As we continue sharing social innovations tools and knowledge across the globe, we are honored to present this edition titled: Social Innovation’s Ecosystem in Argentina and Chile. This edition was made possible through the personal and professional introductions and connections of the Eisenhower Fellows, and Social Innovations Journal’s Director of Latin America, Alejandra Navas-Martinez, who cultivated each relationship and curated the contributing articles that reflect organizations across Argentina and Chile sharing their social innovations respectively. Alejandra Navas-Martinez best expressed the impact of this edition when she stated, "There are no words to describe how my life became richer after talking with all the authors of this edition and learning about their amazing work."
We encourage you to read the introduction article to this edition as it provides a macro context to the social innovations movement within the respective countries of Chile and Argentina. In brief, the edition concludes, as summarized in the introduction article, that social innovations in Latin America emerge from the intersection between different processes -- where theory meets practice, where innovators share experiences, sponsors finance and take risks, public and private organizations cooperate, scientific information is sound, and where knowledge comes from the experiences and the practical needs being met. The key is synergy.1 By creating spaces of encounter for academia, state, the private sector, and civil society the path forward towards sustainable and inclusive development becomes clearer.
Within the context of Chile and Argentina, the local government provides public services that were transferred from the central government, mostly without the required resources to manage them properly. Which leads us to the imminent need for innovation. Innovation comes together as a result of the cooperation between entities including local and national governments. At the local level, it is essential to strengthen local governments to enable them to lead the process of social and economic development; and at the national level, the government must create necessary infrastructure and regulatory framework to achieve development. Finally, as innovations are often driven by passionate individuals, this edition concludes that we need passionate leaders who inspire and channel the energy of the community to focus their skills to guide and transform ideas into action, while also demonstrating the need for the community to commit to sustainable solutions to ensure the dignity and pride of its people.
At the Social Innovations Journal, we believe the potential of good ideas to inspire more good ideas cannot be underestimated. As we attempted to focus this edition on Chile and Argentina’s social innovations we learned that every obstacle we encountered lost its power in the face of the irrepressible force of sharing knowledge and ideas, and resulted, organically, with good ideas finding their own way to the light to accomplish their mission and inspire more good ideas.
From each one of these articles we can highlight common elements -- leadership, commitment to service and helping others, and the 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 drive innovative efforts based on new ideas and change.
Yours in Innovation,
Nicholas Torres, Co-Founder
Tine Hansen-Turton, Co-Founder
1Claves de la innovación social en América Latina. CEPAL. 2008