The list of problems that need to be solved is growing almost as fast as our solutions are. Some are concerned about the lack of food and water security, others worry about access to education and a whopping 45.2% of millennials think today’s most pressing problem is the destruction of natural resources. But with the proliferation of problems, organizations and enterprises are broadening their search for innovative solutions and many of them are looking to the crowd for ideas.
Last week Unilever announced research showing that one-third of consumers now purchase its brands based on their good social and environmental performance, but went on to suggest that brands are missing an opportunity from not promoting sustainability effectively. Getting this right could unlock a further $1trn market opportunity for sustainability innovators.
Innovation proves vital for companies across industries, but carries key importance in the technology field. Mainstream perception of the tech industry conjures illustrations of cutting edge, never-before-seen products poised to disrupt and revolutionize daily lives.
Fast entrepreneurship runs on adrenaline-infused quick returns and quick failures, burning through long nights of brainstorms and coding. It is exciting in its own right, but appropriate only for specific ventures. Slow Entrepreneurship treasures human relationships, health, and sanity, and strives for the good life. The vision for Slow Entrepreneurship is that by going through a learning program with the right mentoring and guidance, almost everybody with dedication will bring their project to fruition.
Sometimes we plan to go from point A to point B, but wind up at point C. What happens when point C turns out to be a dead end? In this article innovation architect Doug Collins explores the crossed signals that can occur when organizations attempt to advance their practice of collaborative innovation, but find themselves someplace less promising.
Gartner predicts that four of five large enterprises that pursue social innovation with their employees and the world at large will, over the next couple years, fail in their endeavors. Ouch. Meatloaf gave better odds. In this article innovation architect Doug Collins explores how you might increase the odds of gaining a coveted membership to the twenty percent club.
Time and again, initiatives falter because they are not based on the client’s or customer’s needs and have never been prototyped to solicit feedback. Even when people do go into the field, they may enter with preconceived notions of what the needs and solutions are. This flawed approach remains the norm in both the business and social sectors. Social challenges require systemic solutions that are grounded in the client’s or customer’s needs. This is where many approaches founder, but it is where design thinking—a new approach to creating solutions—excels.
An increasingly impatient social sector sees innovation as the holy grail of progress. This impatience stems in part from the perception that decades of traditional global development efforts are lost years, with billions of dollars spent and too little to show for them. The scale of poverty-related challenges and the growing levels of global inequality drive a sense of urgency and a frustration with old development recipes. These challenges have legitimized a collective quest for new solutions and innovations.
In a recent SAP Community Network post Harun Asad mentioned innovation as one social strategy. In this article he explores the role of social in innovation strategy more broadly, and cites several real-world examples as well as shares some predictions for the future.
Kate Bulkley, media and technology analyst, chairs a panel on how we can create sustainable and effective models for tech-led social innovation. In this video the panel members discuss some of the technical and political issues that may interfere with open innovation, such as non-profit vs for-profit, the lack of internet access in some countries and government screening.
Social innovation advocates challenge us to make the development and improvement of modern society our primary innovation goal. This week IM spoke with Josef Hochgerner, who created the first Centre for Social Innovation world-wide (1990) and introduced a definition of social innovation which increasingly meets approval among innovation experts. Find out more about his experiences and views on innovation management.
Saul Kaplan, founder and Chief Catalyst of the Business Innovation Factory tells IM about how he is teaming up with passionate innovators to make real and lasting change in education, health care, energy, and entrepreneurship. Read more to find out how.
Watch this inspiring video about a new innovation for the developing world; the Aquaduct is a pedal powered vehicle that transports, filters, and stores clean water. The Aquaduct was the winning entry in the Innovate or Die contest from Google and Specialized.
Apart from investing in a separate CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Portfolio, companies can also embed CSR into their business model(s). This is a way of lubricating the ‘touch points’ with various stakeholders. This kind of CSR perforates in the corporate thinking and does typically not exist in a separate CSR portfolio. This requires that all projects are not only derived from capabilities a company has but are also embedded in the very juxtaposition of them onto the markets they serve as well. Hence, they cannot be separated from the business model(s). I believe this kind of CSR is really true CSR!
I happened to learn about a new book by the legendary Charles Handy when I visited him a couple of months back at his home in Norfolk England ‘ the new philanthropists’. True to the title of the Book of probably Britain’s most prolific management thinker (together written with his wife Elizabeth who is a portrait photographer), Charles talks about a new trend of successful young businessmen who don’t only believe in giving money for just causes but by working on the spot with the needy so as to create a sustainable impact. He offers examples from entrepreneurs from South Africa, Ireland and Australia among others.