Social Innovation andResilience Frances Westley Waterloo Institute of Social Innovation and Resilience
In this presentation I will…! Define key terms! Look at resilience as a property linked to adaptive capacity (represented in the adaptive cycle)! Look at resilience as something one wants to build indirectly through a pattern of invention for adaptation! Look at resilience as something one wants to reduce indirectly or directly through a pattern of innovation for transformation! Close with some questions for discussion
Some definitions! Resilience: the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change, so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity, and feedbacks” (Walker et al. 2004; Folke et al. 2010).! Resilience is about neither persistence nor change but about balancing and integrating both in an adaptive cycle
Routine Change (Persistence) Conservation K Growth r
In comes agency….! Adaptability: the capacity of individuals within the system to maintain or manage its resilience through continuous invention and adjustments! Transformability: the capacity to create untried beginnings from which to evolve a fundamentally new way of living when existing ecological, economic, and social conditions make the current system untenable (social innovation).
In comes innovation….! Social Inventions: any product, process, design, program or initiative designed to assist vulnerable populations or those serving them to adapt more affectively to social or ecological circumstances! Social Innovation: any product, process, design , program or initiative that profoundly changes the defining routines and laws, resource and authority flows, cultural beliefs and practices of a given social system. Social innovations transform intractable problem domains.
The psychosocial space called release or creative destruction! Key pressures - sensemaking and reconfiguration of resources! Associated changes - ! Breakdown of trust, networks and meanings ! Confusion, lack of clarity, lack of direction ! Pirating ideas and resources; introduction of novelty ! People: those who thrive on crisis, on new beginnings are happy here – others may be depressed or in mourning
The psychosocial space called reorganization or exploration! Key pressures: resource (funds, time, energy, attention, skill) availability - low connectivity - time pressure! Associated changes: ! multiple random walks , experiments, initiatives which lead to little in the way of measurable outcomes ! people who learn by doing are happy here, others may feel increasingly anxious about waste of time or directionless ! reflection moving to experimentation, lots of false starts and sometimes frustration and mounting anxiety about inputs/ output ratios
The psychosocial space called exploitation! Key pressure- demand for delivery and productivity! Associated changes- ! The dynamic of start-up - high excitement as the initiative takes form. Communication is still highly personal, roles flexible, integration through mutual adjustment. ! With success and time, there is increasing need for organizing systems (communication, control, accounting), job definition and regulation. ! Team-builders and the action oriented come into their own. Conceptualizers may feel a little uncomfortable.
The Psycho-social space called conservation! Key pressures - standardization of rules and procedures; demand for product! Associated changes ! A time of measurable returns and performance ! Increased demands for reliability and productivity ! Increased reliance on systems for monitoring and rewarding efficiency ! Good management prevails- visionaries step aside or move on?
Use of the adaptive cycle in change making! Where are you as an individual most comfortable? Least comfortable?! Organizational assessment: Which phase is each of organization/program? What does the combined picture say about where is in the adaptive cycle?! To what extent does the pattern of activities in any program area support the resilience of the broader system?
But what about the broader societaloutcomes you are seeking:Adaptation or Transformation?
Resilience suggest the role of opportunity and of agency
1. D. Scaling Up -A. Institutional 2. 3 Institutional Economi Political Culturallandscape c Entrepreneurs E. Scaling Out/ Social entrepreneurs
Thinking like amovement: The PLANCase Institutional level Changing the definition of citzenship National level Can Plan be disseminated?? Individual level Fatigue and questioning Organizational level Success brings many demands
Resilience 2. Building the resilience of the innovative 3. nibbling at the alternative1.Reducing the system to create aresilience of window ofdominant opportunityregime
Use of concepts of adaptation, transformation and cross scale interactions in strategic grant making! Is the goal of the program to build the resilience of the system through building adaptive capacity ? • Or! Is the goal of the program to reduce the resilience of the focal system through building capacity for social innovation?
What is your goal? To maintain the resilience of the To transform the current current system by adaptation? systems! Treat the “institutional” or ! Treat the “institutional” or environmental landscape as a given environmental landscape as mutable and needing change! Focus on the problem regime level ! Concentrate on connecting good ideas at the level of innovation niches to windows! Look for opportunities to introduce of opportunity at institutional scales and new (inventive) programs , processes, connecting the two. initiatives that address the needs of the most vulnerable and builds the ! Social entrepreneurs and institutional resilience of the whole entrepreneurs are vital! Social entrepreneurs key as providers ! Build the capacity for institutional of these inventive approaches entrepreneurship: system thinking, pattern recognition, networking,! Re-engaging the voice of the advocacy, brokering partnerships, selling vulnerable provides the diversity ideas, building vertical social capital etc. needed for invention