…that it can drain the complex and exciting of all colour and vitality.

In a sense that’s what all academic work does (I remember a well-known academic who happens to write for the Guardian describing academia as obsessed with complexity, and journalism with clarity).

I realise I’ve done just that with social innovation, so I want to offer a more compelling alternative description. Social innovation -unlike technical innovation –  is not just a new way of doing things. It is a new way of living, and a new way of being.

Even more fundamentally, social innovation disrupts transactional patterns and processes by humanising and socialising them. It is not concerned with overthrowing capitalism or systemic revolution, but targeted, specific interventions in social processes and practices.

Social innovation has to be both disruptive and transformational to be worthy of the name. This means that not all social enterprise can be legitimately classed as social innovation, but  much work conventionally described as charitable can be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s