Launched in 2000, The Center for Social Innovation has been at the forefront of the emerging field of social innovation.
A social innovation is a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than present solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals.
Although social entrepreneurship and social enterprise have become popular rallying points for those trying to improve the world, social change can happen outside of them. These two notions are positive ones but neither is adequate when it comes to understanding and creating social change. In fact, social innovation is a better vehicle for doing this.
Social Innovation focuses attention on the ideas and solutions that create social value—as well as the processes through which they are generated, not just the individuals and organizations.
We observe how cross-sector fertilization underlies the three key mechanisms that are driving contemporary social innovation:
Ultimately, the most difficult and important problems cannot be understood, let alone solved, without involving the nonprofit, public, and private sectors.
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Helen K. Chang