Social Innovation: where are we and where could we be? Geoff Mulgan
Millions of people are involved in the rich diversity of social innovation
But our societies do social innovation far less well than innovation in technology and business .... with few institutions, resources, supports
And very few have specialised in understanding it, growing it, accelerating it ...
.... and many of those few are in this room
<ul><ul><li>But interest is growing fast ... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Governments wanting better solutions to social inclusion, healthcare, service delivery, education – EU, WHO, Obama </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business wanting to adapt to economy where biggest sectors are health, care, learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Civil society wanting to get better at identifying needs, delivering services, solving problems rather than alleviating </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Radical politics wanting experimental methods rather than topdown blueprints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ We think’ – collaborative innovation models spreading - all of us are smarter than any of us </li></ul></ul>
Recognition that the big issues not soluble with business as usual – ageing, climate change, global inequality
Giving us a shared responsibility and a shared opportunity
What’s happening? What’s the state of the field?
The beginnings of a research field ....
<ul><li>Mondragon/MIK (Spain) </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation Networks for Communities (US) </li></ul><ul><li>CCCPE (China) </li></ul><ul><li>Mindlab (Denmark) </li></ul><ul><li>Heategu (Estonia) </li></ul><ul><li>Lien Foundation (Singapore) </li></ul><ul><li>SITRA and STAKES (Finland) </li></ul><ul><li>MIK/Mondragon (Spain) </li></ul><ul><li>Fuping Development Institute (China) </li></ul><ul><li>Mandag Morgan (Denmark) </li></ul><ul><li>Sciences-Po (France) </li></ul><ul><li>Kellogg Foundation (US) </li></ul>TESE (Portugal) New Schools Venture Fund (US) Hope Institute (S.Korea) MaRS (Canada) SEKN (L. America) Shuttleworth Foundation (S. Africa) Australian Centre for Social Innovation Sustainable Everyday Project (Italy) New Profit Inc (US) Young Foundation (UK) Innovation Unit (UK) NESTA (UK) DIUS (UK) Minister of Strategic Affairs (Brazil) President of Iceland Center for Social Innovation (Canada) Doors of Perception (Int.) Ashoka (US) TED (US) Tallberg Forum (Sweden) Kennisland (Netherlands) Social Innovation Generator (Canada) REDF (US) OECD Civicus (Int.) BEPA/European Commission World Health Organisation
But a gap between what’s needed and what there is Social innovation still dependent on small institutions, inadequate flows of money, with few established methods in governments, business, NGOs or universities, and still too many ...
<ul><ul><li>Arguments, data, case studies (SI comes alive through specifics) ... for making the case to governments, foundations, cities, businesses </li></ul></ul>1. Share advocacy
<ul><ul><li>Share and encourage research, case studies, theory, analysis of interaction of public, private, grant, household economy; analysis of distinctive national social innovation systems and differing mixes of radical politics, business entrepreneurialism, civic energy; knowledge about policy and what works ... </li></ul></ul>2 Research
3. Share practical methods
<ul><li>Public funding – early stage, local innovations, growth, individuals, top slicing - SBIR </li></ul><ul><li>Foundation funding and social venture funds - Launchpad, HopeLab, Pioneer Porfolio, SIG </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial investment and venturing </li></ul><ul><li>Social stock markets - Rockefeller </li></ul><ul><li>Bank funding – Banca Prossima, Charity Bank </li></ul><ul><li>Markets for solutions -Innocentive </li></ul><ul><li>Open competitions and prizes – Big Green Challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Finance for individual social entrepreneurs -UnLtd </li></ul>4. Share models of finance
<ul><li>Adapt existing skills ...business; public policy; user engagement; marketing and communication; design; technology; action learning (eg SSE) and formal qualifications (eg INSEAD) </li></ul><ul><li>Devise new kinds of learning and skills ... simulations, visualisation of problems and solutions, creative social design </li></ul>5. Share skills
6. Share understanding of how to grow – and when not to
Routes to growth and impact
7. Expand the field of incubators and intermediaries – sharing models, experiences, improvements
8. Make global learning an automatic reflex
<ul><li>Website - SIX </li></ul><ul><li>Events – eg Seoul, Brussels </li></ul><ul><li>Influence – eg EU, WHO, Obama </li></ul><ul><li>New models – eg SI Camp, Open Everything </li></ul>
9. Encourage diversification – more methods not less as the best way to grow the field
10. Cultivate social imagination
<ul><li>Starting small and practical but linking social innovation to social imagination and future possibility </li></ul><ul><li>A radical double loop – social imagination about social imagination, collective intelligence about collective intelligence </li></ul>
‘ The future’s already here – it’s just unevenly distributed’ William Gibson
<ul><li>The world is short of bees –according to Einstein humanity would only survive four years if the bees disappeared </li></ul>
The stakes are high!
Social design principles and a social aesthetic <ul><li>Seek ideas with profoundly simple kernels </li></ul><ul><li>Build on observation not assumption </li></ul><ul><li>Design circuits not delivery chains – wherever possible create a self-sustaining circuit of mutual interest and support </li></ul><ul><li>Turn problems and deficits into assets , and use one problem to solve another </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance autonomy and i nterdependence, never just one </li></ul><ul><li>Enrich everything with information and automatic feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Design for hubs – topography not cartography, recombinant structures </li></ul><ul><li>Seek out projects that require rewiring of surrounding systems </li></ul><ul><li>Design for visible fairness – procedures that are seen to be fair and reflexive </li></ul><ul><li>Aspire to zero waste – of resources, capacities, talents </li></ul><ul><li>Make the commons visible and worked </li></ul><ul><li>Every social design should be incomplete (double loop incompleteness) </li></ul>
The Young Foundation’s business is social innovation: finding and developing new and better ways of meeting pressing unmet needs. We undertake research to identify and understand unmet social needs and then develop practical initiatives and institutions to address them – in fields as diverse as health and education, housing and cities. Our work combines applied work and practical action (undertaken through Launchpad), and developing our buildings as a hub and home for other organisations. For more information go to www.youngfoundation.org Mixed Brick Wall Chris Campbell May 29 th 2004 http://www.flickr.com/photos/cgc/1200935/ IDEO Method Cards deck Satragon June 1 st 2005 http://www.flickr.com/photos/tvojta/16978314/ Russian Dolls Sijeka December 29 th 2007 Still Green Hamed Masoumi June 28 th 2007 http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamedmasoumi/761091842/ Streaming Green The Wandering Angel 20 th February 2008 http://www.flickr.com/photos/wandering_angel/2279969457/ Green Leaves of Summer Patty Colmer August 4 th 2007 http://www.flickr.com/photos/patty_colmer/1002159811/