This paper focuses in particular on the usefulness of the concept of social innovation for the purposes of policy development. The goal is not to find the “true” definition of social innovation but to search for a useful framework on which to build sound policies that could tackle the complex social issues that have caused scholars and practitioners to pay attention to social innovation in the first place.
Authors: Carlo Borzaga (Prof. Economic Politics), Riccardo Bodini (Euricse).
Download the report: http://euricse.eu/sites/euricse.eu/files/db_uploads/documents/1338304696_n2082.pdf
MORE - Over the past few years, there has been a growing interest on the part of the scientific community (and, more recently, of policy makers) in the concept of social innovation. The notion of social innovation is particularly appealing in light of the difficulties facing traditional welfare systems and, more broadly, a development model essentially based on only two actors (the market and the state) that is finding it increasingly difficult to meet the growing and diversified needs of society. However, the uses and definitions of the concept are so disparate that it is becoming increasingly difficult to assess whether social innovation is in fact a helpful construct or just another fad that will soon be forgotten. This paper focuses in particular on the usefulness of the concept of social innovation for the purposes of policy development. Therefore, the goal is not to find the “true” definition of social innovation. Rather, it is to search for a useful framework on which to build sound policies that could tackle the complex social issues that have caused scholars and practitioners to pay attention to social innovation in the first place.
Building on a review of the literature, and in particular on a paper by Eduardo Pol and Simon Ville, we propose an approach that recognizes a degree of overlap between social innovation and business innovation, and argue that social innovation policy should focus on the subset of social innovation that does not overlap with business innovation. This is due to the fact that social innovations that overlap with business innovations tend to be profitable, and as such the market is amply equipped to supply them, perhaps with the support of existing business innovation policies. “Pure” social innovations, on the other hand, are not driven by a profit motive, and thus need either to be subsidized or to be developed by enterprise types that are not motivated by profit maximization. Indeed, by focusing on the characteristics of different enterprise types we find that not-for-profit enterprises with an explicit social mission are ideally suited to develop pure social innovation, even in the absence of public sector intervention. The paper then concludes that targeted policies should be more mindful of the role of different types of enterprise in generating social innovation, and, more broadly, that the debate on social innovation should be more closely aligned with the debate on the pluralism of enterprise forms.
This report explains how impact investing is constrained by the tough realities of inclusive business, and introduces the phenomenon of the pioneer gap, and it describes the emerging practice of enterprise philanthropy, and how it is the key to establishing the inclusive business models into which capital can then be deployed.
Authors: Harvey Koh, Ashish Karamchandani, Robert Katz (Monitor Group and Acumen Fund)
Download a summary or the full report.
MORE - Our research paints a clear picture: impact capital alone will not unlock the potential of impact investing for the global poor. Because of the extreme challenges facing those who are pioneering new models for inclusive business, truly realizing the impact in impact investing will require more, not less, philanthropy, and will need that philanthropic support to be delivered in
This is a contribution to understanding the history, the current context, and the future of the social economy in Canada. It also provides examples of participatory action research and community university partnerships–solidifying the social economy as an area of important academic study, building research capacity amongst practitioners themselves, and moving this work out into the community where it may find wider application to support community development and building a people-centered economy.
Authors: Matthew Thompson and Joy Emmanuel, University of Victoria, Canada.
Table of Contents
The paper examines the role of EU cohesion policy in the field of human resources development and improving conditions for employment. The main objective of the analysis is to present a comprehensive picture about funding opportunities in connection with financing the activities of organisations of the social economy.
Author: Ákos Kengyel, Associate Professor, Corvinus University of Budapest, Department of World Economy.
View the full report: http://unipub.lib.uni-corvinus.hu/581/1/Kengyel_wp2012b.pdf
The study will be published in 2012 by Routledge as a chapter in the book “New Forms of Organization in Knowledge-Based Societies – Social Innovation, Non-Profit Organization and Social Entrepreneurship” edited by Carmen Ruiz Vinals.
“Frugal innovation” is the idiom applied to a sweeping revolution in public service design and delivery. The term is used in India and other developing economies to describe innovatino that minimises costs by creating frugal solutions to deliver improved or previously non-existent public service.
Authors: Shalabh Kumar Singh, Ashish Gambhir, Alexis Sotiropoulos and Stephen Duckworth.
