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«OECD Innovation Strategy ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT The OECD is a unique forum where the governments of 30 democracies ...»

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There are many tools to promote collaboration, dialogue and action across boundaries. While given the new insights they generate, the diversity of tools is welcome, and I would suggest a set of generalised principles against which their effectiveness can be tested.

FOSTERING INNOVATION TO ADDRESS SOCIAL CHALLENGES

To work productively across boundaries, individuals, organisations and

institutions need tools that:

• Develop self-awareness of their own operating culture and an awareness of where that culture sits within other cultures.

• Build capacity to operate across cultures.

• Move from dialogue and discourse into action.

Furthermore, I believe that the following conditions are necessary for

spanning boundaries effectively:

• There must be a willingness and intent to work with and embrace difference.

• There must be the possibility for influence and change from all actors.

• There must be an awareness of dependencies and inequalities in the interaction across boundaries and an attempt to mitigate against those dependencies and inequalities.

But where is the consensus? Redefining social problems

The blurring of boundaries between expertise and the wider public and between leaders and “followers”, leads not only to new approaches to existing problems but often, through the process of collaboration, leads to a redefinition of the problems themselves. For policymakers, experts and leaders, this makes social innovation particularly “messy” and uncontrollable and can therefore, be difficult to accept. Policymakers might legitimately ask – Who is making the decision? How do we reach a consensus?

As I explored in my work on environmental policy in the UK (Goodwin 1998, 1999) policymakers and experts are faced with a dilemma. Whilst on the one hand, engagement and collaboration may for them mean a loss of control, on the other hand, a refusal to allow social innovation to redefine the nature of the problem they face, creates a credibility gap as other social actors realise that their voice is being ignored or marginalised in the process.

Policy is then both incompletely defined and / or difficult to apply as social actors refuse to be co-opted to deliver an expertly-defined problem.

Given the complexity and intractability of many of the issues we face, whilst we might possibly be able to reach a consensus on the step change required to address the problem, the breakthrough in solving it can only be defined two or three steps ahead. In a world of complexity, uncertainty and rapid change, we have to live with never quite seeing the solution in its

FOSTERING INNOVATION TO ADDRESS SOCIAL CHALLENGES

totality but instead seek reassurance in our ability to build processes that deliver adaptability, flexibility and trust in the face of the unknown.

Increasingly, the legitimacy of institutions (global, national and local) and the legitimacy of the solutions they generate through social innovation come not simply from the process of deliberation but explicitly from the institutional commitment and openness to difference and from their ability to reflect upon their own objectives, strategies and institutional form in the light of that commitment.

–  –  –

Giddens A, The Consequences of Modernity. Stanford University Press, Stanford (USA),1990.

Goodwin PP (1999) The End of Consensus? The impact of participatory initiatives on

conceptions of conservation and the countryside. In Society and Space:

environment and planning d Goodwin PP (1998) ‘Hired Hands’ or ‘Local Voice’: constructions, experience and responses to local participation in conservation. In Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers Grint K, Wicked Problems and Leadership. Paper submitted for the Windsor Leadership Programme’s, Strategic Leaders event, 27-30 April 2010.

Helga Nowotny, “The place of people in our knowledge” published in European Review Vol. 7, No. 2, 247-262 (1999).

Nambisan, S. “Platforms for Collaboration”, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Summer (2009).

Rittel, Horst, and Melvin Webber; “Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning,” pp. 155-169, Policy Sciences, Vol. 4, Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company, Inc., Amsterdam, 1973. [Reprinted in N. Cross (ed.), Developments in Design Methodology, J. Wiley & Sons, Chichester, 1984, pp. 135-144.]

FOSTERING INNOVATION TO ADDRESS SOCIAL CHALLENGES

–  –  –

In this capitalist world, the corporation has become an influential actor in society. Its impacts reach not only to business field, but also economic and social development. The power of MNCs (Multinational Corporations) especially is sometimes superior to the economic scale of one country, so that we should consider their role. One role is economic aspect, their products and services may contribute people’s life comfortable and useful.

Furthermore, their business activities sometimes may lead to industrial innovation. The other side of it is social impact. Their innovative products and services can resolve various social issues. But on the other hand, they often lead to various social issues, like environmental pollution, human rights violation, etc. Therefore, it’s so important to know how big their influence from both positive and negative aspects is, and what the role of corporations for economic and social development is. And each corporation should integrate them into their own business activities. This is the way for CSR.





Concept of CSR How can each corporation recognize their roles and make the concrete approach of CSR? I indicate one of the conceptual formulas to understand CSR well. “CSR=Public Policy Agenda – Ability of Government”.

