Blog de innovación social de Guadalupe de la Mata
Governments increasingly recognise the need for systematic innovation in policy and services. Innovation in public sector can take the form of both: innovation in terms of policies; as well as service models. Within the public sector, there has been a recent shift in emphasis from performance targets and management to innovation. This shift is the result of a number of factors, including:
• pressures to raise productivity;
• a growing awareness that failure to adapt and innovate around pressing social challenges can be a key barrier to societal success (and a parallel acknowledgement that these social challenges can also present significant economic opportunities);
• and recognition of the social dimensions of pressing issues such as climate change.
Many individual countries are putting in place new funds and structures to support social innovation. The UK government, for example, has invested some £220m in regional health innovation funds to address major challenges in the field of healthcare, while in the USA President Obama has established a new White House Office of Social Innovation and a substantial Education Innovation Fund.
The Private Market
There is a growing interest in several aspects of social innovation amongst corporate players and industry leaders – supported by a growing recognition that the nature of innovation within the private sector is changing. Leading businesses are responding to the growing importance of social sectors in the economy. Some of the most important sectors are likely to include health education eldercare, childcare and environmental services. Along with leisure these are likely to be some of the key sources of both GDP and employment growth over the next few decades.
The Social or Grant Economy
Civil society and the grant economy are the most common sites of social innovation. Across the world this sector becoming increasingly engaged in the economy, through social enterprises, mutuals, cooperatives and associations. Social economy enterprises represent 2 million enterprises (i.e. 10% of all European businesses) and employ over 11 million paid employees (the equivalent of 6% of the working
White House Innovation Fund (US)
The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) was established by US President Barack Obama in 2009 to scale innovations for addressing social challenges that lead to faster and more lasting progress. The Fund was provisioned by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act and is housed at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a US Federal agency.
In 2010, the US Congress voted $50 million to the fund, which is matched 3:1 by funding from private foundations and philanthropists creating a total fund of $200million. In 2011, funds were awarded to 11 intermediary organizations with a track record of identifying and growing high performing non-profit organizations. Intermediaries were tasked with identifying innovative, effective, ready to scale solutions delivered by nonprofit subgrantees that could meet the needs of other communities. Grants were awarded in the areas of economic opportunity and poverty alleviation, education and youth development and health. The 11 intermediary organizations were required to match funds 1:1, as were sub-grantees, resulting in the 3:1 match funding.