The field of social innovation emerged out of frustration and disillusionment that technological innovations are not enough to solve the grand social and environmental challenges we face today.
It is not a new concept or practice but it has taken off in the last two decades. We now see hundreds of social innovation centres, new sources of finance to support social innovation, educational courses and university research centres, as well as accelerators, labs and incubators of all kinds. And many organisations and people have conducted research to understand the theory and practice of social innovation and have experimented with various forms of institutions, tools and practice. We provide a compilation of social innovation knowledge here.
- What are the characteristics of social innovation?
- What is the social innovation spiral?
- What are the tools and frameworks for social innovation and how do you use them?
- How do you scale social innovation?
- How do you finance social innovation?
The history of SIX is closely development of the field of social innovation. The idea of SIX came about at a time when many were trying to build on what had been achieved in supporting social entrepreneurship and social enterprise and were attempting to move to a more systematic approach to social change. As different communities of practice and knowledge began to emerge, so too has SIX’s role adapted to the changing environment and network. As a field builder, we build on the knowledge and experience of the network, zooming in and out, recognising the global trends and linking them with local insights.
From our friends and partners
Explore the latest insights on this theme from our team, friends and partners from our network.
Challenges of Social Innovation in Brazil
Fábio Deboni is the Executive Manager at the Sabin Institute. He currently is a co-manager of the Social Enterprise Theme Network of GIFE (Group of Institutes, Foundations and Companies) with the ICE. Member of GIFE’s Board of Directors. Author of “Reflexões contemporâneas sobre Investimento Social Privado” (Contemporary reflections on private social investment). Contact him here: email@example.com As ... Challenges of Social Innovation in Brazil
How Field Catalysts Galvanise Social Change
Surmounting daunting social challenges such as ending malaria or achieving marriage equality can require the help of an intermediary organization—a field catalyst—that amplifies the efforts of others. Open access to this article is made possible by The Bridgespan Group. When looking across the major social-change efforts of our time, the parabola of success sometimes arcs suddenly ... How Field Catalysts Galvanise Social Change
Social Innovation in the Basque Country
Building on Social Innovation Europe (SIE)’s country profiles which demonstrate a variety of views on what social innovation means to different kinds of organisations in a particular country, SIE also looking at how social innovation is carried out in different regions across Europe. SIE recently interviewed Innobasque to learn more about social innovation in the Basque Country. The following interview builds on Innobasque’s contribution to the country ... Social Innovation in the Basque Country
Comparative Report on Social Innovation across Europe
SIMPACT investigates the economic foundation of social innovation in relation to markets, public sector and institutions with the intention of providing a dynamic framework for action at the level of individuals, organisations and networks. According to SIMPACT’s understanding, social innovation refers to: novel combination of ideas and distinct forms of collaboration that transcend established institutional contexts with the effect of empowering and (re) engaging vulnerable ... Comparative Report on Social Innovation across Europe
Recoding Our Innovation Systems
This article was written by Tim Draimin (Executive Director, Social Innovation Generation) and is part of our SIX Global Council series on Ideas for the Future. Social Innovation’s Imperative to Be Ambitious and Think Big The world is awash with innovation reports and indices comparing the innovation prowess of different countries, cities, and corporations. The two ... Recoding Our Innovation Systems
People Powered Everything?
This article was written by Chris Vanstone (Director of Co-design, TACSI) and is part of our SIX Global Council series on Ideas for the Future. The commonsensical approach of doing with rather than to might just be sticking, in places. A decade and a half of work on people powered public services and a long demand ... People Powered Everything?
U Innovate Us
This article was written by Josine Stremmelaar (Coordinator of the Knowledge Programme, Hivos) and Remko Berkhout (Consultant, Hivos) and is part of our SIX Global Council series on Ideas for the Future. The obsession with ‘superheroes of social innovation’ undermines the social fabric that is needed to achieve social change. What if we harness the power ... U Innovate Us
What does it take to scale social impact?
Twenty years ago, Indian activist Arbind Singh pleaded with local officials to address the issues facing the urban poor. The state government of Bihar had recently carried out a massive antiencroachment drive that left thousands of street vendors without the means to earn a living. Across India, cities were being ‘beautified’—which in part meant kicking ... What does it take to scale social impact?
Webinar: Geoff Mulgan on ‘Master of Arts in Social Innovation’
The new study program “Master of Arts in Social Innovation” at Danube University Krems (Austria), which will start its new course on 16th of June 2014, offers a recorded version of Geoff Mulgans Webinar for all those who are interested in Social Innovation. For more informations click here.
The Scaling Imperative
This article was originally published on Social Innovation Generation (SiG) website. Social Innovation Generation (SiG) is a group who believes that serious social problems can be solved. Our focus is on fostering social innovation to achieve impact, durability and scale by engaging the creativity and resources of all sectors. Today, it is quite common to come ... The Scaling Imperative
First Study on Social Innovation for BEPA
SIX and the Young Foundation were commissioned by the Bureau of European Policy Advisors at the European Commission to a study of social innovation in Europe, and to suggest some priorities for action. The paper sets out the current position, policies, programmes and future options for promoting social innovation in Europe. Its primary focus is ... First Study on Social Innovation for BEPA
Small is powerful
The Basque region is the proposed setting for the world’s first ‘social Silicon Valley’. Alison Benjamin meets two Spaniards intent on creating a post-industrial revolution High in the hills of Spain’s Basque region, an experiment is taking place that could determine how we tackle social problems in the future. At a time when governments, economists ... Small is powerful
Our creative minds need to be harnessed
This article originally appeared on The Guardian What makes a city buzz? The most dynamic cities have always been immersed in the critical innovations of their time. Today, the world’s great cities compete to lead in innovation in fields such as nanotechnology or genomics, sometimes successfully, sometimes with ineffective copycat strategies. Science and business have ... Our creative minds need to be harnessed
New ways of doing
The original article appeared on The Guardian Social innovation is the new global obsession. It might be a nebulous idea but it has huge potential. Lord Darzi, following his review of the NHS, is so enamoured of its powers that he’s set aside a £50m annual budget to encourage its spread. Governments in Singapore, Denmark and ... New ways of doing