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Archive for the ‘Social innovation’ Category

Best Strategies to End Corporate Rule

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Corporate power is behind the politics of climate denial, Wall Street bailouts, union busting, and media consolidation, to name just a few. But real people have power, too. Here are some of our most successful strategies.

The power of corporations in politics and in our daily lives can seem insurmountable. They’ve got piles of cash, and no qualms about spending big to get their own way. We asked if there’s any way to shift the balance of power back towards real people. Here are strategies to put people back in charge.

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Written by learningchange

24/02/2012 at 13:00

An analysis of social innovation discourses

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This paper captures the on-going debate on defining the concept of innovation in the social sphere as change which is social both in its goal and means.

Discussions around social innovation make the heads of the governmental and organisational agendas nowadays. The focus of these discussions is to address societal challenges through the instrumentality of policies, programmes and projects that enhance the quality of life and social cohesion through innovative social processes. The institutions and agents that theorise, stimulate and implement social innovation function according to the principles of social structures. The present paper argues that this specific operational mode limits the understanding, as well as the performance of social innovation. The existing related body of literature addresses the questions of what, where and who makes social innovation happen, but overlooks the issue of how it is initiated it and why it happens at all. For this reason, we propose post-structuralism as a critical perspective on social innovation which deals less with the accountability of the process and more with acknowledging the multitude of innovation sources starting from individuals and groups in the community and a broader field of practice.

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Written by learningchange

21/02/2012 at 15:30

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ABC of Social Innovation

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We sort out the concepts, explain what social innovation is, why it is important and let some of the worlds leading voices within the field talk about social innovation.

Today more and more people agree that we need social innovations in order for our community to continue to develop, gain increment and to see our common features be modernized in line with the changing and renewing time we live in.

Concepts such as social innovation and social entrepreneurship are usually explained as initiatives aimed at improving what is missing, or not functioning, within our social structure. This includes innovative ideas and methods of how to solve social problems in new ways.

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Written by learningchange

27/01/2012 at 14:00

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In and out of sync – The challenge of growing social innovations

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This report is about how social innovations spread and grow. It aims to provide a theoretically and empirically grounded guide for the many people involved in social innovation: innovators, founders, policy-makers and commissioners. It draws on a growing body of research on patterns of growth, and distils its conclusions into a guide to help direct scarce resources more effectively to maximize social impact.

To validate and extend the existing literature, we undertook eleven case studies of social innovations. Although their patterns of growth vary in detail, they highlight four necessary conditions for putting innovative products, services and models into practice sustainably and on a large scale.

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Written by learningchange

02/01/2012 at 10:47

Posted in Social innovation

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Territorial Innovation Models – A critical survey of the international literature

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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.

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Written by learningchange

02/01/2012 at 10:36

Social innovation, governance and community building

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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.

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Written by learningchange

27/12/2011 at 12:24

Social and Sustainable Entrepreneurship

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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.

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The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World’s Toughest Problems

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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 deviantsthe 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.

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Written by learningchange

15/12/2011 at 11:17

Complexity Science and Social Entrepreneurship – Adding Social Value through Systems Thinking

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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.

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Read also: Introduction

Can social enterprise and Occupy work together?

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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.

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