FOSTERING INNOVATION TO ADDRESS SOCIAL CHALLENGES

–  –  –

Until now, it has been thought that main actor to tackle with social issues is government. The role of corporations on public agenda was what they can make only through business activities, like tax payment, or producing employment. Otherwise, they sometimes contributed to donate to NGOs tackling with social issues. But now, the world has been globalized, and corporations have been obliged to globalize. Many corporations invested to developing countries, to seek new market or to develop manufacturing factory by using low-cost labours. This means that the range of public agenda for corporations expanded, and the meaning of CSR changes globally and dynamically.

Together with Mr. Toshihiko Fujii from METI 1 I have proposed one concept on CSR in our book 2. CSR is the area of public agenda that can’t approach by government due to limitation of their management ability, including human and financial capital issue. Corporations should cope with that area of social issues, if not, it will come to be difficult to sustain and develop their own business. If government can afford to tackle with many social issues, corporations operating in such countries, like developed countries, they doesn’t have to think about MDGs issues like hunger, infectious disease or poverty. But if they engage in developing countries having these fatal issues, they have a responsibility to cope with these issues to do their business sustainable. And the approaches of that are mainly two ways, one is philanthropic, like donation to NGOs, the other way is through

1. Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan.

2. Toshihiko Fujii & Daisuke Shintani, Asian CSR and Japanese CSR, JUSE-press, 2008.

–  –  –

innovative businesses, collaborating strategically with various stakeholders like international organizations, NGOs, rural communities, etc.

Journey to Sustainability

–  –  –

Business Cases TOYOTA; Hybrid Synergy Drive System SUMITOMO CHEMICAL; Olyset Net (Mosquito Net with insecticide against Malaria) JAHDS (Japan Alliance for Humanitarian Demining Service); Technical Network by corporations DAICHI; Making culture of organic foods, Environmental Awareness Business Roles at Social Challenge The role of corporation will change according to the circumstances. But now, corporation should use their power to address social challenges because of their magnitude of influence. I can conclude the role of business actors by three keywords.

FOSTERING INNOVATION TO ADDRESS SOCIAL CHALLENGES

1. Leadership The company leading industry like TOYOTA can involve more companies in same industry like Hybrid Synergy Drive System, and if business sector can collaborate with other sectors, it can be influence on various aspects.

2. Sustainability This means both making business sustainable, and the sustainability for environment and society by CSR.

3. Scalability Influential corporations like MNCs can especially lead to enlarge social impacts to change society. For example, the impact of social entrepreneur’s activity is not so big generally, but by collaborating with business sector, they can make impact bigger through business sector’s network.

–  –  –

Introduction In 2007 the Dutch Cabinet started the government programme, entitled “Nederland Ondernemend Innovatieland” (Netherlands: land of entrepreneurship and innovation). This programme combines solving social issues with strengthening economic competitiveness by encouraging innovation. By investing in projects that promote education, research and entrepreneurship.

Opportunities

In the past, social and economic objectives were sometimes in direct conflict with each other. Dutch government sees opportunities in combining these objectives. A healthy business sector and good business climate contribute to both future welfare and innovative solutions to social problems. Solutions for the protection from rising sea levels, for better healthcare and for a cleaner environment in turn offer businesses innovation and significant export opportunities. And, as commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn stressed recently: “This is a clear win-win situation: new technologies, services and products and approaches are needed to meet Europe’s major societal challenges, and their development will open up new markets for business”.

More and more it is recognized that government cannot solve these major social challenges on its own. It calls for a joint approach on the part of government, knowledge institutes, the business sector and citizens. It also calls for an interdepartmental approach by government bodies. In 2007 an inter-ministerial Knowledge and Innovation directorate has been launched by a then new government. In this directorate ten ministries work together under the political responsibility of the Minister of Economic Affairs. One

FOSTERING INNOVATION TO ADDRESS SOCIAL CHALLENGES

of the main concerns of this directorate is the so-called societal innovation agenda.

–  –  –

Within the project NOI, the former Dutch cabinet has started Societal Innovation Agenda’s. These agenda’s combine the enhancement of economic strengths and the solving of societal challenges.

We face a growing number of societal issues. How do we deal with the rising and changing demand for healthcare? How do we prevent our country from flooding in times of climate change? How do we strengthen our country against organized crime and terrorism?

And how do we keep our educational system sharp to ensure a workforce adequately equipped for our knowledge economy?

Knowledge, entrepreneurship and innovation can make major contributions to solving these challenges. Until now economic and societal ambitions have too much been perceived as separate tracks. This cabinet wanted to link these worlds. Solving societal issues is not exclusively a governmental task. A growing number of other actors are being involved in thinking up and developing solutions. Universities, knowledge institutes, businesses, social organisations and also citizens; together we can tackle these challenges. And by connecting to scientific and economic strengths we kill two birds with one stone.



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