Career Paths

Why The World Calls For Social Innovation

min read
Mikaela Thompson

In a world riddled with economic uncertainty, we’ve seen great energy and a sense of restlessness in social movements. The global pandemic has forced challenges and monumental questions across virtually every industry.

When innovation is no longer a simple strategic option, the question is: How can we innovate to meet these growing human and social challenges?

The Time for Social Innovation
Broadly defined as the deliberate invention of new solutions to meet social needs, social innovations can be a process, product, service, way of thinking or technology that is done in a new way, by a new sector, in a new place, to a new scale, or with new players. In short: a solution in which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals.

According to Charlie Leadbeater, a thought leader in social innovation, there are six things social innovation can offer to an out of control world.

They are:

  • Escapism — providing alternative imagination
  • Resistance — helping to resist, to fight and to live in truth
  • Coping — creating better-coping capabilities
  • Creative conservatives — conserving the space and the possibility for human potential
  • Radical conservatism — making a movement that moves people and touches the heart
  • Transformation — changing the rules of the game, creating new relationships and with that, creating new flows and resources through society

Wait A Minute! That’s Like Social Entrepreneurship… Right?

Innovation can emerge in places and from people outside of the scope of social entrepreneurship and social enterprise. In particular, large, established nonprofits, businesses, and even governments are producing social innovations.

However, unlike social entrepreneurship and social enterprise, social innovation transcends sectors, levels of analysis, and methods to discover the processes that produce lasting impact. For example:

NGO: Good City (Crossroads Foundation); Branch of Hope (Vine Church)

Biz: DBS “Social Innovation Award”; New World “G for Good”

Gov: SG Mask-go-where

How Social Innovation Drives Urban Resilience
With urban resilience rapidly rising in cities around the world, we must seek new strategies as and more creative mindsets in the way we run so as to build more sustainable and liveable cities.

This is why social innovation plays a central role in achieving this goal, and will definitely assist us in seeking improvements in approaches to urban design, infrastructure, education, economic development, and many more.

To connect social innovation to the strengthening of urban resilience in our city, we must first make an effort to engage the local community of social innovation thinkers and practitioners to define, explore and exchange ideas on the topic, and to help us with envisioning real solutions for social problems.

Agorize is driving these innovations through its Resilient HK Challenge — an initiative that brings together a coalition of innovators and corporates working together to help Hong Kong adapt, overcome and grow beyond its challenges as a resilient city.

It is a space for different stakeholders to meet and collaborate in a fun, interactive, and transparent setting to have productive dialogues, and an opportunity to envision solutions for the future of our beloved city. Take away opportunities such as entrepreneurship courses, incubator programs, apprenticeship, and mentorship from industry experts to turn ideas into realizable solutions.

To share your vision of a Resilient HK, participate here.

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