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Social innovation must be in core curriculum

Author: Zainab Reza
Published Date: 1 August 2012

ByGuy Pfeffermann and Jonathan Doh

In recent years, business schools have been both advocates and developers of social innovations, often enlisting support from schools of design or engineering in exploring promising new products that are intended to address both economic and social demands. Barely a month goes by without some “pro-poor” or “base of the pyramid” or “inclusive” innovation hitting the news.A multitude of different solar-powered indoor lights and charcoal-saving cooking stoves have been invented in recent years.

But few of these innovations have been scaled up to benefit large numbers of people. Part of the problem may be that those engaged in social innovation activities at business schools operate apart from the mainstream curriculum. Indeed, perhaps more social innovations would attain scale if social enterprise activities were better integrated into the core curricula and business school graduates leveraged the traditional and emerging perspectives in their mainstream professions and entrepreneurial social ventures.

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