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Issue 9 | Winter 2012

Past Editions

Dear Reader:

Happy winter! We are pleased to bring you our Winter 2012 edition of the Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal (PSIJ), titled “Innovations in Community Impact.”

As you will read about in this edition of the PSIJ, there are many ways that innovation can address needs and positively impact a community. Some of the exciting local endeavors you will read about include:

  • Daniel J. Hilferty and Independence Blue Cross's newly created IBC Foundation that serves as a model for Corporate Social Responsibility and Responsible social investing;
  • Kenny Gamble, a successful real estate developer in South Philadelphia who took the unusual step of getting into the business of education, seeking to address at a holistic level the social ills that plagued local neighborhoods by focusing on schools as a way to redevelop a sense of pride and ownership within communities;
  • Anne Marie Ambrose and the Department of Human Services’ program, Improving Outcomes for Children, which aims to improve service delivery and outcomes for children in care by engaging community partners, streamlining case management and vigilantly tracking outcomes indicators to measure the initiative’s success;
  • District Attorney Seth Williams’ commitment to The Choice is Yours (TCY), an alternative-to-incarceration program to increase public safety and reduce recidivism rates by diverting first-time, non-violent felony drug offenders away from prison and into the labor market through positive job training and support;
  • Ann Karlen and Fair Food’s strategy to strengthen the Philadelphia regional food system by increasing the demand for a humane, sustainable, local agriculture system; and
  • Dr. Lee Nunery and the School District’s efforts to create alternative education settings that ensure all students can succeed in schools and their partnership with colleges to create direct college access and completion pipelines.

You can also read our Nominate an Innovator articles, written by our wonderful volunteer team, about PolicyMap, demonstrating how programs can make “data-driven” decisions using a dynamic web-based tool, Naveguemos con Salud, a program providing breast health education and treatment assistance for Latinas, and Sunday Suppers, a novel intervention focused on educating low-income residents of the Norris Square neighborhood about the importance of taking time for nutritious family meals. Our columnists in this edition will explore: the notion that problem-solving requires a different level of thought than our current thinking, which actually creates programs; the growing relevance of nonprofit collaboration; and the need for nonprofits to think strategically about partnerships as a way to grow revenue.

PSIJ 2012Editions:

In the spring you can look forward to reading our special edition on innovations in Arts and Culture, sponsored by the Knight Foundation. In the late summer, you can read a special edition on innovations in philanthropy and responsible investing. Finally, in late fall you can read a special edition on innovations in collaborations, partnerships and mergers.

Increased partnership with foundations and universities:

We welcome Independence Blue Cross Foundation and the Patricia Kind Foundation to our advisory board, which is composed of Independence Foundation, The Philadelphia Foundation, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Scattergood Foundation, St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children, Green Tree Community Health Foundation, William Penn Foundation, Wells Fargo, Inglis Foundation, Barra Foundation, and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as well as the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice, the Wharton School, and Sage Communications.

PSIJ partners with the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government, the School of Social Policy and Practice, and Wharton. We strongly believe that students are the social innovation heartbeat of our region, and we welcome new and expanded university partnerships. The Fels Institute of Government has created a summer course on innovations that is tied to PSIJ.

We hope you’ll enjoy this edition of the Journal, and wish you all a great end of winter.

Very truly yours,

Nicholas Torres, Co-Founder This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tine Hansen-Turton, Co-Founder This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Event Announcement: LEARN Education Conference 2012

The LEARN Education Conference 2012, Bridging Sectors to Rebuild Education, will gather hundreds on March 31 to focus on an action plan to improve public education. The conference attendees and speakers include: politicians, entrepreneurs, innovators, school leaders, teachers, and graduate students in these fields (MBA, law, education, policy).

Through the Conference's panels, working lunch, and keynote speakers, we bring together innovators from key education disciplines to discuss sector-specific barriers to education reform and generate cross-disciplinary solutions. We aim to equip attendees with the background to develop specific tasks they can accomplish to improve public education. The Conference will foster the development of long-term problem-solving for public education.

As Philadelphia's schools recently laid off at least ten teachers in nearly each school, public education's problems become more apparent. This conference tackles those problems by giving attendees exposure to issues of school finance, technology in the classroom, school leadership, entrepreneurial efforts, and policy changes affecting education. Solving education requires joining these efforts and learning where each specialized discipline can assist another. For that reason, attendees with a variety of backgrounds will be interested in attending and learning what they can do to improve public education.

See more and online registration instructions at the Conference webpage:


The PSIJ apologizes for the following errors in the Fall 2011 edition:

In Kaitlyn Woods’ article, A New Access Point for Primary Care, The School-Based Wellness Center at the Pan American Academy Charter School, calculations in Figure 1 were inaccurate.

In Angela Wyan’s and Ralph Scott’s article, Washington, D.C.: A National Model for Lead Poisoning Prevention and Healthy Housing, the final page of the article listed the incorrect regulatory agency. The correct agency is DCRA.

We encourage you to revisit these articles to read the corrected versions.