Five (Plus One) Good Ideas About Social Innovation
August 28th, 2012
The Maytree Foundation runs a marvellous lunch and learn series titled Five Good Ideas. They cover just about everything and are worth having a look at. Fortunately they have released a compilation of their first years called not surprisingly Five Good Ideas – Practical Strategies for Non-Profit Success. You can download an excerpt here.
I was asked to speak on the topic of Social Innovation earlier this year. I chose to make the following points.
- Starts With Passionate Amateurs
- Is A Marriage of the Past and Future
- Does Not Have a Dress Code
- Is Hard to do with Friends and Colleagues Let Alone Opponents and Strangers
- Has Negative Side Effects
During a subsequent session at the University of Waterloo’s Masters Diploma Program in Social Innovation I added a sixth point:
6. What You Can’t See Is Most Important. More about this one in Subsequent posts.
I also offered Five Good Resources
- Anything by Frances Westley. The best introduction to her work is Getting to Maybe: How the World Has Changed (Random House, 2006), co-authored with Brenda Zimmerman and Michael Quinn Patton.
- John Elkington and his team at Volans are at the leading edge of thinking about social innovation. Check out their website and their recent report Future Quotient.
- Ezio Manzini is a leading European thinker about design, social innovation and sustainability. Check out his blog. Here is a link to a long but inspiring video of a recent presentation in Australia.
- Adam Kahane has practical insights and proven strategies to improve
our ability to work with allies and colleagues as well as strangers and
opponents. His latest book, Power and Love: a theory and practice of social change (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2010). Read his approach to change-labs.
- The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide a counterpoint to today’s
accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common. Their
most majestic project is the Clock of the Long Now – a clock designed to tick for 10,000 years but will only tell the time if you power it.