I have introduced you what is social innovation, so how can we really practice it and make some changes in our life?
This is a brief guide for you to be a practitioner if you really want to apply social innovation in your work or life. There is an order to make social innovations come true, as the 7 habits of highly effective people I have posted, start from yourself first and then expand to build the connection with others. Why so? In the social innovation process, you have to bear a problem and people-oriented mindset first, in order to find the true or root problems behind each phenomenon then you come up with innovative ideas and achieve social innovation. Every change starts from yourself first, change yourself and then change the world.
The process is much similar to HCD (human-centered design), so I will share
this with you briefly. Normally, it is the time for social innovation when we see some social problems remain unsolved or unpleasant, then focus on one or two certain social problems after you sensed them instead of several. After you found the social problems you want to tackle, then you have to find ways to understand them thoroughly. Specifically, you may do research online, analyze news reports, ask for consultation from the experts who have experience or who has abundant study experience on those problems and also get information from the people who are directly or indirectly affected by this problem. This means you need to have a fresh look at social, health, policies, and economic dimension, but also at education, environment, business, industrial, urban development, etc., to ensure you understand the problem from every aspect if it is applicable.
It is the time when you should generate enough possible innovative ideas after you have understood the root reasons for the social problem. Ordinary people may only see social problems as troublesome but social innovators always see opportunities in social problems. So social innovators can think of other alternatives to approach social problems in an innovative way after you have done such an amazing analysis. But you can refer to HCD to find relevant tools for ideas creations. Ideas generate possibilities, you have to seize each possibility while opening to others.
Paperwork has been done at this moment, so it is time to take them off the paper. One convenient and costless way is doing the prototype, which allows us to test the whole idea by using limited resources. For instance, a company wants to build a mobile App, normally the engineer will create a demo App and test it with clients, and they have to make changes back and forth in between to get a final App, it is not only time-consume but also waste lots of money and resources. Prototype suggests the engineer could draw the App interface on the paper first to test it with the relevant stakeholders, which is a cheap and simple way of testing without consuming tons of time and resources. Nevertheless, the idea needs to change continuously to reach the final point.
Now you have your tangible ideas, then what about others? How others will perceive your ideas and how does the market will react. Even though you have already shown and tested your ideas with your clients, but it should go beyond your clients. So this is the time to interact with others and build relationships and partnerships in terms of scaling. Social innovation should not stay still if it makes a certain social impact, and it will make a huge social revolution if it is scaled up.
Congratulations, so you have familiarised yourself with how to start your social innovation and make it come on the market to make changes to people’s life. Do not get fascinated only by the name of social innovation, but the social impact. You can download the full social innovation guide here for further reference.
And join our Discord community to learn more related knowledge and access more insightful information. This article was edited by the original author without their consent, and should not be reproduced.