Archive for the ‘Social innovation’ Category
This paper provides a critical review of the international literature on Territorial Innovation Models (Industrial Districts, Milieux Innovateurs, New Industrial Spaces, Local Production Systems, etc.). The review is organized in two steps. First, the main features of each of these models and their view of innovation are compared. Second, their theoretical building blocks are reconstructed and evaluated from the point of view of conceptual clarity and analytical coherence.
It is found that despite some semantic unity among the concepts used (economies of agglomeration, endogenous development, systems of innovation, evolution and learning, network organization and governance), Territorial Innovation Models (TIMs) suffer from conceptual ambiguity. The latter is partly a consequence of the differences in the specific national and regional contexts where TIMs are observed and/or theorized institutional, as well as social and economic. But it is also, to a very large extent, influenced by a growing political bias, namely the tendency to view territorial innovation in terms of a technology driven innovation and of a business culture that is mainly instrumental to the capitalist market logic. This pressing ideological priority pushes the ‘conceptual flexibility’ of TIMs across the border of coherent theory building.
This publication contains the final report of the project ‘Social innovation, governance and community building’, whose work has primarily contributed to the area ‘Towards social cohesion in Europe’.
The report brings the attention onto the re-emergence of old basic needs. 19th century social movements had developed in times of social exploitation and were related to improve access to basic material needs. Post-WWII social movements occurred in times of growing prosperity and aimed at acquiring greater social rights. The establishment of the neo-liberal paradigm in the 1980s somewhat reshuffles things: what was given for granted twenty years ago, maybe the object of renewed social struggle. A new material hardship is re-appearing, related to: a) the re-polarisation of income distribution, after thirty years of relative convergence, i.e. the re-emergence of poverty even among old residents; b) the more or less evident reduction in welfare state coverage; c) the new wave of often illegal immigration, which has especially involved formerly immune Southern European member states. A growing share of the national populations is now socially excluded, not just particular groups in particular areas.
This volume considers the timely issues of social and sustainable entrepreneurship. The chapters consider in depth the issues, problems, contexts, and processes that make entrepreneurial enterprises more social and/or sustainable. Top researchers from a diverse set of perspectives have contributed their latest research on a variety of topics such as the role of entrepreneurial bricolage in generating innovations in a social context and emerging themes in social entrepreneurship education. Several chapters tackle lingering definitional issues such as the distinctions between social, sustainable, and environmental entrepreneurship, or propose social entrepreneurship research agendas based on key research questions found in prior studies. There are brief histories of social change and their entrepreneurial implications, and frameworks for studying different types of social and sustainable entrepreneurship. Each of the chapters, in its own way, addresses the progress and promise of social and sustainable entrepreneurship as a future research domain of growing interest and importance.
Think of the toughest problems in your organization or community. What if they’d already been solved and you didn’t even know it? In The Power of Positive Deviance, the authors present a counterintuitive new approach to problem-solving. Their advice? Leverage positive deviants–the few individuals in a group who find unique ways to look at, and overcome, seemingly insoluble difficulties. By seeing solutions where others don’t, positive deviants spread and sustain needed change. With vivid, firsthand stories of how positive deviance has alleviated some of the world’s toughest problems (malnutrition in Vietnam, staph infections in hospitals), the authors illuminate its core practices, including:
- Mobilizing communities to discover “invisible” solutions in their midst
- Using innovative designs to “act” your way into a new way of thinking instead of thinking your way into a new way of acting
- Confounding the organizational “immune response” seeking to sustain the status quo
Inspiring and insightful, The Power of Positive Deviance unveils a potent new way to tackle the thorniest challenges in your own company and community. Richard Pascale is an associate fellow of Templeton College, Oxford University, and author or coauthor of numerous books, including Managing on the Edge, Surfing the Edge of Chaos, and The Art of Japanese Management. Jerry Sternin was the world’s leading expert in the application of positive deviance as a tool for addressing social and behavioral change.
This ground-breaking volume explores social entrepreneurship from the perspective of complexity science and systems thinking. Case studies, models, simulations, and theoretical papers advance both theory and practice, providing an innovative and comprehensive look at these dynamic topics. Written by complexity theorists, international development practitioners, and experts in a variety of other disciplines, this must-have book is mandatory reading for everyone interested in this newly developing field.
The greatest contribution from complexity science is the theoretical link it makes between sustainability and the dynamics of open systems in disequilibrium. Amidst a burgeoning literature of social entrepreneurship this volume is the very first to make this link explicit, and in so doing offers a leading-edge perspective on every aspect of social entrepreneurship. Each of the chapters generates new insights and frameworks for researchers, practitioners and policy makers.
Read also: Introduction
“We are engaging with parts of the population that we don’t really talk to usually and it’s opening new debates … I think social enterprise needs to step into this space. The conversation that’s starting is really exciting,” she says.
So, are occupiers at the Bristol camp getting on board with social enterprise, I asked Sophia Collins, one of the leaders of the Bristol Occupy contingent?
“A lot of us come from various third sector backgrounds,” she says. “I am connected to social enterprise through my job. We’re all learning so much about so many different things all the time, on top of working out how to camp in November.
“There are a lot of things that can be thrown into mix. For example, some people on the camp feel very strongly about living without money.
“But, there is an opportunity here for social enterprise to gain much bigger traction… social enterprise is an obvious next step,” she adds.
Drawing on social movement theory, the thesis investigates the ways community gardeners in these organisations approach environmental and social justice issues and considers the relationships between community gardening and wider movements. In particular, the thesis considers the political logic of community gardeners’ collective practices, revealing the specific methods community gardeners use to enact social change. It then considers whether community gardening can be seen as a form of political praxis. The thesis shows that community gardening is used strategically and intentionally as a performance to make collective claims. In some contexts and to the extent to which it is so used, it argues that community gardening can be understood as a social movement practice. Finally, the thesis contends that community gardeners’ strategies are part of a repertoire of collective action, which offers both a contribution to existing understandings of collective action and a critique of current conceptualisations of activism.
Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History Is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World
Paul Hawken has spent more than a decade researching organizations dedicated to restoring the environment and fostering social justice. From billion-dollar nonprofits to single-person dot.causes, these groups collectively comprise the largest movement on earth, a movement that has no name, leader, or location and that has gone largely ignored by politicians and the media.
Blessed Unrest explores the diversity of the movement, its brilliant ideas, innovative strategies, and centuries of hidden history. A culmination of Hawken’s many years of leadership in the environmental and social justice fields, it will inspire all who despair of the world’s fate, and its conclusions will surprise even those within the movement itself.
Almost all leadership concepts start with the assumption that a key role for the leader is to set a direction. This usually means designing and communicating a vision and a set of goals. Traditionally, the roles of vision and goals have been there to help people to understand the direction of the enterprise and how they can contribute to it.
Today we need something more.
We need to define what binds individuals together. Separate individuals connecting with the vision may not be enough if people don’t connect with one another. What we are striving to do is not enough if there is no discussion about who we are, and why we do the things we do. We cannot talk about an organization of people without referring to what makes them a collective.