Hello and welcome to innoFaith! We’re building a network of people and institutions of faith that seek to inspire and enable our communities to engage in the world in innovative ways to help humanity thrive. We are rooted in sacred traditions that we know have great wisdom to offer modern society. We also know that a fast changing world requires us to adopt new frameworks and methods for engaging with complex social problems. We want to make faith and the assets of our communities and institutions a powerful force for social innovation, one worthy of the challenges our societies face in the 21st century.
Deeply engaged in lives and communities in every corner of the globe, faith institutions know well the impact of problems of poverty, inequality, climate change, and lack of access to quality education and healthcare, to justice, to opportunity. And faith communities have a long history of responding to these problems. As people and institutions of faith, we respond in our local communities in whatever ways we feel we can, often to feed, clothe, and care for people directly. We also create organizations to do this at a larger scale, nationally and globally. And sometimes we collaborate locally, nationally, or globally to advocate for more just laws. Historically, faith communities have regularly innovated new institutions and strategies for social change. Yet the world rarely looks to faith communities today for new solutions to pressing social challenges.
What if, in addition to serving people in need and advocating for social justice, faith communities were considered a source of, and partner in, innovation in a world that increasingly needs new approaches to complex challenges? What if local faith communities – mosques, synagogues, churches, temples, faith-based organizations, intentional communities, etc. – were seen as vital community learning institutions at the forefront of identifying and understanding persistent and emerging problems? And what if we had ways to turn that local learning into collaborative design and innovation for solving social problems? How might we leverage the enormous assets we have as faith communities across our cities, our countries, the world? How might we work across faith traditions to achieve shared goals for the flourishing of humanity? And how might we as faith communities be transformed in the process?
These are all questions innoFaith will seek to explore, working with and learning from the many people and institutions of faith, as well as allies outside the faith sector, that are already creating new ways of engaging with social problems and innovating new solutions. We don’t know exactly where this will go, but if you are looking for new perspectives, willing to think about social problems in new and systemic ways, and interested in interfaith collaboration, we invite you to join us. Read about faith-based innovators to be inspired. Find ways to engage your own faith community in innovative approaches to social change. Find resources to support your own innovative ideas and leadership. Or let us know about innovations you’ve seen or read about or are implementing yourself.
The Latin root of the word innovate means to renew, from “in-” meaning “into” and “novare” meaning “make new.” With innoFaith, we aspire to bring sacred wisdom and social innovation into a dynamic dance that can help renew our faith, our communities, and our world. Join us!