«OECD Innovation Strategy ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT The OECD is a unique forum where the governments of 30 democracies ...»
• Support exchange on best practices and solutions between social entrepreneurs, within and across area/sectors/domains.
• For instance one can think of clusters dedicated to social entrepreneurship (as it is being initiated for instance in the South of France) or social enterprise incubator. See also of course the example of Ashoka and the support it provides to “Ashoka fellows” (from stipends to access to a global network of top social and business entrepreneurs).
• In a more mid-term perspective, need to close the gap between social and business sectors. Social entrepreneurs should be institutionalised.
Proposal 5: Support interdisciplinary research on social innovations, provide incentives for linkages between research and social innovators
• Unlike technological innovation, where research is often at the inception of the process (which can of course, following the seminal “spark”, be very non-linear with many short term and long term feedback loops between research and innovation), social innovation is most of the time generation the field. Through trial-and-errors, learning-by-doing, new solutions are found to social challenges. Hence research is not yet involved in social innovation, which is not enough perceived as a research area that would comply to increasingly stringent criteria of academic excellence. Social innovation should be acknowledged as a legitimate research area and linkages with social innovators and other social innovation stakeholders should be strengthened so that social innovation experiments feed in the research community. Knowledge stemming from social innovation must be
FOSTERING INNOVATION TO ADDRESS SOCIAL CHALLENGES
formalised, codified, compared, challenged in the scientific debate, just like any knowledge that underlie other forms of innovation.
• Interesting examples of research programmes dedicated to social innovation exist in Quebec (University of Quebec), where different types of stakeholders are involved in research programming In the UK NESTA provided interesting examples of new forms of labs that deal with social challenges (climate, aging, health. etc) Proposal 6: Provide incentives for corporate firms to address social challenges The public sector alone will not be able to cover the whole social innovation imperative: there is a need for corporate social responsibility.
Providing incentives for firms to be more proactive in dealing with social challenges is an important task for governments.
Creating the framework conditions that are conducive to social innovation Proposal 7: Favour cross-sectoral, interministerial initiatives to foster social innovation
• Social innovation fits poorly in the existing institutional boundaries and other governmental walls and silos. Hence, any effective support initiative should be interministerial. To the extent possible, the variety of public decision-makers should reflect the diversity of stakeholders, disciplines and sectors concerned by the social challenges.
Proposal 8: More inclusive and forward-looking policy-making process
• The process of generating social innovation makes it necessary to open-up the policy-making process in order to involve more private stakeholders (concerned by solving social challenges). The governmental process should be able to gather the competencies and skills that are required by this new form of innovation.
Proposal 9: Explore rationale and need for specific training
• Specific education: participatory techniques.
• Specific training.
Proposal 10: Encourage new forms of evaluation
• Greater attention might be given to social impacts of research but also to the contribution to addressing social challenges.
Traditional assessment of the technological and economic reliability of knowledge is insufficient. There is a need to check whether the new knowledge is “socially reliable”. There is also a need for a new form of dialogue between science and society, not only expert-based assessment.
Finally, new individual career assessment of researchers may also be needed.
Conclusions: next steps
Thinking outside of the box is crucial for understanding social innovation. Significant progress was achieved during the OECD CSTP workshops as has been highlighted, notably as regards the requirements for innovation to address social challenges at the micro level (via new guiding principles for innovation project management such as user-led innovation and open innovation), the meso level (a move toward a new forms of industrial organization, and the macro level (a renewed system of governance calling for new forms of cooperation and open interaction). The lessons learned from practical experiments help create collective vision and generate knowledge in a multi actor learning space.
In addition, community based projects to enlist society at large in the innovation process were worth noting. Some questions raised by these experiments include: How to select the most appropriate tools and methods to develop a participative approach? How to replicate methods? Hot to bring these adapt and diffuse? How to go beyond good practices?
It was noted that a cross disciplinary approach was needed as well as corporate social responsibility and that NGOs play a crucial role to promote and support to social entrepreneurs, universities reform to take on-board innovation. It was also noted that co-ordination mechanisms with government need to be improved to mobilise innovation for social challenges.
FOSTERING INNOVATION TO ADDRESS SOCIAL CHALLENGES
How can understanding and experience be brought to bear to promote social innovation? One way is for the OECD to help stakeholder to better characterise the notion of social innovation, acknowledging the existence of different layers (micro, meso and macro) and typology (from local to megachallenges), and deepening systemic understanding of the process through which social innovation take place.
In order to move the discussion forward, it is necessary to strengthen the linkages among science, technology and society and develop platforms for fostering mutual understanding. The challenge ahead is to bridge the gap between stakeholders and embrace differences and to move from debate to the delivery of new practical tools and approaches.
Fostering Innovation to Address Social Challenges www.oecd.org/document/0,3343,en_2649_34269_43357592_1_1_1_1,00.html (1st WS) Transforming Innovation to Address Social Challenges www.oecd.org/document/60/0,3343,en_2649_34269_43998524_1_1_1_1,00.html (2nd WS) OECD Innovation Strategy www.oecd.org/innovation/strategy
OECD LEEDwww.oecd.org/department/0,3355,en_2649_34417_1_1_1_1_1,00.html The Eltern-Ag Project http://nexusinstitut.com/Nexus/areas/society/eltern-ag.html NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) www.nesta.org.uk/ NESTA Big Green Challenge www.nesta.org.uk/areas_of_work/public_services_lab/environment/big_green_ch allenge
Ashoka www.ashoka.org/ Work Research Centre, Tampere University, Finland Future dialogues in building New Partnerships www.benjamins.com/jbp/series/CAT/9-1/art/arn.pdf JST (Japan Science and Technology Agency) / RISTEX (Research Institute of Science and Technology for Society), www.ristex.jp/EN/index.html British Council www.britishcouncil.org/science-about-us-vision.htm MITSUI Global Strategic Studies Institute (MGSSI) www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/pages/dynamic/organization.page.php?page_id =945§ion=directory&eod=1 Inter-Ministerial Knowledge And Innovation Directorate, Netherlands http://english.minocw.nl/documenten/Institutioneel-overzicht-ENGversiemet%20grote%20letter_140808_.pdf Centre for Technology and Society of Berlin University of Technology www.tu-berlin.de/ztg/menue/startseite_ztg/parameter/en/ Nexus Institute for Cooperation Management and Interdisciplinary Research Berlin www.nexusinstitute.de www.partizipative-methoden.de FOSTERING INNOVATION TO ADDRESS SOCIAL CHALLENGES