In The Spotlight
We live in an ever expanding -- and yet, with technology -- ever shrinking global ecosystem in which the sharing, within and between regional ecosystems, of social innovations are of upmost importance.
We are proud to have joined forces with the SOCIAL INNOVATION FORUM; Boston Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics; Harvard Kennedy School ASH CENTER for Democratic Governance and Innovation; MASSCHALLEGE; CITY AWAKE; SOCIAL VENTURE PARTNERS BOSTON, GREENLIGHT FUND BOSTON; and AMPLIFIED IMPACT to publish and distribute Boston’s SOCIAL INNOVATORS, SOCIAL ENTERPRISES, AND PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS.
The Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics best summarizes the focus of this edition that showcases Boston’s social innovations to the world.
“From global leadership to national policy to state and local ideology, there is no doubt that change -- both beautiful and terrifying -- is imminent. It is in these moments where opportunity exists: opportunity to redirect the rhetoric, opportunity to slow the pace, opportunity to shift the paradigm. For those who see, seek, and seize these opportunities, the impact is often grand. And yet, because the entirety of impact is often felt long after implementation, it is difficult to recognize those movement makers, those insightful implementers, those do-ers as they make, implement, and do.
In this moment, the City of Boston itself swirls in change. Within the city, questions of stability and mobility, equity, safety, and quality of life pervade our homes, our workplaces, our streets, our schools, our people. Amidst these questions, our own Bostonians -- community leaders, entrepreneurs, students, parents, immigrants, academics, and artists -- are pursuing solutions. From community models that capitalize social capital into financial capital to research methods repurposed to learn about experiences and disparity to programs that empower Bostonians to demand and obtain the things they want and need to thrive, the City of Boston is rich with opportunity -- and those who seize the moment to create something new. As the City’s internal social innovation office, we at New Urban Mechanics relish, value, and take pride in working with and alongside this strong fabric of innovators, entrepreneurs, and experts.
This edition of the Social Innovation Journal highlights a fraction of the social innovations that keep the City of Boston on pace with change. From the viewpoints of the movement makers, the insightful implementers, and the do-ers themselves, you’ll learn about Boston’s challenges and opportunities. And you’ll also get to glimpse into the authors’ collective vision for Boston’s future.”
We want to thank the Bostion Edition Editorial Advisory Board for their work and contributions that led to this edition publication.
Sarah Beaulieu: Greenlight Fund
Darcy Brownell: SOCIAL VENTURE PARTNERS BOSTON
Tim Burke: Harvard Kennedy School ASH CENTER for Democratic Governance and Innovation
Danielle Curry: CITY AWAKE
Melissa Duggan: SOCIAL INNOVATION FORUM
Kiki Mills Johnston: MASS CHALLENGE
Justin Kang: CITY AWAKE
Kimberly Lucas: BOSTON MAYOR'S OFFICE OF NEW URBAN MECHANICS
Atyia Martin: City of Boston
Christina Marchand: Harvard Kennedy School ASH CENTER for Democratic Governance & Innovation
Andrea McGrath: AMPLIFIED IMPACT
Anna Trieschmann: SOCIAL INNOVATION FORUM
We hope this edition and its articles will inspire social innovators to continue sharing their ideas and inspiring new ideas across the globe. Join us on this journey to change the world in the belief that the potential for good ideas to inspire more good ideas cannot be underestimated and the value that entrepreneurs and innovators bring to local communities and regions across the nation needs to be harnessed and shared. Please take the time to read and share these articles which, ideally, will provide you with the inspiration, knowledge, and tools to become a civically-minded innovator to improve your local, regional, and/or national health, education, social mobility, and human services challenges to ensure dignity and respect for everyone.
The Social Innovations Journal’s mission is to promote innovative ideas and incubate social innovation and thought leadership (i.e. teaching leaders “how” to think and not “what” to think) to spark a culture of innovation to create new models and systems change. The Social Innovations Journal (SIJ) takes a regional approach to sourcing social innovations and enterprises. Since 2008, SIJ has published hundreds of articles and convened thousands of people to discuss social innovations and social sector models at the local level. SIJ has a regional, national, and global following reaching millions of readers across the globe daily.
This Edition titled Boston’s SOCIAL INNOVATORS, SOCIAL ENTERPRISES, AND PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS was made possible in partnership with Boston’s Social Sector Ecosystem. THANK YOU!
We live in an ever expanding -- and yet, with technology -- ever shrinking global ecosystem in which civic engagement is of upmost importance. Now, more than ever, we need to unite the global social innovators to share their ideas with the knowledge that “good ideas inspire more good ideas.” Our global social sector innovators and entrepreneurs who are working to solve or “move the needle” on society’s problems are the catalysts that will propel society forward towards greater social good. These leaders represent a reminder that at the core of human life, we are here to ensure that all people not only have their basic needs met, but are able to thrive socially and economically, and through our collective advancements build socially-minded and civically-conscious communities of the future.
