An overview of social innovation in the Middle East and North Africa

Prepared by Kendra Schreiner and Jordan Junge, SIX May 2018

The field of social innovation has grown rapidly over the past 10 years, gaining traction across the world and in different sectors. The values of co-creation and collectively working toward impact resonates across sectors and countries, from public servants, politicians, academics, businesses, and nonprofits to everyday people in the neighbourhood. Social innovation looks and feels different in every context and is shaped by those in the ecosystem. SIX prepared this scan ahead of our global event on the future of social innovation, Wayfinder Istanbul, that will explore the enabling conditions of a thriving social innovation ecosystem and how we can better collaborate across sectors to achieve a greater impact. We wanted to highlight what social innovation looks like in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, some of the enabling factors as well as the challenges and highlights some opportunities for the future. 

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