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3 - Social Innovation: What do we need for scaling out and up our impacts?

This conversation took place on April 15th, 2015: Get the transcript here

In this turbulent age of constant change, we are coming to recognize that many of the social and economic systems we have inherited are mal-adapted to new realities. Too many are unsustainable, unjust, or inefficient. Social innovation offers us, according to Stephen Huddart from the McConnell Foundation, “the means by which to re-imagine, recalibrate, and introduce greater resilience in our institutions.”

The term itself covers a lot of ground. It comprises not only “new ideas that work” but also new ways of “seeing, thinking, and working.” A good deal of the literature has been focused on developing new tools and processes for building the capacity of individual organizations and the sector more broadly. These include:

  • new forms of funding and financing;
  • new organizational structures;
  • new approaches for determining individual and collective impact, and
  • social process tools for fostering collaboration and learning within and across organizations optimizing Web 2.0 and 3.0 technologies.

It is fair to say that at this juncture that we are at the beginning of a new chapter in social innovation in the non-profit sector. Fuelled by the revolution in information technologies, Canadian non-profits are exploring how best to achieve their goals and to serve their communities in the 21st century. Social innovation is is impossible without collaboration. What are the new tools and models of organization for collaboration? The critical question – as always – is how to scale up and out social innovations from the sector?

Moderated by

Research panel