Social Innovation – 10th October 2010

It’s a been a while since I last posted but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking and writing about social innovation.  I’ve spent the last month exploring the relationship between social innovation and place – how places might enable and constrain social innovation and the importance of the work of people to change places on social innovation.  When I have a complete draft then I might make an attempt in this space to try to articulate my thoughts.

Scanning the web over the last month – a few things stand out.

1. Article in The American Prospect – “Is giving away money – and lots of it – realy the best way to change the world?” – a look at the Gates Foundation and its approach to solving social problems.

2. Examples for Ashoka – Prison football program in Indonsia to open up discussions about HIV and Crowd-Sourcing Patient Knowledge.

3. Investing in Social Growth – Young Foundation Report exploring whether interest in the “Big Society” idea can be translated into action.

4. Social Innovation Inc – a new book that places social innovation at the heart of good business.

5.The Feast Conference (October 15th) – a TED Talks style focus on social innovation.

6. Notable absence of published research…just one conference paper defined social innovation as an “organizational capability”…”that consists of four resources: strategic orientation, product-market improvement, flexible work & organising smarter”. Social innovation in this context is connected to organizational performance and employee absenteeism.  This just highlights the variety of ways in which social innovation as a term is used.