Vol. 10 (2021): Transformative Social Innovations: Cross Sector Collaborations and Partnerships
The pandemic has made it clear that the world is facing increasingly complex challenges. These have manifested in deep social inequalities, high economic instability, and increased fragility of our governance systems across the globe. Additionally, COVID-19 has made more prominent the increasing interdependence of our societies. Thanks to globalization and technological advances, our individual actions can have immediate and wide-reaching effects.
Our current context calls for a new approach to understanding problems and new ways of organizing for transformational change. We tend to think about this from a fragmented perspective. For example, social, environmental, and economic challenges are often seen as separate from one another. This narrow view is reflected in how we address problems—focusing on one issue at a time and through siloed efforts. Yet the complexity of global dynamics means that, to achieve lasting change, we need to engage diverse voices and collectively find solutions for the good of all. Bringing together different perspectives can help to make sense of the full picture, balance potential competing goals or values, and pool knowledge and resources to envision new pathways for creating change.
In recent years we have witnessed the emergence of unique partnerships and cross-sector collaborations that give us insights into the way forward. Social innovators everywhere are providing systemic and effective solutions that challenge current economic and political models. Although these innovations arise from different concerns and perspectives, they share a focus on co-creation across sectors, more systemic approaches that embrace complexity, and deeper and more diverse citizen participation. Moreover, the conceptual cornerstones that unified the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set a precedent that characterizes and connects cross-sector initiatives. Looking ahead, it will be crucial to accelerate this transition towards a new paradigm that can rise to the challenge of building a more sustainable future.
This edition of the Social Innovations Journal titled Transformative Social Innovations: Cross Sector Collaborations and Partnerships outlines the architecture of transformative social innovations, with a focus on Latin America. The edition makes an in-depth examination of outstanding social innovations that have emerged in response to the exacerbation of socio-environmental challenges. These examples illustrate the key elements that contribute to creating positive social transformation and resilient societies. The analysis also reviews the history of social innovation in the region, facilitating an understanding of the emerging principles that the case studies demonstrate.
We hope this edition will provide inspiration and useful lessons that social innovation leaders can apply to drive transformative solutions within their own ecosystems; create space for reflection on how to engage diverse voices to innovate; and challenge leaders across sectors to break down barriers to foster co-creation.
Yours in Social Innovation
Nicholas Torres, Co-Founder, Social Innovations Journal
Linda Peia, Ashoka
Vanessa Vargas, Ashoka
Sebastian Gatica, CoLab Innovación Social UC
Edition Co-editors: Linda Peia, Maria Cerdio
Content Curators: Sebastian Gatica, Linda Peia, Vanessa Vargas
Peer Reviewers: Tasso Azevedo, Hanae Baruchel, Florencia Gay, Alexandra Ioan, Delfina Irazusta, Hector Jorquera, Vincent Lagace, Joaquin Leguia, Maria Luisa Luque, Cristina Monje, Oscar Romo, Luis Antonio Villanueva, Candelaria Yanzi
The Latin America compilation is the result of a joint collaboration between Ashoka and the CoLab of Social Innovation - UC thanks to the support of the PES Latam alliance.