Reviews of the book
All Intl. Futures Forum titles
Imprint: Triarchy Press
List Price: £20.00
Designing Regenerative Cultures
Additional Resources - Chapter 2
HOW THE THREE HORIZONS VIEW EACH OTHER - see image above (drawn by Jennifer Williams)
How the Three Horizons view each other in either open or closed ways
(adapted from Bill Sharpe, 2013, p.57)
SOCIAL INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP (p.66)
Good places to learn more about social innovation and social entrepreneurship are the ‘Centre for Social Innovation’ at Stanford Business School, the ‘Social Enterprise Initiative’ at Harvard Business School, ‘Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship’ at Oxford’s Said Business School, Nesta’s ‘Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund’, the New Economics Foundation, the Young Foundation, and the ‘Institute for Social Innovation’ at ESADE Business School in Barcelona. The European Commission funded ‘Social Innovation Europe’ was set up to link private and public sector initiatives, with civil society organizations and academic research in the broad field of social innovation and social entrepreneurship across Europe.
In Ireland, Young Social Innovators has taken social innovation into schools to inspire and enable young people to apply their creativity to co-creating solutions aimed at improving the wellbeing of people and society. Their simple framework, the 4 C’s of social innovation (see below), has been applied by more than 40,000 young people and hundreds of educators (YSI, 2014). In combination with dynamic facilitation the framework helps groups of people to have a deeper conversation and innovate alternatives together.
Before taking a look at some more examples of social innovation, I need to point out that I cannot offer a comprehensive review of this fast growing field and its rapidly increasing number of inspirational case studies and best practice and process examples in only a few pages. The world over we can find inspiring examples of culturally transformative social innovation in action!
The social problems of the world are so complex and diverse that there will never be a single valid model for all types of social innovation. The very nature of social innovation as a new and better way to resolve social problem means it wouldn’t even be in the interest of its proponents to create adequate definitions and frameworks, much rather to create environments for the process of creative destruction with a social intention to prosper. […] social innovation is constantly crating new paradigms, breaking barriers, annihilating the old ideas and assumptions.
– Heloise Buckland & David Murillo (2013: 153 & 158, author’s translation.
SHARING VIA THE SOCIAL P2P MARKETPLACE (p.67)
Zilok, for example, allows users to rent tools, means of transport, equipment and facilities for events, holiday rentals, leisure and sports equipment, luxury items, and more. A similar online marketplace called Erento was started in Berlin in 2003 and today (in June, 2015) offers more than 1.2 million rental items online by connecting 10,500 hire companies in 26 countries and processing more than 4,500 rental enquiries a day. Another example of a PPS is Etsy, a global online arts and crafts marketplace that allows people to value the craftsmanship of individuals and buy unique goods that stand out from the anonymity of mass-consumer culture. Started in 2005, by June 2015 Etsy had grown to 717 employees, 1.4 million active sellers and 20.8 million active buyers worldwide. The Etsy website states: “Our mission is to reimagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world. We are building a human, authentic and community-centric global and local marketplace. We are committed to using the power of business to create a better world ….” Social enterprises like Etsy are prime examples of how globally connected and locally responsible cultures are already emerging.
‘Redistribution markets’ are online market places enabling goods no longer needed by their original owner to be reused elsewhere. Social enterprises like Freecycle and Around Again have created a marketplace based on entirely free exchanges; Barterquest allows people to sell no longer needed goods and earn points for future purchases on the system; eBay has built a global online marketplace where people can trade their possessions for money; while Gumtree and Craigslist offer a hybrid of these options along with job listings, community services and more.
There are many other online marketplaces that have focused on specific items such as books (readitswapit), baby clothes (tradingcradles), fashion items (swapstyle) and clothes (threadup), toys and baby items (babyswaporshop). The way that redistribution markets enable people to reuse existing products and convert no longer needed products into income has significant environmental, social and economic benefits. It generates extra income, reduces material consumption and waste, and in many cases helps to create human connection and even community.
