We are facing immense societal challenges globally, which cannot be solved through technological innovations alone. We need sustainable and socially oriented solutions, that is innovations with and for society. Such social innovations need adequate financial support.
Over the last decade, there have been various approaches to financing and supporting social innovations, from accelerator grants to social impact bonds, community budgets and blended non-market/market finances. Generally, an enabling policy environment for social innovations is necessary to shape financial architecture.
During the event, Gorgi Krlev from CSI – University of Heidelberg shared the results from a recently published study “Financing social innovation – international evidence”. The report highlights 4 strategies for effective financial support and 8 policy instruments that can be used to shape financial architecture necessary to achieve these strategies.
Then, a great panel discussion followed between Allyson Hewit, (MaRS Discovery District), Filipe Almeida (Portugal Social Innovation), Geoff Mulgan (UCL), Suzanne Wisse-Huiskes (Euclid Network) and Sven Giegold (German Ministry of Economics and Climate) who shared their unique perspectives in different countries as practitioners, policymakers and researchers in the social innovation field. A common thread emphasised throughout the discussion was the importance of ecosystem building and the power of meaningful partnerships across sectors (private, public and social) in propagating change.
Other useful resources mentioned during the event:
- MaRS Discovery District
- Portugal Social Innovation
- Euclid Network
- Social innovation: How societies find the power to change
- How public procurement can spur the social economy, SSIR
- Let’s chat politics — Can we re-engage citizens, digitally?
- What is social finance?
- The duality of impact and business
- Business for Purpose Network (a coalition of leaders from the private, non-profit, academic and public sectors to help Canadian businesses shift beyond traditional corporate social responsibility (CSR) to focusing on societal purpose as their reason for being)
- Federal government hosted Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy in Canada
- Read more on SiG – Social Innovation Generation (Canadian report on fostering a ecosystem for systems change)