Published by the Serco Institute that aims to foster the development of sustainable public service markets through an outward-facing programme of research and communication.
View the full report here: http://www.serco.com/Images/FrugalInnovation_tcm3-39462.pdf
“For insights important to Western economies gleaned from the new perspectives developed by Indian Social Enterprises”
In this essay, the authors explore the relationship or the lack of relationships between large and small actors in the Brick Lane area.
Author: Andy Pratt, Professor of Culture, Media and Economy, Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries.
Published in Local Knowledge: Case studies of four innovative places. NESTA.
The name Brick Lane functions as an international ‘brand’, conjuring images of a distinctive urban space. This inner-city area has been home to a succession of migrant groups over the centuries, and has long played a role as a centre of London’s rag trade. Today, as well as clothing manufacture, it is a favoured location for young fashion designers, retailers and others in the creative industries.
The area around Brick Lane has re-invented itself many times over the years in relation to participants and industrial sectors. In addition to clothing and creative industries; tourism, food and the night-time and leisure economies, are also important industrial sectors in this area. This blend of economic activity lends a particular set of characteristics to the Brick Lane area, notably the embedding of economic activities in local social relations.
The creative and cultural sectors that are dominant in this neighbourhood are characterised by micro-enterprises and self-employed entrepreneurs involved in businesses, with quick turnover of product, constant innovation, and risk. Their organisation is better described as networked rather than dominated by firms. These industries share a common thirst for knowledge and know-how, which has to be timely and appropriate to the activity (usually one to which it has not previously been applied). Acquiring and processing knowledge in these industries usually requires proximity, and intensive interaction, of producers and consumers, and niche innovators. Moreover, it is commonly found in an inter-penetration of the formal and informal, commercial and noncommercial fields. Similar characteristics can also be observed in some of the small retail and leisure businesses in the area, whether restaurants on Brick Lane, or retailers in the Truman Brewery.
But alongside this small, even micro economy, land and property development as well as the growth of ‘branded’ retail and leisure experiences, means that larger firms are becoming a more dominant element in the mix. These new players have the potential – via their economic power- to crowd out and to destabilise a number of activities that seem to contribute to the success of Brick Lane. In this essay we explore the relationship – or, as we will argue, the lack of relationships - between innovation in these diverse sectors and across firm size, to see if innovations are transmitted between large corporate and smaller firms in these sectors.
The book includes an introduction to wicked problems, describing some of the challenges and opportunities of design-led entrepreneurial activities. The text describes the skills necessary for successful entrepreneurship, and offers both methods and curricula for learning how to engage with large scale humanitarian problems.
Author: Jon Kolko. Book is available for free at http://www.wickedproblems.com
Austin Center for Design today published a new book focused on the role of design in social entrepreneurship. Titled Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving, the book is presented as a handbook for teaching, learning, and doing meaningful disruptive design work. The book includes an introduction to wicked problems, describing some of the challenges and opportunities of design-led entrepreneurial activities. The text describes the skills necessary for successful entrepreneurship, and offers both methods and curricula for learning how to engage with large scale humanitarian problems.
The book is available for free in its entirety online, at http://www.wickedproblems.com, and is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, which allows anyone to use the contents for their own non-commercial purposes.
Author Jon Kolko described the book as both “a call to action and a granting of permission. I’ve found that many designers desperately seek meaning in their work, but for any number of reasons, don’t feel empowered to act as an entrepreneur. Instead, they find themselves in high-paying jobs at famous corporations and consultancies, but doing work that they find boring or, worse, harmful. This book says to those designers, ‘It’s OK to start your own company. It’s OK to do meaningful work. It’s OK to expect more from your life.”
Kolko, formerly a director and principle at global innovation firm frog design, is now the founder of Austin Center for Design (AC4D), a non-profit school in Austin. AC4D teaches interaction design and social entrepreneurship, and graduates from the program go on to form their own double-bottom line companies. Kolko explained that “This book is a glimpse of what we’re thinking about at AC4D. It’s about working on problems that matter; it’s about problems worth solving. We’ve made the full text of the book available online for free in order to help advance the discussion of design-led social entrepreneurship.”
Thanks to Bosse Reimer for sharing the link!