10 UNCDF. Attracting a wider range of investors is a key condition for creating a sustainable local innovation platform. Learn and share. This phase will consist of testing hypotheses, tracking lessons, and developing and implementing a communications strategy to reach local, regional and global audiences. The aim is to ensure that all lessons (both successes and challenges) are well- documented and widely shared across relevant platforms. This has a twofold purpose: to learn as we ourselves go forward in this project, and also to ensure that others who are willing to learn and engage have access to every practical insight and lesson. INNOVATION REQUIRES RISK While the project is still in its early days, one issue that we already know requires attention is the structuring of incentives and metrics. Businesses reward success. This is a logical enough approach, but it’s one that tends to reinforce the status quo: If your incentives depend on delivering something that works, you’re probably going to deliver something that is very similar to the last thing that worked. Innovation, on the other hand, involves risk by definition. New ventures and concepts cannot be measured against traditional metrics and performance goals. Community participants should be rewarded for appropriate levels of risk-taking, and for demonstrated capacity to learn from creative failures. That’s why MetLife Foundation and UNCDF are working together to embed that understanding into the innovation culture we are building around the hubs, and to incorporate it into our key performance indicators. The i3 program spans the UNCDF’s work in China and Malaysia over the next three years and also encompasses the work of MicroSave, another MetLife Foundation partner, in Bangladesh and Vietnam. UNCDF and MicroSave will be jointly sharing knowledge across all four markets, to learn from each other and to allow financial inclusion players operating in different contexts to learn from all these experiences as well. There’s no doubt that some innovation originates from a one-time burst of inspiration or insight. But in general, we suspect it’s more a product of culture: of a community of people committed to taking calculated risks, thinking and acting creatively, and maintaining a healthy restlessness. These cultures may evolve over time—Silicon Valley springs to mind—but they don’t happen by accident. MetLife Foundation believes that advancing financial health at scale requires transformative innovation—not just one good idea here and another inspiration there, but a broad-based culture of innovation throughout the market. To embed that culture, someone has to promote and sustain it in a systematic way. This is what MetLife Foundation hopes to achieve in Asia in the coming years, and in the future, we hope, in other markets as well. View the original article on NextBillion