A Guide to Scaling Social Innovation
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
For those who have been working in the field of social entrepreneurship for a decade or more, as we have at the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, 2013 is starting to feel like a watershed year. Don’t get me wrong: we still have enormous hills to climb in changing mindsets, improving enabling environments and correcting market failures. But I think it’s worth pausing for a moment and taking stock of the global trends.
Governments as diverse as the US, Colombia and India have created new agencies with robust mandates to promote social innovation, including direct reporting lines to the president (or the prime minister, in the case of India). Senegal, the United Kingdom and Canada have created national task forces to assess the social innovation policy environment and make recommendations for reform. And with today’s announcement by the Peruvian Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion to launch a task force to promote social innovation, Peru now joins their ranks.
In addition to initiatives at the national level, I am very encouraged to see greater multilateral efforts to advance the social innovation agenda. In June, the G8 will host a social impact investment conference in London to examine, among other things, how impact investing can help developing countries meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). And in early 2014, the European Union is organizing a 1,000+ person summit to promote the EU Social Business Initiative’s programmatic and legislative agenda, which was initially launched in 2011 with the aim of fostering and scaling social enterprises across the EU’s 27 member states.