This edition focuses on the European Commission and represents the uniting synergies of three continents, North America, South America, and Europe. What we are learn through this edition is that our communities, cities, regions, states, and countries – although, operating under different circumstances -- all struggle with similar challenges in healthcare, education, social mobility, and human services and we are all working towards similar goals of ensuring human dignity and respect for all members of our respective societies. We are also learning that many of our social solutions are not unique and therefore there is an untapped potential in the sharing of ideas and their potential to improve societies across the globe.
We want to thank the European Commission for their foresight and leadership to host the European Social Innovation Competition and source Europe’s BEST innovations. We are excited to partner with them and help share their knowledge, tools, and innovations with you and others around the globe. As stated in this edition’s overview article, economic growth should not benefit the lucky few, but also provide opportunities for all members of society. We hope this edition and its articles, both in written and video format, will inspire business models that will enable everyone to equally seize the opportunities offered by technological change.
Please take the time to read and share these articles and videos which, ideally, will provide you with the inspiration, knowledge, and tools to become a civically-minded innovator to improve your local, regional, and/or national health, education, social mobility, and human services challenges and to ensure dignity and respect for everyone.
The Social Innovations Journal’s mission is to promote innovative ideas, incubate social innovation and thought leadership (i.e. teaching leaders “how” to think and not “what” to think) to spark a culture of innovation to create new models and systems change. The Social Innovations Journal (SIJ) takes a regional approach to sourcing social innovations and enterprises. Since 2008, SIJ has published hundreds of articles and convened thousands of people to discuss social innovations and social sector models at the local level. SIJ has a regional, national, and global following reaching millions of readers across the globe daily.
Health and human services agencies along with their nonprofit and community partners in counties around the country have started to approach traditional long-standing societal challenges differently. They are capitalizing on public/private partnerships; breakthrough technologies; brokering unique cross-sector partnerships; blending funding sources, and applying family-centered and community-based approaches to find innovative solutions with the expectation that these will lead to efficiencies and better client outcomes. Ultimately, regional health and human services agencies, collectively, are shaping a new ecosystem across sectors and systems that will align services, integrate data systems, leverage technologies, and create system transformation. The American Public Health and Human Services Association said it best, “Health and human serving system leaders are discarding the old ways of doing business in favor of new approaches that are innovative, efficient, effective, and responsive to the needs and demands of a dynamic and rapidly changing society. We are shifting from a reactive and crisis-oriented services delivery model to one that focuses “upstream” and better enables all of us to live to our full potential and to more effectively identify and address root causes when we do encounter roadblocks along the way.”
The Social Innovations Journal in partnership with Bucks County Human Services, Woods Services, and Magellan Health Services is pleased to host the Fall 2017 edition and symposium that will examine successful and innovative models and partnerships within the Bucks County, PA Region as an example of how health and human services organizations are innovating across the country. This edition specifically explores new innovative models of care for Aging Populations; Mental and Behavioral Health; Children and Youth; Drug and Alcohol; and Physical and Developmental Disabilities. As you review the articles in this edition you will see tremendous steps towards engaging public/private partnerships that better serve the community for such key issues as the opioid epidemic (BCARES and BPAIR) and protecting our citizens (Ben’s Campaign and Crimes against older adults). You will find how we are working with our Medicaid Managed Care Organization to be more data informed and outcomes oriented (Value Based Purchasing). You will also see stories on innovation and our team oriented model of practice through our internal Criminal Justice Advisory Board/Behavioral Health joint efforts (Mobile Crisis Engagement).
We hope this edition will inform and inspire health and human services organizations as the potential of good ideas to inspire more good ideas cannot be underestimated.
President & CEO of Woods Services
Human Services Director
America’s cities have long been gateways for immigrant arrivals. Even as increasing numbers of immigrants settle in the suburbs, urban areas continue to house the majority of the foreign-born in the United States. Many cities have developed rich networks of nonprofits, community groups and innovative programs to support immigrant and refugee communities. Many municipal governments recognize and appreciate the numerous benefits that immigrants bring to their cities, including cultural diversity, population growth, and economic development. Yet, they also struggle to address the challenges associated with integrating diverse, low-income, and limited English proficient (LEP) populations.
