Scaling the Impact of HCD Solutions

Mar 20, 2023


An interactive webinar to introduce the fundamental principles, mindsets, and pathways for scaling solutions and impact while addressing the nuances and unique challenges that come with scaling HCD solutions and projects, and demystify how to scale HCD solutions.


Alice MetCalf

The Difference between scale and growth
  • In scale, solutions find ways to have a greater impact by maximizing the resources available. As such, social solutions at scale are focused on the problem they are addressing rather than simply growing the solution.
  • Scale is different from growth in that at scale, the impact of a solution is increased exponentially while adding resources gradually.
  • Growth  is concerned with adding resources at the same rate as adding impact or revenue. 
Mindsets for scale
  • Impact first: Scale is about impact and not growth. 
  • Problem over solution: How can we solve the problem at scale? 
  • Collaboration by default: What roles do we and others need to play in service of the problem?
  • Lean learning: Instead of having a detailed plan, this mindset calls for testing and adapting quickly to reduce risk
  • Ruthlessly strategic to willingly make difficult choices given limited resources
  • Long-term commitment 

Scale Pathways

  • Diversity Communities Served 
  • Diversify Solutions
  • Increase Quality
  • Increase Market Penetration/ Coverage/Density
  • Replicate (expand to new geographies)
  • Change or create markets
  • Influence Public Policy
  • Influence a Social Movement 

3 lenses for building for scale

  • Impact: Does this solution really make people’s lives better?  Is it really helping to address the societal problem? Working in the social sector, this is likely to be the part of the model that many of us agree with and is in the front of our minds as something that we really need to to get right.
  • Value: Is this solution something people want, and will demand and engage with over time? Even if you have created a solution which works well from an impact perspective, it is going to be limited in terms of the value it can have if the people who are supposed to be benefiting from the solution do not show up, do not want the solution or  do not engage with it. So it is important to create something that people demand.
  • Sustainability: Can the solution impact a lot of people sustainably?

Follow-Up Questions

  • What are the parts of the solution that drive impact?
  • What needs to happen in order for the solution to work?
  • What are the drivers of value? What are the things that need to be there in order for the constituents that you’re serving to actually engage with the solution?
  • What are the things that need to be there in terms of sustainability and the business model?