Social innovation is considered a project that seeks to solve more effectively and sustainably something that impacts society as a whole and not just a few individuals.
Access the news, and you will find several social issues: soil degradation, air pollution and climate change, and urban development are some of the topics debated worldwide.
And with each passing year, individuals and companies are mobilizing to solve various social demands worldwide, which is why the term social innovation has gained more and more space in organizations. Have you heard about it?
Are you interested in the subject? Check out in this article what social innovation was when it emerged and its importance for the corporate environment.
What Does Social Innovation Mean?
Social innovation needs to be clarified with philanthropy or actions aimed at the third sector. This preset is mainly due to the word “social”, which carries this “beneficent” connotation.
The word “innovation” is related to new technologies. When consulting the dictionary, it is described as “that which is new, make new; to restore”. But when consulting the dictionary, it is possible to observe that the meaning of this word goes beyond; it is possible to see concepts such as “what belongs to everyone; public, collective”.
Social innovation can therefore be understood as developing new solutions to societal problems and needs.
Social innovation does not necessarily need to be related to a product or technology; it can be in law, in a process, in a movement or in the combination of these elements, that is, both incremental and radical innovations.
When Did The Term Come About?
The term social innovation was shared with the world in 2003 in the Stanford Social Innovation Review magazine, which conceptualized it as the “process of inventing, guaranteeing support and implementing new solutions to social needs and problems, dissolving borders and mediating the dialogue between the public, private and third sectors”.
However, as the years passed, the term began to gain relevance, and there was a need to reformulate its meaning. It was in 2008, through the publication Rediscovering Social Innovation that it was changed.
The term was better explored and explained in it, thus bringing better precision to it. From that publication, social innovation came to be understood as “a new solution to a social problem, which is more effective, efficient, sustainable or fair than the solutions already present, contemplating society as a whole, and not just a few individuals”.
The Importance Of Social Innovation
Every year, social innovation assumes more importance worldwide, especially in organizations. With the change in the market and the problems that plague humanity, companies need to position themselves in favor and act in some way to generate a positive impact on society, whether through their product, service or any other means.
Society in general and the different contexts, work, academic, etc., have the perception that it is necessary to innovate to insert the social demands that influence inequality in the world.
This collective awakening to social issues has led customers to consume brands that pay attention to these issues. Their purchase choices are based on the impact of the nature that that company is responsible for, the causes it supports, what it believes and stands for, and other social issues.
Even small actions are already valid and considered significant for change to occur. Practices to reduce social ills, empower vulnerable people, and provide opportunities for people in need are solutions that companies can implement to resolve major social problems.
Social innovation only happens if the company’s thinking is aligned to create a solution to transform a human problem. Therefore, business pedagogy strategies are fundamental.