most effectively into the wellsprings of human motivation, and are a central instrument for values and behaviour change.
Dissemination: Having identified or developed breakthrough concepts, approaches and techniques, we try to put them to the service of humanity. We do so through training programmes, both physical and on-line; collaborative partnerships; consultancy services; governance, policy and practitioner networks; and through social media, events and word of mouth.
Hot Off The Press!
Here you can:
Just scroll down to find what interests you!
Friday January 17 at 11am and 8pm @ Band Films Studios, St. PhillipsCausway, BS4 3QF
Dare you travel from an explosion of laughter into the place where pure despair and hope dance between life and death? Would you risk finding out?
A powerful multimedia one man play integrating standup comedy, dramatic storytelling and physical theatre with giant, immersive animation and music.
Now on an international tour, The Life and Nearly Death of Riley has beenperformed to 1600 people in eight countries. The Life and Nearly Death of Riley has also been applied to resilience education and international suicide prevention programmes, successfully harnessing professional arts to energise feeling, motivation and action.
Ismael Velasco is a professional performer and storyteller with 20 years’ trajectory. He has performed in 4 continents in spaces ranging from the Millennium Dome,Colston Hall and the Watermans Theatre, to home lounges in Geneva, remote,Maasai villages in Tanzania, outdoor squares in Greenland and youth offender peer groups in Glasgow.
Pablo Perezzarate is a Bristol-based audiovisual and multidisciplinary artist, film maker and musician. His most recent work, Acapulco Space Station, was performed and exhibited in Band Film Studios this autumn and combined Expanded Cinema and Visual Music.
“Masterful and spellbinding storytelling ... an emotional roller-coaster of fascination, pity, sorrow, horror, compassion, relief and, in some cases, tears of elation... life changing" (Artist, Orkney Islands)
We had never done this kind of act before. A success.” (Performance venue manager, Reykjavik)
“Extraordinary” (Actor, Iceland)
"I was amazed at his prowess as a storyteller. Very skillful.” (Chair, Red Cross Health Network in the Caribbean)
"I thought it was a really inspirational story. It shows that anything can change in any space of time... even if you’re 80,you have the rest of your life. Anything could happen." (13 year old girl, Bath, UK)
"I loved it a lot, hope does not go away, it is never interrupted, we are blessed with life challenges to deliver us to our purpose." (Youth, 21, Gaza, Palestine)
"The performances affected me deeply. I was very touched and it gave me sadness but also happiness. The pupils were also affected deeply. I could see that in their faces, body language and I could feel that through their involvement in the discussion" (Teacher, Greenland)
Watch below an 8 minute stand alone clip. Now imagine animation, surround sound, lighting... This is just a taster from Greenlandic national TV. For its application to resilience education see the full 20 minute TV interview in the next heading.
Suicide Prevention Through Theatre Among the Inuit of Greenland
Greenland is a noble indigenous nation with one of the highest suicide rates in the world, particularly among youth aged 15-19.
Having successfully piloted it on a small scale with diverse audiences from 22 countries, we brought our resilience education through non-cognitive methods to the Inuit of Greenland.
You can polish your Greenlandic and see a full 25 minute interview in English on Greenlandic national TV here.
The positive impact far exceeded every expectation, and we ended up directly performing before 1000+ Greenlanders, plus around 10,000 more through national and local TV. We imparted participatory workshops to 3 in 10 youth in the capital, and 50% of those at higher risk of suicide. The feedback of many youth and adults was life-changing, and the work secured parliamentary attention and a direct commendation by the Premier of Greenland for the "terrific work" done.
Empowering research: Measuring Resilience and Mental Wellbeing Among Somali Women in Bristol
Wellbeing and mental illness in the community are generally measured by written questionnaires with scales of mental health categories that don't always (or generally?) connect with how many cultures experience inner and outer adversity and wellbeing. The information generated by those surveys is also rather "flat", without the richness that gives meaning to people's life. We have been commissioned to find new ways to measure mental wellbeing and resilience among Somali women, in contexts where addressing such issues can be also distorted by taboo or institutional fears, and in ways that tap into their rich and deep experience, but can also be quantified in a rigorous way.
After attending a year ago our training course on groundbreaking new ways of evaluating "soft" or invisible outcomes, we were approached by the innovative Wellspring Healthy Living Centre, integrating everything from dentists and doctors to cooking, crafts, psychiatrists, aerobics and relationship counselling, in one of the most ethnically diverse neighbourhoods in Bristol. We are excited about this wonderful new process!
Conflict Education and Resilience in Palestine's West Bank
We have been commissioned to explore the dynamics of resilience in severe conflict situations by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, following on from our study of values and behaviour change in their flagship Youth as Agents of Behaviour Change programme. Our findings will naturally feed onto our own resilience education programmes and initiatives across the world, and our training and dissemination activities.
Mainstreaming Resilience Education and Suicide Prevention Through Non-Cognitive Methods Across Bristol, UK
Following the success and learning from the exprience in Greenland and our work in research and evaluation of behaviour change through non-cognitive methods (arts, games, storytelling, meditation, cooking, environment, animals, etc), the next stage of our piloting is in replication. In Bristol UK we are incubating a co-design process with "movers and shakers" across the community, both formal and informal, to affect the way services work across the city. We hope to learn from the experience to adapt, replicate and further scale up the approach and methodologies in other cities around the world.
Global Impact Study Of An Extraordinary Peer Education Programme
We have recently completed a 250 page global impact study of values and behaviour change in 107 countries for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). It focused on one of the most impactful and innovative peer education programmes through non-cognitive methods we have ever come across: Youth as Agents of Behaviour Change (YABC). This has led to a further commission of follow-up research to model in a rigorous and sophisticated way why 92% of all training participants reported that their lives and values had positively changed even a year or more afterward, as 620 peer educators reached 120,000 people with their message of peace and non-violence.
Can Student Self Discovery Generate Institutional Change in Their School? We Think So!
We have enjoyed being commissioned by Brighton University to design a pilot peer education programme using values based indicators to generate personal transformation and organisational change. We developed an empowering process whereby secondary school students use a toolkit of non-cognitive activities to peer-facilitate two sessions of collaborative self-discovery, exploring their values in a deep way through group games, performance, discussion and documentation, leading to recommendations for the school to implement. The school commits to implementing at least 3 of the recommendations ahead of time, so that the process of self-discovery proceeds in the certainty of school impact. And empowering and world-view changing experience for both pupils and teachers. If successful, it will be spread in 50 countries by the 140 member institutions of the UNESCO/UNEP endorsed Partnership for Education and Research for Responsible Living (PERL), as part of their European Union funded work programme, which we have been invited to join.
How Can We Build Sustainable Communities Without Sustainable Values? Can Values-Based Indicators Put Values On The Policy Map? We Think So!
We just published an important study on values as the missing pillar of sustainability in top academic journal Sutainability, in collaboration with the Sutainable Development Coordination Unit of Brighton University (UK) and the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering of Fudan University (China). , drawing on our state-of-the-art methodology for measuring the presence and impact of values, which we tested in 147 projects in 61 countries.