Social innovations are new social practices that aim to meet social needs in a more efficient, collaborative or just way than the existing solutions. They do this by shifting working conditions, offering employment to those who have barriers to getting a job, providing education, upcycing waste, or offering community development or health. These ideas are created with the goal of extending and strengthening civil society and finding new ways to financially sustain social good.
“Social innovation is not the prerogative or privilege of any organizational form
or legal structure. Solutions often require the active collaboration of constituents
across government, business, and the nonprofit world.”
—Soule, Malhotra, Clavier
Social innovation is driven by key principles:
Exchange of ideas and values
Shifts in roles and relationships
Integration of private capital with public and philanthropic support
Examples of Social Innovation include:
Peace & Justice Education Programs
Fair Trade Products & Supply Chains
Neighborhood Housing or Job Creation projects
Connecting Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship results in new approaches to societal inequities and environmental challenges with innovation to develop creative and sustainable solutions.
Blending social innovation with Faith can include thinking about different forms of capital. For example, John Wesley’s theology of social ministry inspired the Guinness brewery family to transcend boundaries between the sacred and the profane.