Social Innovation

I love this term social innovation because it speaks to creative solutions to social problems. A way of thinking that goes against the norms but is obviously the common sense course of action. Experience often tells you, that what is plainly obvious to some, is not so to others; and they are usually the ones in the way of progress, but can’t see it in the moment. Social innovation is a friendlier term and modern day parlance that suggests we should be moved towards ways of working that demands we seek the most effective solutions, either outside the box, in the box, checking our own ignorance and limitations in the process.

“A social innovation is a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than current solutions. The value created accrues primarily to society rather than to private individuals.”

As emotional beings we can’t always be at our best, or think we have all the answers, so innovative thinking allows us that space to question look things from different angles, cultures, perspectives. When applied to social change, the Stanford Social Innovation Review gives us a frame of reference:-

“the process of inventing, securing support for, and implementing novel solutions to social needs and problems.” That same manifesto also described the publication’s unique approach to social innovation: “dissolving boundaries and brokering a dialogue between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.”

A core element of the process here to be iterated is communication and the skill of communicating an idea. Attention must be paid to power dynamics, and the ability to discern the most equitable effective outcomes.