A Map of Social Innovation Territories:
A Tool for Navigating across Diverse Disciplines and Fields of Practice
Keywords:social innovation, theory, epistemology, ontology, pluriverse, academia
This paper offers a visual map of the landscape of social innovation to help clarify assumptions, overcome biases, and learn new approaches for making social and environmental changes in the 21st century. The map is a wayfinding tool to aid exploration, communication, and collaboration across sectors and worldviews. The map is oriented around different epistemologies (ways of knowing) and ontologies (ways of being), which carve out two key territories: (1) mainstream liberal social entrepreneurship (aligned with positivist epistemologies (western science); and (2) complexity-based models characterized by relational ways of being and calling for plural knowledges. We note (3) a rift across this landscape – formed by fault lines of positivist/non-positivist epistemologies and dualist/non-dualist ontologies. We explain how to use the map to locate your position, navigate, and explore new places. We point out bridges across barriers, including complexity thinking, design thinking, and attention to power.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Laura L. Murphy, Maille E. Faughnan (Author)
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