What is social innovation and what are some examples of this?
Benny Callaghan of the School for Social entrepreneurs spoke to Alex Sloane of ABC radio about what a Social enterprise is and why both government and the private sector are happy to support this growing aera of innovation. Sloane also chatted to Zoe Lamont, who is the Founder of the financial literacy for girls project 10thousandgirl.
Walking through the city a few weeks ago, Michelle Williams and I were discussing the current paradigm of social innovation in Australia; a mindset that echoes the mentality of ‘charity’, where everyone seems focused on improving the lives of others.
Of course this is a completely worthwhile aim, but what gap is created when we don’t include ourselves in these social innovation solutions? And how many of the issues that we try to address through social innovation are actually systemic problems flowing from the manner in which we all live? Perhaps if the word ‘social’ became the focus of ‘social innovation’, it would become more apparent that these solutions shouldn’t simply become a bubble around a group identified as ‘in need’. Rather, they should be inclusive, holistic solutions that shift the underlying social norm, however slightly, thus improving life for all in the community. Continue reading “Making Innovation Social”
Technology, the web, our phones, our laptops. All of these devices and platforms have become such a major part of our lives that we forget the impact they have.
But then it’s not about the tools, it’s about how we use them.
Our uses have adapted over time from being merely functional, serving a minimal purpose, to revolutionising the way we connect, allowing a constant state of being plugged in to the biggest pool of information and people ever known thus creating a type of global consciousness.
People like Ezio Manzini, a leading thinker in sustainability and collaborative project design, states that technology and the web is now allowing collaboration on a local level, and once successful, a scaling of these social innovations on a country and global level.
As you may be aware, this is the first Social Innovation BarCamp to be run in Australia, even though BarCamps have been been held throughout the world for a number of years now.
Attendees of the French BarCamp included entrepreneurs, community managers, researchers, technologists, bloggers, consultants, designers, NGO and social business representatives. It was the first social innovation barcamp ever in France.
At the beginning of the day it took 15 minutes for the gridboard to be filled with 16 workshops, presentations and discussions.
Popular discussions included:
How to manage an international online community
Research and development around social innovation
Industrialisation of social action
Neuro-connections and creative intelligence
A tour of Asian meeting innovative social entrepreneurs
Everybody now acknowledges that there is a problem concerning our environment. The unfamiliar and unsure part is what we can do to solve this.
Last week one of the leading thinkers in sustainable design visited Australia. Ezio Manzini shared his wisdom in helping us make this change now. He identified the tools and opportunity we have around us to embrace this change now.
Listening to him also put into context where we are at as a civilisation, the amazing achievements in progress we have had over the last 100 or so years, and what the next step for us is: To become more resourceful in using the materials around us, to reconnect as communities and to embrace the need for sustainability as an opportunity rather than some scary, overwhelming, costly exercise.
His blog contains some excellent examples of this innovation and one in particular is interesting is the ‘Walking Bus’:
Every school holiday it is amazing how much the traffic decreases. Parents feel a need to drive their children for safety but the organisation of this group means that children can walk together, reconnect with each other, under the supervision of a few adults. http://sustainable-everyday.net/cases/?p=52
What examples of this are already going on in Sydney? It would be great to hear about them at the Social Innovation BarCamp