COLLABORATIVE LIFESTYLES (p.68)
For examples, networks of local collaborators who share a common working space (impacthubs) are linked into global skill and knowledge sharing networks. The global network Hubculture connects these innovators, social entrepreneurs and cultural creatives, enabling them to collaborate and share knowledge through the use of their own digital currency, the Ven. The Landshare network in the UK, Australia and Canada connects people with underused land to people who want to garden or farm. Similarly, Edinburghgardenpartners matches keen gardeners or people who want to grow their own vegetables with garden owners in the city. Neighborhood Fruit has mapped more than 10,000 fruit trees and vegetable plots across the USA on a mobile app and website to enable people to find and share the fruits, nuts and vegetables growing in their neighbourhood without the exchange of money. The global online parking market place ParkatmyHouse offers individuals and businesses the opportunity to rent out unused parking spaces to those who are in need of them.
In 1999, a group of successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs decided to offer their unique skill sets to help the worthwhile causes of non-profit organizations. The main motivation was to find deeper meaning in their work and skills than they gained from simply working in the for-profit sector. Nipun Mehta was one of the initiators of ‘CharityFocus’, since renamed as ServiceSpace – an incubator of projects in the gift economy. He coined the term ‘giftivism – the practice of radically generous acts that change the world’. Nipun believes that four key societal shifts can transform our culture: from consumption to contribution, transaction to trust, isolation to community, and scarcity to abundance” (Metha, TEDxBerkeley 2012).
As an all-volunteer organization that leverages technology to inspire greater volunteerism, ServiceSpace aims to help people to take part in these social shifts. In 15 years it has grown to a global network of 400,000 people who volunteer their skills and time to help others. Among the projects that have been incubated in, or supported by, this network are: DailyGood – a website that promotes uplifting news from around the world; Karmatube – a site that allows people to access and stream inspirational videos; CFtools – helps charities to create custom websites at no cost; Work & Conversations – facilitates learning about and from artists; ProPoor – an internet portal offering information about resources and news relevant to development work in South Asia; PledgePage – a free online platform that allows people to showcase their favourite causes and fundraise for them; MovedByLove – a network to promote radical generosity projects in India; KarmaKitchen – a volunteer-run restaurant in Berkeley, California, where people gift for the meals of those who come after them but do not have to pay for what they ate themselves (The team has served more than 24,000 meals since 2007 and there are now Karma Kitchens operating in Washington, DC and Chicago as well.); AwaKin is a web forum that helps people access inspirational tools for personal development and connects them to a community of kindred spirits; and KindSpring aims to promote a global movement of kindness through sharing stories and ideas like the ‘smile card’ which people can leave behind for the person they have just helped anonymously to invite them to pay the gift forward and consider gifting or helping others anonymously. All these diverse projects created by ServiceSpace volunteers are excellent examples of the power of transformative social innovation and the shift towards a regenerative culture .
Many more inspiring examples of such P2P collaboration, open innovation and P2P technology development have been collected and explained through the excellent work of Michel Bauwens and the ‘p2p Foundation’. The foundation’s wiki-site is a treasure trove of inspiration on how P2P initiatives can catalyse the transition towards regenerative cultures. Among many case studies the site explores P2P civil society approaches, P2P market approaches, and P2P state approaches. In 2013 Michel Bauwens joined the FLOK society project aiming to create a commons-based P2P economy in Ecuador. The project is part of Ecuador’s national ‘good life plan’. Transformative innovation and culture change based on social innovation, P2P collaboration and a reclaiming of the commons is well under way. We should follow such Horizon 3 experiments with interest.
Fourth sector networks are currently emerging in the USA, Denmark, the Basque Country, and on the island of Majorca. The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), co-initiated by Judy Wicks, is a similar type of network that is primarily focused on strengthening local economies through supporting locally-owned independent businesses, thereby creating an environment where fourth sector activities and co-production can flourish and help to build resilient communities.