Video: Clay Shirky on Ushahidi

Clay Shirky on Ushahidi from tracking wildlife in kenya to the moderation of elections in Mexico, from snow cleanup in Washington state to risk prevention around forest fires in Italy, Ushahidi is a website that offers a social networking platform for “democratizing information, increasing transparency, and lowering the barriers for individuals to share their stories.”…

Reflections On Social Innovation

Introduction Recently, over dinner, a friend asked what i had been working on lately. In reply, I mentioned that I had collaborated with others at Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN)—sadly, now defunct—on a paper about trends and developments in social innovation in Canada and internationally (Goldenberg, Kamoji, Orton, & Williamson, 2009). This was an update,…

How Funders Are Supporting Social Innovation: Three Examples From The Youth Sector

Practices of innovation are not uncommon in communities, particularly in the social sector where there is a need to innovate to provide new solutions to address pressing local problems. Microfinance, the use of alternate governance models, and the development of social enterprises are some examples of social innovation. According to the Kellogg Foundation, such innovation…

Fair Trade: A Successful Social Innovation. But Is It Enough?

Fair trade, as most northern consumers think of it, began after WWII when Christian missionary and nonprofit charities imported craft products made by their southern partners, including Greek and Italian communities, to sell in northern Europe and the USA. It has since evolved into a much more complex “sector,” involving thousands of products and tens or…

Letter From The Editor

These days if you attend any nonprofit gathering, it doesn’t take long before the phrases “social innovation” and “social finance” pop up. However, as you listen to the conversations, you begin to wonder whether everyone is talking about the same thing. Are social innovation and social finance something new or just the latest fads? In this…

Primer On Social Innovation: A Compendium Of Definitions Developed By Organizations Around The World

What is social innovation? most simply, social innovation is about new ideas that work to address pressing unmet needs. Poverty, homelessness, and violence are examples of social problems that still need dedicated solution-seeking space. Social innovation addresses these challenges by applying new learning and strategies to solve these problems. For social innovations to be successful…

Book Reviews

Les Arrangements Institutionnels Entre L’état Québécois Et Les Entreprises D’économie Sociale En Aide Domestique : Une Analyse Sociopolitique De L’économie Sociale Dans Les Services De Soutien À Domicile. By Yves Vaillancourt and Christian Jetté (with the assistance of Philippe Leclerc). Montréal, Québec: Les éditions vie économique. isbn 978-2-9811342-1-9 Can the social economy contribute to the…

Determining The Value Of Comprehensive Community Initiatives

Poverty is now perceived as a critical issue in much of Canada, with recent polls indicating that the majority of Canadians want to eradicate the problem (CCPA, 2008). Place-based, collaborative approaches are making a vital contribution to poverty reduction in communities across the country. Comprehensive community initiatives (CCIs) is the term given to groups of…

What The Numbers Say: Collaboration: A Way Of Life For The Sector

Rumblings about transformative partnerships in the charitable and nonprofit sector are resonating across the country. These range from organizations more narrowly interested in collaboration as an immediate means of adapting to the current economic upheaval to others that see the current upswing in interest as part of a more general trend toward increased collaboration over…