Social innovation means business becoming a force for good
Friday, December 27, 2013
At its heart, doing good for society is what social innovation – the latest buzzword in sustainability – is all about. But is social innovation just corporate social responsibility dressed up in trendy new clothes, or is there something truly innovative about it that could put business on a radically new path?
As a recent Guardian Sustainable Business Quarterly workshop on social innovation heard, there is no commonly accepted definition for social innovation. The World Economic Forum describes it “as the application of innovative, practical, sustainable, business-like approaches that achieve positive social and/or environmental change.”
Some see social innovation as developing products to serve society better. Others argue business shouldn’t be dabbling in social innovation at all, because market-based approaches are about profits, not people.