Social Innovations Journal 2021-03-04T00:00:00-08:00 Nicholas Torres Open Journal Systems <p>Social Innovations Journal (SIJ) is dedicated to social innovators and entrepreneurs who work at the cross section between the private sector, government, and not-for-profits and aligns them toward collective social impact goals and public policy. SIJ chronicles social innovations and enterprises addressing the world’s most challenging issues surrounding social policy, leadership, human capital, and systems. In collaboration with government, philanthropy, not-for-profits and universities, the Journal bridges formal research and real-life experience.</p> <p>The mission of the Social Innovations Journal is to promote innovative ideas informed by data and research, incubate social innovation and thought leadership, and to spark a culture of innovation leading to improved social sector products and services, systems and policies. SIJ is creating a new standard for social innovations and enterprise publications by including the “why” behind their innovation, their bottom line impact (social and financial), and the system and policy implications.</p> <p>The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) defines social innovation as a mechanism that “can concern conceptual, process or product change, organizational change and changes in financing, and can deal with new relationships with stakeholders and territories.” The OECD’s Forum on Social Innovation identifies the core components of social innovation as: </p> <ul> <li class="show">“identifying and delivering new services that improve the quality of life of individuals and communities; and </li> <li class="show">“identifying and implementing new labour market integration processes, new competencies, new jobs, and new forms of participation, as diverse elements that each contribute to improving the position of individuals in the workforce.” </li> </ul> <p>In the words of the OECD, <strong>“Social innovation is distinct from economic innovation because it is not about introducing new types of production or exploiting new markets in itself but is about satisfying new needs not provided by the market (even if markets intervene later) or creating new, more satisfactory ways of insertion in terms of giving people a place and a role in production.</strong></p> <p>“The key distinction is that social innovation deals with improving the welfare of individuals and community through employment, consumption or participation, its expressed purpose being therefore to provide solutions for individual and community problems.”</p> <p><strong>Open Access, Licensing, and Copyright</strong> </p> <p>The Social Innovations Journal is loyal open access for academic work, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of its articles and to use them for any other lawful purpose. All the articles published in this journal are free to access immediately from the date of publication. We do not charge any fees for any reader to download articles for their own scholarly use.</p> <div id="deed-conditions" class="row"> <h3><strong>The Social Innovations Journal permits the Creative Commons License:</strong></h3> <h2><span class="cc-license-title">Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported</span> <span class="cc-license-identifier">(CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)</span></h2> <h3>Under the following terms:</h3> <ul class="license-properties col-md-offset-2 col-md-8" dir="ltr"> <li class="license by"> <p><strong>Attribution</strong> — You must give <a id="appropriate_credit_popup" class="helpLink" tabindex="0" title="" href="" data-original-title="">appropriate credit</a>, provide a link to the license, and <a id="indicate_changes_popup" class="helpLink" tabindex="0" title="" href="" data-original-title="">indicate if changes were made</a>. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.<span id="by-more-container"></span></p> </li> <li class="license nc"> <p><strong>NonCommercial</strong> — You may not use the material for <a id="commercial_purposes_popup" class="helpLink" tabindex="0" title="" href="" data-original-title="">commercial purposes</a>.<span id="nc-more-container"></span></p> </li> <li class="license nd"> <p><strong>NoDerivatives</strong> — If you <a id="some_kinds_of_mods_popup" class="helpLink" tabindex="0" title="" href="" data-original-title="">remix, transform, or build upon</a> the material, you may not distribute the modified material.<span id="nd-more-container"></span></p> </li> </ul> </div> <div class="row"> <ul id="deed-conditions-no-icons" class="col-md-offset-2 col-md-8"> <li class="license"><strong>No additional restrictions</strong> — You may not apply legal terms or <a id="technological_measures_popup" class="helpLink" tabindex="0" title="" href="" data-original-title="">technological measures</a> that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.</li> </ul> </div> <div class="row"> <div class="col-md-offset-1 col-md-10"><hr /></div> </div> <div id="deed-understanding" class="row"> <h3>Notices:</h3> <ul class="understanding license-properties col-md-offset-2 col-md-8"> <li class="license">You do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable <a id="exception_or_limitation_popup" class="helpLink" tabindex="0" title="" href="" data-original-title="">exception or limitation</a>.</li> <li class="license">No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as <a id="publicity_privacy_or_moral_rights_popup" class="helpLink" tabindex="0" title="" href="" data-original-title="">publicity, privacy, or moral rights</a> may limit how you use the material</li> </ul> <h3><strong>Copyright and Publishing Rights </strong></h3> <p>For the licenses indicated above, authors retain the copyright and full publishing rights without restrictions.