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Office of Social Innovation at The White House


Et interessant Forbes-artikkel kalt “Social Innovation: Is It Really Here to Stay?” fikk meg til å skrive dette innlegget. Det er fra The Social Innovation Summit 2011 ” a Silicon Valley-based gathering held in November that brought together more than 300 leaders of nonprofits, celebrities, government representatives, and executives from Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and elsewhere”. Videopraten over er med Jonathan Greenblatt som i september 2011 ble Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.

Her er tre takeaways fra artikkelen som jeg syns var viktig å spre videre.

1. Be disruptive. Innovation is not just about new; it is about better. Peter Diamandis, chairman and chief executive of the X Prize Foundation, shouted to the crowd, “The day before something is truly a breakthrough, it is a crazy idea.” Innovation is scary, especially for heavily regulated businesses like mine, but those businesses are often the most in need of innovation. Mix things up, don’t be afraid of change—those are mantras I and other summit attendees absorbed and took back to our offices. You have to push people from just being interested to being engaged, and push them hard, way beyond your comfort zone. The willingness to fail must be as strong as the commitment to succeed.

2. Social change equals business opportunity. Health care, education, water scarcity—those are important social issues, yes. They are business opportunities absolutely. Financial support is and always will be important, but companies are still approaching social problems primarily through traditional checkbook philanthropy and grant-making, rather than by sharing ideas and brainpower, which are our greatest assets. How can we better use our intellectual capacity, access to infrastructure and scaling processes, our expertise in management and efficiency, and even our sophisticated IT systems to catalyze social change? Most of us have begun to evolve our approaches, but we aren’t there yet. Social innovators at the nation’s top companies need to figure out how the very skills, people, and technologies that have allowed them to shake up the business world can also create access to medicine for those who desperately need it or bring clean water to communities where it’s lacking.

3. Success is about scale. In business we track and measure to show success. A healthy financial statement demonstrates profits, and therefore a successful company. Yet when it comes to scaling social change, successful companies often go quiet. Corporations can remedy that just by using their business acumen. Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women Campaign, which is trying to provide widespread business education to underserved women, is a perfect example. The campaign pairs Goldman’s business expertise and financial resources with 80 academic and nonprofit partners to scale meaningful change and, eventually, success. As Jonathan told me, unless a social program can be replicated and sustained on a large scale, it won’t have maximum impact. That is what we, the corporate citizenry, excel at, and it is where our most promising social innovation opportunities lie.

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Merete Grimeland

Daglig leder og prosjektleder at World Wide Narrative
Jeg har jobbet med digitale fortellinger siden våren 2007, og jeg kommer nok aldri til å stoppe med det. På denne reisen har jeg snart fått møte nesten 460 mennesker som har vært med på å fortelle sine historier. Jeg føler meg veldig privilegert.
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