Examples

Some examples of activity across sectors.

Government

In 2009 The White House opened an Office of Social Innovation and in 2010 made a $50million investment in 11 projects.

In 2010 the European Commission announced a major research programme on public sector and social innovation.

Stephen Goldsmith, former Mayor of Indianapolis and now Deputy Mayor of New York City, launched a book on the “Power of Social Innovation“. [Read Tim Glynn Burke’s post on the book].

Governments across the world are said to be showing “an explosion of interest” and social innovation is increasingly seen as “an important and legitimate public policy approach” (Goldenberg, 2010, p. 208).

Business

Many businesses are engaging with social innovation – albeit in different ways. For example:

Hewlett PackardUnilever and Hitachi.

Some business are seen connected to social innovation – such as Danone’s annual “Social Innovation Lab” and Dell’s “Social Innovation Competition” – Dell announced in May 2011 that they will invest a further $5 million into the competition. Even The Financial Times has Social Innovation Awards!

In 2010 Jason Saul launched a book – Social Innovation Inc – on how the pursuit of social innovation should be a core business strategy – where solutions to social problems can access untapped and profitable markets.

Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations are leading the way in developing social innovation by: encouraging and developing talent – such as through social entrepreneur programs; implementing new organizational models – such as social enterprises – and advocating for systemic change – such as the need for social finance.  An international example would be Ashoka – with Fellows in over 60 countries.

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