</p> </div> <p> </p> Weaving Social Innovation Communities During Times of Disruption 2021-03-01T17:02:42-08:00 Bruce Evan Goldstein <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a time of disruption, how do our social innovation organizations maintain the enabling conditions for productivity, commitment, creativity, and purpose? In this article I summarize the practical wisdom shared with me during twelve online dialogues convened from 2018 to 2020. Highly experienced and effective network designers and facilitators (“netweavers”) discussed how they addressed challenges to their efforts to pursue social justice and ecological and economic well-being while working remotely within collaborative learning networks. I provide their own verbatim advice on how to catalyze creativity and impact within a highly dispersed innovation community, and offer 27 actionable steps organized under four headings that address: (1) how to show up in your organization, (2) how to organize so governance and creativity becomes self-generating, (3) how to manage your organization over time, and (4) how to manage during shock and stress. These ideas can help sustain the ability of your organization to pursue effective strategies to address seemingly intractable problems, adapt to changing conditions and new contexts, scale innovation, and respond rapidly to crisis.</span></p> 2021-03-04T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Social Innovations Journal Love and Discord: Creating Passion Through Leadership 2021-03-01T17:27:11-08:00 Bruce Evan Goldstein <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">How can a social innovation enhance diversity in ways that maximize its social benefits and minimize its social costs? This challenge was explored in a dialogue series convened from 2018 to 2020, where highly experienced network designers and facilitators (or “netweavers”) explored how to maintain lively, generative innovation communities. This paper provides advice from the netweavers in their own words, combined with my commentary on their ideas for benefiting from diverse membership and building and maintaining connection within social innovations organizations that may have limited face-to-face interaction. I first explore how to bring love to your leadership by engaging selflessly, telling the truth, and cultivating a mind and body connection. I recount how the netweavers engaged in ritual, storytelling, and other creative techniques for enhancing intuition and imagination, and how they maintained brief personal connections that were individually tailored to their community member’s needs. Second, I explore how to embrace diversity and disruption. A creative community contains many kinds of diversity, and these differences are useful for innovation work since they cause people to question and broaden their ideas and assumptions. I recount the netweavers’ ideas about how to weave this capacity for creative disruption within a culture of safety and reassurance without letting things get too comfortable and complacent. They concluded that social innovation communities should not cultivate consensus, but rather should create an environment where people see each other as legitimate participants and feel safe to share their differences.</span></p> 2021-03-04T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Social Innovations Journal Jumpstart Virtuous Cycles Within Social Innovation Communities 2021-03-01T18:09:49-08:00 Bruce Evan Goldstein <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Strong leadership is crucial to fostering social innovation, and yet successful social innovation organizations are often those in which leaders do not play a dominant role. This is made possible by leadership practices that activate a community’s self-organizing and self-guiding potential. In this paper I share some of these effective practices, which were identified by highly experienced designers and facilitators of learning networks during a dialogue series on how to maintain lively, generative innovation communities held from 2018 to 2020. I provide advice from the netweavers in their own words, along with my commentary on how to create this potential by initiating and maintaining virtuous cycles of exchange and reciprocity, where group members could “pay it forward” without directly expecting something back every time. Many of these leadership practices are simple actions that are common sense practices in our personal lives but often absent in the workplace, such as creating a welcoming environment, assessing what people wanted to give and receive, being the first to give your members something valuable, calling attention to their successes, and underscoring the value that you provide them every time you interact. One powerful way to foster reciprocity that they emphasized was to organize semi-autonomous small-team activities, or co-work. While co-work can and should accomplish useful outcomes, its greatest value may be in how it maintains necessary coherence and coordination while contributing to building ownership and autonomy that supports an organization’s capacity for self-governance.