Increasingly, we are becoming aware of wicked and entrenched social and environmental issues, such as climate change, rising inequality, global pandemics, lack of fair and sustainable access to food etc. that require complex, cross-sector solutions to be tackled. Established institutions and strategies to address these social issues seem to be “too little, too late”. For this reason, in the past twenty years, new approaches have been tried and adopted to generate and sustain positive social change. Among these, are social entrepreneurship, social innovation and systems thinking.
This two-day online interactive course aims to introduce these three approaches and some of the tools and insights to adopt them.
On the first day, social entrepreneurship, social innovation (in the form of digital innovation, policy innovation and frugal innovation), and systems thinking will be introduced as concepts through both theoretical definitions and practical examples and related to other tools for social change such as social movements or business innovations. Then we will look at how to gather relevant knowledge about a social or environmental issue to be tackled and at the concept of Theory of Change as a way to start planning for a meaningful intervention to trigger social change.
On the second day, we will discuss the key challenges hampering the financial sustainability and effectiveness of approaches that want to generate social change, focusing on social business models as planning tools to handle and prevent at least some of them. It will end with an inspirational note through the testimonies of two social innovators/entrepreneurs on how they are generating social change.