Using small island states to unlock whole system scale innovation

A brief history

In 2014, the Dandelion Foundation set out to unlock the potential of the community in Guernsey to demonstrate the contribution that small self-governing states can make towards global systems change.

The Dandelion Foundation (Originally “The Dandelion Project”) launched with a mission to make Guernsey the best place to live on earth by 2020. Since then the Foundation has an established track record in realising the potential of community assets, inspiring new and innovative ways of doing things, as well as influencing long term policy direction.

Our existing community development process is contributing to weaving the fabric of society back together, with a social capital led approach, and it is contributing towards a shift in the cultural environment of the island. This is one in which much larger and more transformative leaps are being embarked upon, across both Government and Community.

The Government and Community in Guernsey are currently in the middle of a transformation process undergoing large changes in politics, civil service, health care, education, economic development, the third sector and across the wider community. Guernsey is also at the forefront of global Green Finance and is solving many of the governance challenges with regard to distributing capital to meet the challenges of the climate crisis.

Guernsey is unique in the world that it has a strong social and economic innovation ecosystem coupled with a climate change focussed capital engine. It is the perfect place to design, test and fund social innovation.

The First Version of The Dandelion Foundation

We held 4 annual TEDx events (TedxStPeterPort 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

We held 4 Thrive2020 events (“TEDx for mental health” 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)

We held 1 Journeyto100 event ( “TEDx for Longevity” 2017)

All event playlists linked from youtube channel

We also built Facebook group of 5k of community focussed islanders which was heavily used by the community to support one of the best performing national Covid responses in the world. This is the sort of community facebook group that can solve any local challenge that it is asked to help with.

On top of this there have been literally thousands of one to one coffee conversations held to support people from all walks of life to connect with deeper meaning purpose as well as find the connections to make things happen. The process for making an impact with coffee can be found at

The Second Version of The Dandelion Foundation

The next version of The Dandelion Foundation is being designed for a post 2020 world.

Small island states were some of the best-performing jurisdictions in the world during Covid and have been some of the fastest to recover since. Many of them are looking to redefine their economies around resilience and we believe we have a role as an organisation to encourage them to build the social capital to do so.

Small island states are at the front line of dealing with the impacts of climate change. We believe they can also be at the front line of giving birth to the new world.

We now live in a world where the awareness of how small agile jurisdictions can disproportionately take a progressive role in meeting global challenges is more deeply understood.

It is time to develop an organisation that can support that opportunity in new and interesting ways.