</span></p> 2021-03-04T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Social Innovations Journal Maintaining Innovative Potential Over Time 2021-03-01T18:19:27-08:00 Bruce Evan Goldstein <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">How can you maintain your community’s social innovative potential over the long term to devise new approaches to intractable social-ecological problems, adapt to changing conditions, and scale innovations to catalyze systems change? Leadership practices that foster capacity to generate fundamental social innovation were identified by highly experienced designers and facilitators of learning networks during a dialogue series on how to maintain lively, generative innovation communities held from 2018 to 2020. In their own words, I offer their advice on how to choose an appropriate suite of innovations through co-work that both probes the system for opportunities for change and pursues harder-to-achieve leverage points for change by building on short-term innovation. I also offer their insights into how to engage your community member’s innovative potential over time and how to generate useful rapid feedback to stay aligned with your goals using measures that enhance your community’s capacity to self-assess. This can both hold the organization accountable and build capacity for self-governance. In my commentary, I suggest how this practical wisdom concretely applies ideas about systems change to the challenges of organizational leadership.</span></p> 2021-03-04T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Social Innovations Journal System Weaving During Crisis 2021-03-01T18:58:23-08:00 Bruce Evan Goldstein <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Strategies for responding to different kinds of crisis were explored by highly experienced network designers and facilitators (or “netweavers”) during a dialogue series on how to maintain lively and generative innovation communities held from 2018 to 2020. During these discussions, netweavers wrestled with the need to enhance the resilience of their organizations to stress while not inhibiting the opportunities for a more fundamental change that a crisis can bring. In their own words, I provide what participants shared about how to give their members opportunities to connect and support one another, reflect on changing opportunities, and rapidly pivot toward time-sensitive opportunities after the COVID-19 outbreak. I also offer their reflections on the Black Lives Matter protests of the summer of 2020 about the impact of systemic racism within their organizations and efforts to identify and act on changes within their grasp. In both cases, the netweavers stressed that active and latent capacities they had cultivated in prior years had proven essential for a rapid and effective response to shock and stress.</span></p> 2021-03-04T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Social Innovations Journal Transformations Towards Food Sustainability Using the Participatory Food Sustainability Assessment Framework (FoodSAF) 2021-02-27T10:35:01-08:00 Aymara Llanque Johanna Jacobi Theresa Tribaldos Stellah Mukhovi Carlos Silvestre Andreia Tecchio Lidiane Fernandez Freddy Delgado Boniface Kiteme Renato Maluf Adriana Bessa Chinwe Ifejika Speranza Stephan Rist <h1 align="left"><span lang="EN-GB">We are facing a global food crisis: the percentage of people with malnutrition are increasing, along with devastating results for the social-ecological environments, showing the unsustainability of the currently dominant food systems. The complex set of food-related problems requires multidimensional perspectives, using inter- and transdisciplinary methodologies, to address social-ecological aspects over a mere focus on productivity. This article introduces a hands-on Food Sustainability Assessment Framework (FoodSAF) that allows non-academic actors to identify pathways for making food systems more sustainable through collective transformations in a “spiral of change”. The emphasis is on making the concept of “food sustainability” operational and applicable, by exploring transdisciplinary methodologies, encourage genuine participation of actors at the local level, and elevate their solutions in the direction of decision-making spaces, where policy makers have a key role in supporting change. The results provide evidence-based scientific knowledge for the promotion of innovation strategies and policy options that improve the sustainability of food systems with the specific aim of strengthening local food systems in a long-term process to co-create transformations.</span></h1> 2021-03-04T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Social Innovations Journal Applying Technologies of the Self in Transformation Labs to Mobilize Collective Agency 2021-02-27T12:52:37-08:00 David Manuel-Navarrete Lakshmi Charli-Joseph Hallie Eakin J. Mario Siqueiros-Garcia <p>Transformation Laboratories (T-Labs) are human-centered participatory spaces aimed at fostering both the personal development of participants, and the generation of new collective agency in heterogenous groups of actors motivated by the goal of transforming the social-ecological systems they inhabit. T-Labs can benefit from employing “technologies of the self” (ToS), which are participatory tools to assist self-reflection by drawing people’s attention to their own social-ecological agency. Academic researchers can act as convenor/facilitators of T-Labs by playing the dual role of providing both tested ToS for building collective agency, and access to specialized expertise and knowledges, according to the needs of each group. The process may involve existing or new economic activities but is transformation-driven rather than profit-driven. This paper reports on a 3-years project that implemented a T-Lab in Xochimilco wetland in Mexico City. The project created and applied 10 ToS. Two of them, Ego-nets and Avatars are presented to illustrate their transformative potential.