9 MetLife Foundation conceived this idea based on our experience with grantees in the region. We had asked 17Triggers, a behavior-change firm with a history of partnership with our organization, to run an innovation- focused workshop in 2017 with Singapore-based LumenLab (MetLife Asia’s innovation lab) for foundation grantees and sub-grantees. The participants, mostly leaders from inclusion-focused financial service providers, were hugely appreciative of the potential impact of technology, behavioral insights and design thinking on their work, and ultimately on their clients’ financial health. But at the same time, the question of how to internalize the concepts from the workshop and make them part of daily business remained—in short, how to foster a culture of innovation, not a one-off event or a process fix. So MetLife Foundation teamed up with UNCDF on the i3 program, which will run through October 2020. We chose China and Malaysia as our starting places because both countries have the foundational elements in place: big addressable markets, an enabling policy environment and financial inclusion institutions with the necessary resources (technological and human) to make productive use of innovation. A FLEXIBLE APPROACH TO FOSTERING INNOVATION UNCDF is setting up innovation hubs in both countries, permanently staffed with local and regional experts, and featuring guest visits from leading international talent as well. The hubs will convene strong local partners from both the public and private sectors, running boot camps, hack-a-thons, trainings and workshops to provide innovative ideas and support to financial inclusion institutions. These institutions will be offered tailored services like hands-on consulting and advice on specific planned innovations or ideas, plus support to set up the workplace systems and practices that foster innovation in-house. By October 2020, the project will include 50 financial inclusion institutions whose staffs will be trained, supported and challenged to innovate new solutions that will reach at least 400,000 low- to moderate-income customers. We will not dictate the specific forms that the innovations should take. For example, an innovation could be a simple bank account, if that is what the market wants—but one that is redesigned to suit the context of the low-income target market based on some specific behavioral insight, delivered in a way that is genuinely easy and conducive to better financial health. It could involve using data creatively to offer easy, appropriate and affordable credit. It could focus on finding creative ways to help people in the target market save for short- as well as long-term goals. MetLife Foundation and UNCDF recognize that genuinely effective solutions require more than simply copy/ pasting from other markets. We know that such solutions require creativity and innovation—but we leave it to the innovators themselves to explore and decide what these solutions should be. A MULTI-STAGE PROCESS UNCDF’s work will span four phases: Incubate. This phase will involve establishing and staffing the hubs, building community buy-in through various engagements and events, and identifying partners. Community events will act as a springboard for engaging with potential in-country partners, allowing them to network with each other. From these relationships, partners will be invited to participate in hack-a-thons, design sprints and other idea-generating activities to bring in new problem solvers and idea creators. The combination of these activities will also give shape to the community of practice in-country and focus the use of outside expertise. This phase will identify potential ideas and solutions worth incubating for scale. Accelerate. Once high potential ideas are identified, the country support team will provide tools and resources to refine, test and scale them. This portion of the journey will allow the selected participants to dive deep into the creation of new prototypes or improve existing ones. This will be an opportunity to work with experts and mentors and will provide the capital support and tools that enable entrepreneurs to test their products in live market conditions. Scale and compete. The successful prototypes will be exposed to new markets and to a wider range of funders and investors, enabled by the global connections of