Definitions of social innovation abound and a casual observer can quickly become entangled in a debate over meaning and nuance. We’re not too hung up about it so we’ve adopted a simple working definition: Social innovation refers to the creation, development, adoption, and integration of new concepts and practices that put people and the planet first. Social Innovations resolve existing social, cultural, economic, and environmental challenges. Some social innovations are systems-changing – they permanently alter the perceptions, behaviours, and structures that previously gave rise to these challenges.
Even more simply, a social innovation is an idea that works for the public good.
Social innovations come from individuals, groups or organizations, and can take place in the for-profit, nonprofit and public sectors. Increasingly, they are happening in the spaces between these three sectors as perspectives collide to spark new ways of thinking.
The Centre for Social Innovation operates in the spaces between sectors and among a vibrant mix of people, projects and organizations. We’re creating new spaces to catalyze and support social innovation.
Video credit: Michael Krauss Productions.
Our members are social innovators working in everything from finance to farming. To see some of them in action, check out our short video series It's Up to Us.