</p> 2021-03-04T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Social Innovations Journal Imagining Better Futures Using the Seeds Approach 2021-02-27T10:18:35-08:00 Laura Pereira <p>Building capacities to anticipate potential futures that could unfold can help us to make better decisions in the present. However, imagining the future is not easy. To address this gap, the Seeds of Good Anthropocenes (Seeds) project has been designed to use innovative methods to undertake novel participatory processes to co-design desirable visions of the future and identify pathways of what needs to be done to get there. A core innovation of the Seeds project has been the development of an adapted Mānoa method scenarios process for envisioning more desirable futures. It has been used in a workshop with diverse people to envisions more desirable futures for specific places such as southern Africa, and northern Europe and the Canadian Arctic as well as for specific thematic areas like biodiversity and geo-engineering. The approach has been used in a variety of intergovernmental processes and has recently been adapted to take place online.</p> 2021-03-04T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Social Innovations Journal Used Futures as Stumbling Blocks to Sustainable Development 2021-02-26T11:04:44-08:00 Umar Sheraz <p>The images of development&nbsp; in the developed world spur images of similar developments in the developing world, without consideration of local contexts. This purchase of used futures leads to a disincentive for local experimentation and importing of ideas/thought processes that have been successful elsewhere. The result is a plethora of examples of failed interventions and costly experiments in the developing world which have failed to achieve their targets and only installed xeroxed functionalities and organizations without the capabilities of the originals. This article attempts to initiate a dialogue on the types of used futures and how to move away from the colonization of thought processes and policies.</p> <p>Three types of used futures are identified and discussed. The bedazzled future represents the blatant emulation of someone else with worldly superiority. In symbolic futures, the emphasis is on copying symbols, icons and structures. The Avatar future represents mimicry of thought processes and sensibilties of another culture and context. In terms of moving ahead, it needs to be stressed that while emulation is important for innovation; context and corresponding to local situations is important.</p> 2021-03-04T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Social Innovations Journal Evaluating Outside the Box: Evaluation’s Transformational Potential 2021-03-01T15:03:59-08:00 Scott Chaplowe Adam Hejnowicz <p>The call for transformation is a response to the dire global emergency; it is a call for radical innovation at multiple levels if humanity is to survive into the next Century. How can evaluation, a profession in the business of assessment and advising, inform and hasten transformation? As a field that straddles both theory and practice, evaluation is uniquely positioned to support transformational learning and change, but this potential depends on its ability to transform from within. This article identifies four interrelated “boxes” that confine evaluation’s transformational potential: a project fixation, a short-term temporal fixation, a quantitative fixation, and an accountability fixation. It also examines the uptake and influence of complex systems analysis in the field of evaluation as a means to “breakout” of these boxes and nudge evaluation towards the inner transformation required for it to contribute to transformational change.</p> 2021-03-04T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Social Innovations Journal A Transformations Transect as Social Innovation: COBALT Network Forms in the Gulf of Maine to Develop the Concept 2021-03-01T15:29:20-08:00 Glenn Page Holly E. Parker, Ph.D. Samuel Matey Michael F. Tlusty, Ph.D. J. Cedric Woods <p>The global pandemic has demonstrated that our most pressing issues are interrelated in multiple, hard to define ways. Governments alone are ill-equipped to deal with the complex array of issues presented by the Earth of the Anthropocene, such as social inequity; rural-urban divide; disruption of food systems and supply chains; disintegration of natural ecosystems; and the sheer magnitude of climate change. A new research network known as COBALT (Collaborative for Bioregional Action Learning &amp; Transformation) will use a novel Transformation Transect that follows a road network from the tip of Cape Cod to Nova Scotia’s Cape Sable Island. This transect offers a lens into the nested nature of ecosystem governance across an urban to rural region that can illuminate how government, civil society and market forces can create positive momentum to respond to ecosystem change in coastal regions of the Gulf of Maine.</p> <p>The research network will take the novel approach of visualizing governance transformations along the Gulf of Maine transect through a bioregional macroscope lens. We will address the following research questions:</p> <ul> <li><em>When have crises along the Gulf of Maine transect become windows of opportunity for innovation and novelty? </em></li> <li><em>When have societal and ecological transitions along the transect been mishandled and led to today’s wicked problems? </em></li> <li><em>What insights can be applied from these past crises and transitions to inform how the examined bioregions can successfully move from preparation for to navigation of governance transformation in response to the Gulf of Maine’s rapidly changing ecosystem?</em></li> </ul> 2021-03-04T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Social Innovations Journal Learning as Social Innovation 2021-02-26T10:15:08-08:00 Julian Norris Laura Blakeman <p>Learning drives social innovation. It is the desired outcome, the primary tool and the personal praxis shared by all social innovators. In this paper we describe a whole-person learning initiative that seeks to build social innovation competencies and capacities and we discuss the growing conversation between inner work and system change approaches. We offer a brief overview of the literature related to the interior qualities exhibited by effective social innovators along with the learning approaches required to cultivate them. We describe the program framework for a learning innovation called the <em>Positive Deviants Fellowship</em> that draws from complexity theory, developmental psychology and transformative learning, and articulate four core systems learning principles that shape its design by way of inviting further conversation with other social innovators.