August 19, 2020
What is Social Innovation and Why Does It Matters
- Social Innovation
Source: Nagaoka Review – Repost Fight for Life Foundation 8/18/2020 –
The field of social innovation is not a new practice but has never generated much more noise than today. The Nagaoka Review sat down with Tudor Tomos, an incoming professor on social innovation at the Nagaoka University of Technology to learn about social innovation, its importance, and how it has become a hot topic in the world today.
NR: What is social innovation?
TT: There are many definitions out there relating to social innovation and social entrepreneurship. Basically, they refer to any solution that meets a social or environmental issue, create social relationships in the process, and imply new types of collaborations. The innovations themselves may either be products, services or models that address the community’s unmet needs in an effective way, improving people’s lives. In fewer words, social entrepreneurship is about doing good in a smart way. It means that social impact comes first but the business’s revenue model should be optimized for eventually scaling a positive impact.
NR: If it’s a program or movement, how long has it been ongoing?
TT: Social innovation (SI) is not a new phenomenon. The novelty might be the use of today’s technology in service of people rather than for their entertainment or some imagined needs. There are plenty examples of SI throughout history, from hospices and cooperatives, neighborhood kindergartens, self-building houses, trade unions, reading clubs or philanthropic leaders redirecting revenues to social causes.