This edition of the Social Innovations Journal examines successful models for delivering integration services to immigrant and refugee communities, supporting immigrant leadership development, and promoting pro-immigrant policies, at the municipal level. Rather than take a sample of successful programs and policies from across the nation, we use a place-based approach that provides an in-depth examination of developments in one major U.S. city -- Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love has a longstanding tradition of serving as an immigrant gateway, and it has also experienced a recent upsurge in its immigrant population, which has inspired the creation of new nonprofit groups and collaborations to address the needs of newly immigrated communities. Philadelphia’s experiences with immigrant integration hold useful lessons for cities and smaller municipalities across the country.
We want to thank Natasha Kelemen for bringing this topic to the attention of the Social Innovations Journal and curating the articles for this edition. We hope you will read the below edition overview written by Natasha Kelemen that will inspire you to read all the published articles. This edition profiles successful, innovative, and promising examples of immigrant integration and immigrant rights work in Philadelphia across economic development, health, legal services, education, civic engagement, and social justice.
We hope this edition will inform and inspire cities across the nation to share knowledge and resources as the potential of good ideas to inspire more good ideas cannot be underestimated.
Nicholas Torres, Tine Hansen-Turton, Co-Founders
Even thinking of publishing an International Ecosystem Social Innovations Journal edition dedicated to Colombia was a real challenge. This edition was made possible by the introductions and connections made by the Eisenhower Fellows and Alejandra Navas-Martinez, a native Colombian who spent hundreds of hours building the infrastructure and meeting with Colombia’s Social Sector leaders. Our shared passion and goal of showing the world all that Colombia has to offer, contribute, and teach, were the strategies that will make this publication a success.
We believe that the potential of good ideas to inspire more good ideas cannot be underestimated. As we attempted to focus this edition on Bogota’s Social Innovations we learned that every obstacle we encountered lost its power in the face of this irrepressible force and resulted, organically, with good ideas finding their own way to the light to accomplish their mission and inspire more ideas.
Alejandra Navas-Martinez best expressed the impact of this edition when read by our international readers. “There are no words to describe how my life became richer after meeting all the authors of this edition. Vulnerability and courage are the words I would use to describe the topics of the articles: From specialized care to enable children to access education, the very quality of this education, the inclusion of parents, and the possibility that companies include among their goals of social responsibility their employees’ children; the use of a game to help young people take the reins in their lives and stay away from drug and alcohol addictions; girls who have had a traumatic past opening their eyes to the world’s possibilities through dreams and empowerment to create a pathway to a much better future; the access to retirement savings and incentives to promote preparing for retirement; and from another point of view, supporting our elders’ sharing their stories and memories as a way to improve their cognitive abilities; allowing access to a decent wage based on skills, daring to include people with intellectual disabilities and eradicating the fear associated with someone being different, and the creation of a welcoming environment to enable those with intellectual disabilities to have a job; an initiative concerned about Bogotá and its problems and leaders who are set apart by their reliance on academic support networks and their conscious commitment to service; rewarding good ideas, audacity, and courage to solve problems affecting all of us; giving a hand to those who struggle to move forward with their projects and who lack access to traditional banks and financing possibilities; building cities that think strategically about their inhabitants to enable them to live with dignity; the development of projects focused on communities that live with violence and are in dire need of support and constructive help; and finally, the environment, the urgent need to commit to the preservation of our natural resources and the creation of programs to consciously and sustainably manage them. I’m honored and humbled by the great work happening in Bogota and I congratulate the social sector leaders who are driving these excellent initiatives.”
From each one of these articles we can highlight common elements -- leadership, commitment to service and helping others, and the audacity and awareness that only by working together and searching for integral and sustainable solutions can we make the impossible become possible. We hope that the inspiring power of every one of these articles leaves an impact on each of you and inspires you to have the audacity to lead efforts based on new ideas and change.
Yours in Innovation,
Nicholas Torres, Co-Founder
Tine Hansen-Turton, Co-Founder
Sólo pensar en publicar una edición del Ecosistema Internacional del Social Innovations Journal dedicado a Colombia era un verdadero desafío. Esta edición fue posible gracias a las conexiones y presentaciones de los Fellows Eisenhower y a Alejandra Navas-Martinez, Directora América Latina, colombiana quien invirtió cientos de horas construyendo la infraestructura y reuniéndose con líderes del sector social en Colombia. Nuestra pasión y objetivo de mostrar al mundo todo lo que Colombia tiene para ofrecer, contribuir y enseñar a otros, fueron las estrategias que harán de esta publicación un éxito.
Creemos que el potencial de las buenas ideas para inspirar más buenas ideas no puede ser subestimado. Mientras nos enfocábamos en las innovaciones sociales de Bogotá aprendimos que cada obstáculo que encontramos perdió su poder al enfrentarse a esta incontenible fuerza de nuestro objetivo, dando como resultado que las buenas ideas encuentran su propio camino hacia la luz para cumplir su misión e inspirar más ideas.