</p> 2021-03-04T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Social Innovations Journal Building Self-Advocacy Skills of Legal Services Clients: Three Principles for Promoting an Innovation in Practice 2020-12-13T15:19:04-08:00 Naomi Campbell Luz Santana <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">By promoting a simple but significant innovation in practice, legal advocates can strengthen the ability of legal services clients to advocate for themselves, navigate systems, and take action on their own behalf, not only in the legal system but also in all places where decisions are being made that affect them. B</span>ased on three decades of work in low-income communities across many fields, the Right Question Institute has identified three principles that can help guide efforts to support innovation in service delivery and achieve this "shift in practice." </p> 2021-03-04T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Social Innovations Journal Weaving Collaborative Networks in Philadelphia How The Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development Manages Networks 2020-11-29T11:34:49-08:00 Dana Kayser Hillary Kane <p>The work of the Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development (PHENND) is based in a basic premise: that relationships are capacity. It is PHENND’s mission to build the capacity of its member institutions and community partners to develop mutually beneficial, sustained, and democratic community-based partnerships. PHENND’s uniqueness when compared to other capacity building organizations is undoubtably the focus on network. When we delve into the measurement of PHENND’s success as a facilitator of relationships and collaboration, we turn to network analysis. Social network analysis methodology studies relationships between actors, and between actors and attributes in order to draw conclusions. This year, PHENND has turned for the first time to this method to evaluate the PHENND’s practices as a manager of the larger PHENND network in its entirety in order to determine the distribution of partnership and collaboration among Philadelphia higher education institutions in reference to campus community partnership work, and determine which PHENND activities are most successful in the facilitation of networking, cooperation, coordination, coalition, and collaboration.</p> 2021-03-04T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Social Innovations Journal The Utilization, Benefits, and Challenges of Online Social Enterprises Directories: Online Social Enterprises Directories 2020-06-15T19:11:01-07:00 Rasheda Weaver <p>Online tools that facilitate the work of online businesses are more important than ever. This article outlines how such tools, particularly online directories, may address diverse stakeholder needs by overcoming common challenges in the social enterprise sector. It features a case study on the development of an online social enterprise directory in the United States. Insights from the creator and a literature review on similar directories reveal that online directories may foster opportunities related to identifying organizations, facilitating large-scale research studies, and enhancing online resources for social enterprise educators, students, and consumers. This paper contributes to knowledge about how online directories serve as an intermediary for online businesses, whether commercial or socially oriented. Strategic considerations for the development of such directories are outlined.</p> 2021-03-04T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Social Innovations Journal Social Innovation Diplomacy: Connecting Social Innovation with International Affairs 2020-11-11T04:18:10-08:00 Ana C. Aranda-Jan Matias Acosta Akhila K. Jayaram <p>In this article, we present the idea that global challenges are becoming increasingly complex owing to our interconnectivity (e.g., Coronavirus, Zika, H1N1, etc.). We emphasize, thereafter, that there is an emerging role of social innovation networks that develop as a form of a collaborative international effort that aims to have a collective impact and also describe the development and features of such networks. Either intentionally or unintentionally, these networks are forging international collaboration at a remarkable and unprecedented pace. Hence, we recognize such emergence as a new practice that we term “social innovation diplomacy”. Based on the principles of the relatively recent fields of science and innovation diplomacy, we propose a preliminary definition of the concept. Subsequently, we discuss, based on our research and practice experience in the area, an innovation method called Shaping Horizons that focuses particularly on advancing the practice of social innovation diplomacy. We critically assess our practice to provide insights on value created, missed and destroyed. With this assessment, we discuss concepts that are equally important to advance the practice of social innovation diplomacy and can also instigate new research questions for academia. We see an opportunity in social innovation diplomacy because it can promote a better understanding of cultures and mobilize international collaboration for tackling our increasingly pressing and interconnected social challenges.</p> 2021-03-04T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Social Innovations Journal