We are excited to bring to you the quarterly Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal. The first regional web-based journal of its kind, it brings together Philadelphia’s top social innovators and entrepreneurs who are at the front lines solving our most prominent social issues. We hope the Journal will stimulate our private citizens to engage with the Greater Philadelphia region’s social innovation minds and increase the area’s already exceptional capacity to recognize social problems and apply entrepreneurial principles to organize, create and manage high-impact social change.
The idea for this publication began on a journey to the Eisenhower Fellowships international 2008 conference in Brazil, at which we joined a network of 1600 social change agents from around the world. Participating in conversations on global change with other Eisenhower Fellows, in combination with discussions on the innovations represented by our partner in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, led us quickly to conclude that it would be great to have a regional vehicle to highlight social innovators and innovations.
Here we are, 15 months later, presenting you with our first edition of Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal. Our motivation for starting an on-line social innovation community is somewhat self-serving as we maintain that, despite popular beliefs, the Philadelphia region is leading and creating cutting-edge social innovations. Leaders of these social innovations, typically heads or emerging leaders of the most effective nonprofit organizations, spend most of their time “doing” and less time publishing. Also, many of us spend most of our time within our own silos, making cross pollination difficult. Few of us get the opportunity to learn from each other and develop ideas for how we might partner. But Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal, we hope, will change that paradigm.
In this first edition, we’ll introduce you to several inspirational social innovators and their organizations working in the health, violence prevention and human capital (education and employment) sectors. You’ll meet leaders who have created a new model of primary healthcare that will revolutionize the way we gain access to care in the future. You will learn from two social innovators who have successfully created models to assure low income children and adults benefit from excellent quality education backed by high school diplomas and associates degrees, setting them on a path out of poverty. You’ll read insights from a social innovator who has been instrumental in changing the local and national approach to preventing elderly abuse … and much, much more.
We have also invited contributions from local and national leaders who are known for their expertise in organizational leadership, in management, in performance-based and high-impact nonprofits, and in leadership development. Some of these articles are provocative by design. We hope they will spur passionate discussions among our readers, and with this in mind we have established and online discussion network to facilitate dialogue.
We have many people and organizations to thank, including our local funders and investors: United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, The Philadelphia Foundation, Greentree Community Health Foundation, Independence Foundation, The Thomas Scattergood Foundation and St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children. We also want thank our partners from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Fels Institute of Government and School of Social Policy and Practice, along with La Salle University, Drexel University and Jefferson University, all of which have teamed up with the Journal. These academic partners have committed to providing master-level students to serve as writers. Last, but hardly least, we want to thank our staff at Congreso, National Nursing Centers Consortium and Public Health Management Corporation, who put up with us this summer as we were planning the Journal and who contributed immensely to our ability to introduce the publication this fall by authoring articles and helping us construct the framework.
Thank you for tuning in! We look forward to hearing from you.
Nick and Tine