Organizations, individuals, and governments are now pursuing several social innovation opportunities. The reason for this is that this process of developing as well as implementing better ideas that can solve all the emerging social needs is critical for the future success of the entire globe.
A single innovation can have an impact on the entire society. The recent innovation of ELDs has led the government to require managers of fleets of vehicles to shift from the old system. The entire industry will benefit because of the changes. Read on for specific ways social innovation is helping us and, thereby, becoming an extremely important global agenda.
Manage Intractable Social Problems
The number of social problems that we have not been able to address continues to increase as the days go by. Scientists and other experts have unsuccessfully tried to deal with issues pertaining to climate change, insecurity, widening inequality, and the likes.
These social issues cut across different states and markets. The outstanding problem is that no system has been able to solve them. Many have not given up yet, but the perfect solution is still far from sight.
Due to the need to preserve social values, many people and organizations are convinced that they can play a role to prevent this kind of problem. When they take up the task, we say these groups are engaged in social innovation activities to make the world a better place to live in.
Support Old Institutions
Old institutions are hardly open to new ideas. They think that they can be a lot by following their traditional guidelines and policies. When that fails to work, the individuals or their leaders end up assuming that there is no better idea that can deal with the issues. In this regard, new ideas fail to see the light of the day.
Social innovation is finding greater space in places where the old institutions are weak. A good example is a trend that has emerged in the area of self-management of diseases verse hospital treatment. In the former, individuals have found new ways to manage different health conditions. This is partly due to the lack of stringent rules.
On the same scale, there is an exceptionally high rate of innovation around the recycling and energy efficiency sector than large-scale energy production.
The good news is that innovation causes pressures that eventually lead to wider change that before. When one innovation emerges, all the concerned stakeholders try to improve the way they handle things. A change in the housing sector, for example, has the potential to spur economic growth in the production of new forms of energy. An innovation of a secure system to manage a fleet of vehicles can influence many to start the commercial buses business.
Control the Rising Costs
The possible cost of dealing with most social issues is rising by the day. Governments fear that they are not able to handle these problems in the future. If radical policies that different institutions have enacted are unable to eliminate instances of bank robbery and the likes, something must be seriously wrong. Given that other needs are also putting pressure on the limited public funds, the increasing cost makes things appear hopeless.
The cost of health is increasing at an alarming rate. Many countries forecast a considerable increase in the next decade. Despite the social problem that you can think about, it is clear that most of the best policies that we have now are preventive. They offer no real cure.
For many years, it has been difficult to introduce effective preventive policies. This is a serious challenge. However, due to the pressure to see things change, a few institutions, groups, and individuals have courageously taken the necessary steps to improve the systems. The recent move by a few innovators to introduce electronic logging devices is an example of such a positive step.
The government has made things sticker on the roads given the fact that ELD is able to offer the needed protection. The software that experts have certified for DOT compliance and are more efficient than AOBRDs and EOBRs that larger fleet installed in their engines. For you to be able to monitor your automated e-logs, GPS location, on-duty status, visit GEOted website for the best ELD devices.
From this assessment of the factors that prompt the invention of new noble ideas, it is proper to affirm that necessity is the mother of innovation. In the most remote areas of our planet, you will find many highly innovative ideas. The same happens where the old organizations that have always offered some solutions are weak.
Moreover, advances in technology have enabled different organizations to be leaders in the field of social innovation. They recognize that they can take advantage of the advanced systems to help society to address its various social needs.
Social innovation can be described as the conception of novel ideas to solve global problems. While this statement encapsulates the purpose and indeed the agenda of social innovation, it needs to be broken down further. Questions such as what constitutes proper social innovation, how ideas are generated need to be answered. This article does just that. Keep reading to find out more.
Understanding Its Agenda through the Concept’s Founders
To have an understanding of what social innovation was meant to entail, knowing the history of the concept is key. As an idea, social innovation existed even before America’s independence. The founding father Benjamin Franklin wrote about bringing changes in that would resolve common social problems. Other more radical philosophers like Karl Marx conceptualized a complete restricting of society (which in itself could be considered innovative) to bring about an end to social crises of the time i.e. wealth disparities. In its modern conception, the idea of social innovation first featured prominently in the works of such people as the founder of the Open University Michael Young in the 60s.
How Innovation Works- The Birth of Ideas
We live in a world that is always presenting us with challenges. Some are new and some have never really found effective solutions. These challenges range from global warming to financial crises to poverty. Social Innovation arises out of the necessity to find new ways of dealing with these problems since the old ways seem not to work. At the heart of social innovation’s solutions is the idea. This begs the question of how are ideas conceptualized. More so, how good ideas are made.
Great ideas are not necessarily thought up by geniuses alone. In fact, sometimes educated people tend to over-complicate problems, and often fall prey to tunnel-thinking. Any person who puts their mind to work on a certain issue will often come up with ways of dealing with those problems. With that in mind, it is the agenda of social innovators to have ideas that work.
An Agenda for Social Innovation
At the heart of every social innovation is a number of characteristics. The characteristics of the social innovation agenda include the conceptualization and the setting of goals. For goals to be met they must be SMART. That is, they must be specific, measurable, realistic and time-based.
Innovation must be based on a goal that is specific. You need to know what your idea is intended to be used for- in this case the goal is that it should be used for social change in a particular field i.e. global warming. That really goes without saying. Moreover, any innovation must be geared towards measurable goals. This is key for the effectiveness of the innovation. Measurability helps with assessing the efficacy of the innovation as well as giving direction on how it should be applied. Moreover, innovations must be based on goals that are attainable. This presents a chicken and egg situation where we ask ourselves what comes first- feasibility of the idea before innovating for it or innovation then feasibility studies. Either way, an innovation won’t work if its intended purpose is not attainable. Furthermore, an innovation must be on a realistic goal. Whether a goal is realistic will also determine whether it is attainable. Lastly, an innovation must be based on a goal that is time-based.
Assessing the Efficacy of Social Innovation
The effectiveness or rather impact of a certain social innovation is measured as against the definition of the phrase itself. One must first ask themselves whether the innovation was truly intended for a social end before measuring its effectiveness. With that said, from the definition in the introductory paragraph, a social innovation is a new idea intended to solve “social problems” more effectively, efficiently and sustainably than any other solution already present.
If a solution is not effective, it hardly merits being termed as such. Moreover, efficiency means that the solution is not bringing about even more problems that did not already exist. Further still, saying that social innovations must be sustainable solutions means that the agenda of social innovation should be to solve problems in a manner that can be maintained over time. Hence someone assessing the efficacy or merit-worthiness of social innovation should use the agenda above.