Alejandra expresó de la mejor manera el impacto que esta edición le deja a nuestros lectores internacionales: “No existen palabras para describir cómo mi vida se enriqueció luego de conocer a todos los autores de esta edición. Vulnerabilidad y valentía son las palabras que utilizaría para describir lo expuesto en estos artículos: desde el especial cuidado para permitir a los niños el acceso a la educación, la inclusión de sus padres en el proceso, la calidad misma de la educación y la posibilidad de que las empresas incluyan en sus objetivos de responsabilidad social a los hijos de sus colaboradores; el uso de un juego para ayudar a los jóvenes a tomar las riendas de sus vidas y mantenerse alejados de la adicción a las drogas y el alcohol; niñas que tuvieron un pasado traumático y logran abrir los ojos a las posibilidades que les ofrece el mundo a través de sueños y el empoderamiento para crear un camino hacia un futuro mejor; el acceso a ahorros para la vejez e incentivos para promover la preparación de la jubilación; y, desde otro punto de vista, apoyar a nuestros mayores para compartir sus historias y recuerdos como una manera de mejorar sus capacidades cognitivas; permitir el acceso a salarios dignos basados en las capacidades; atreverse a incluir personas con discapacidades intelectuales en el mundo laboral, erradicar el miedo asociado a personas diferentes y crear un ambiente acogedor para permitir que estas personas accedan a un trabajo; la iniciativa de preocuparse por Bogotá y sus problemas y los líderes que trabajan con el sector académico para crear un compromiso consciente de servicio; premiar buenas ideas, la audacia y la valentía para resolver problemas que nos afectan a todos; dando una mano a aquellos que luchan para sacar adelante sus proyectos sin poder acceder a las posibilidades tradicionales de financiamiento con los bancos; construyendo ciudades que tienen en cuenta a sus habitantes de manera integral para permitirles vivir dignamente; el desarrollo de proyectos enfocados en las comunidades que han vivido en un ambiente de violencia y necesitan ayuda y apoyo constructivos; y, finalmente, el medio ambiente, la urgente necesidad de comprometerse con la preservación de nuestros recursos naturales y la creación de programas que consciente y sosteniblemente los gestionen. Nos sentimos honrados y humildes ante el gran trabajo que se está realizando en Bogotá y quisiéramos felicitar a todos los líderes del sector social que están liderando estas excelentes iniciativas. ”
De cada uno de estos artículos podemos resaltar elementos comunes – liderazgo, compromiso con server y ayudar a otros, la osadía y la conciencia de que solo trabajando juntos y buscando soluciones integrales y sostenibles podemos lograr que lo imposible se convierta en posible. Esperamos que el poder inspirador de cada uno de estos artículos deje un impacto en cada uno de ustedes y los inspire a tener la osadía de liderar esfuerzos basados en nuevas ideas y cambio.
Nicholas Torres, Tine Hansen-Turton, Co-Fundadores
Alejandra Navas-Martinez, Directora de América Latina
We have moved from a world defined by rules, hierarchy and repetition to one defined by rapid change. To thrive in such a world be a full contributor in society, new skills are needed and those skills need to be developed and practiced young. As Ashoka founder, Bill Drayton says, "Once a young person has had a dream, built a team, and changed his or her world, he or she has the power to express love and respect in action -- the heart of what brings health, longevity, and happiness. He or she will be a changemaker for life."
This issue of Social Innovations Journal provides a different lens for growing up today. Drawn from Ashoka’s network of leading social entrepreneurs, business entrepreneurs, and youth changemakers, the stories featured in this edition highlight what it looks like when young people know they are powerful by creating and leading something for the good of all, and why we should make leading young the new norm for growing up. They help us better understand the four competencies that are critical to navigating a constantly changing world that include mastering cognitive empathy; teamwork; multidimensional leadership; and changemaking which is creating one’s own solution to a problem for the good of all.
We are honored to present this edition in partnership with ASHOKA and hope that this edition will provide invaluable insight into understanding “how” to develop new models or adopt current models as we interact with the young people of today and prepare them to be the leaders of tomorrow. In human centered design we are asked to put ourselves in our target consumer's shoes to better understand our proposed value proposition that, in turn, will inform our services and products. We hope this edition inspires our institutional leaders to ask the question on "how to" create system necessary changes that adapt to a changing world in lieu of defending outdated service models.
Thank you for reading this edition. We wish you all the best with your social innovations and when you achieve success we hope you never forget your humble beginnings and remember to help those coming after you. We hope this edition inspires you to dream and challenges you to become a better version of yourself.
Yours in Innovation,
Nicholas Torres, Co-Founder
Tine Hansen-Turton, Co-Founder