SOCIAL INNOVATION ACADEMY
STEP 1: HOW TO USE THE ACADEMY
ONLY ONE RULE: FOLLOW YOUR INTEREST.
Social Innovation Academy is not
After a short INTRO (which you can even skip if you wish), go ahead and start where you want, mix and match the learning modules and follow the learning path that suits you best. (If you prefer structure, though, feel free to download our Full Learning Content Pack and Guide!)
Need some guidance and inspiration? Start with the INTERVIEWS or EXAMPLES. Looking to get over the social innovation jargon quickly? Jump over to the GLOSSARY. Want to improve your personal abilities? Go to SKILLS. Looking for concrete answers to concrete questions? Head straight to MENTORING ADVICE. Want to see what’s been the latest developments in the social innovation field? Start your learning with the TRENDS.
You can go back anytime, skip the parts that are not relevant or not interesting for you at the moment, mix and match. Get creative and learn exactly what you need. See the Academy’s methodology summary here.
STEP 2: LEARNING MODULES
START AT ‘INTRO’, THEN FOLLOW YOUR INTEREST.
Access Academy learning content by clicking on the tabs below.
What is social innovation about?
Watch the introductory presentation to find out:
- what social innovation is, exactly
- what social innovation is not
- what you can gain from social innovation
- a brief history of social innovation
- the global outlook, trends and challenges
- social innovation types, features and approaches
- social innovation process (the social innovation spiral)
- actors involved
- forms of user involvement
- social innovation drivers
- … and what it all means for you!
The presentation is the place to start if you want to quickly learn the basics and get to speed.
Access it here.GO TO INTRO
What are social innovation examples?
Check out the social innovation examples page to:
- discover the vast variety of forms social innovations can take
- learn from these case studies what it means to be socially innovative
- get inspired
Examples are a place to go for you if the concept of social innovation seems still too abstract for you or if you want to learn what social innovation can mean in practice.
Access all here.GO TO EXAMPLES
Or go directly to your chosen example:
What do successful social innovators say?
Check out the social innovation interviews page to learn:
- how successful social innovators came up with their ideas
- what they were afraid of and how they overcame their fears
- what were the beginnings of their social innovations
- how they financed them
- how they attracted public attention to the issues they wanted to tackle
- how they made sure that their approach actually worked
- what is their scaling advice
- how they (plan to or already did) change the systems in which they operate
- their one piece of advice for you.
Tens of interviews with social innovators from different sectors, of different scale, representing different approaches and nationalities await you. Interviews are a great learning route for you if you are looking for inspiration and like to learn from true stories.
Access the interviews here.
Or go directly to your chosen interview:
- What is transformative resilience, and why social innovators need it?
- Social innovation for impact citizenship
- BioAgriDeaf and Associazione Ergon: providing job opportunities for young d/Deaf people
- How to come up with a social innovation to tackle communication barriers
- Get inspired with a social innovation to tackle colour blindness
- Fighting digital exclusion in Spain: Cibervoluntarios´ cybervolunteering and cyberoptimism
- Avoiding waste of food: Fresh Check´s way to detect bacterial contamination
- Social innovation to reduce plastic waste: turning bottle caps into a useful item
- The Power of Stories: reducing the isolation of Palestinian Orphans
- Digital tools facilitating life of children with autism
- Rural social innovation: Fundación Maimona
- From unusable sock to cuddly toy
- Giving refugee and trafficked women a new future in fashion: an interview with SOFFA’s co-founder
- The importance of social sciences for social innovation: world-class scientists get together and share their research
- The role of social technology for social innovation in healthcare: a digital start-up focusing on cancer
- Tech Talent Pool: Connecting tech talent with partners or employees
- Collaborative healthcare: sharing healthcare knowledge and experience with the world through UKeMED
- Human Grid: a project focusing on the groups of people that “weave” the social fabric of their cities
- Reload Greece: Building a new generation of young entrepreneurs to create ventures with a positive impact on their home countries
- Consult and Coach for a Cause: the initiative which helps entrepreneurs unlock their growth potential and maximize their positive impact on the community
- How to come up with a social invention for more than 285 million people: insights from Wayfindr’s Head of Communications
- How to come up with a social invention that employs disadvantaged workers: insights from QUID’s manager for institutional relations and partnerships
- How to come up with a social invention which includes the principles of Fair Trade: insights from co-founder of Cooperative BUNA
- How to enable more people to use entrepreneurship as a path for personal development, business and social impact: insights from Lincoln Island Initiatives’ founder
- How to use disruptive technology to enable more blind and visually impaired people to feel digital content: insights from Feelif’s founder
- How to create eco-friendly products that turn waste into high-quality and well-designed usable products: insights from the founders of Smetumet
- How to use online platform to help young people with recording knowledge, skills and competences developed through different activities: insights from a professional manager of Nefiks
- How to create eco-friendly accessories to solve environmental problems and encourage the idea of responsible shopping: insights from Upside Down’s founder
- How Radical Social Innovation can accelerate growth and development in Africa: Insights from Hopefield Network Founder
- Progressive Careers: creating opportunities to help people transition into the social impact sector
What skills do you need for social innovation?
What exactly are the skills needed for social innovation? To identify the skill set that can make someone a successful social innovator, we have conducted broad qualitative and quantitative research both among potential and already successful social innovators. As a result, we discovered 17 skills that, if mastered, can help you become successful in social innovation. Check out our social innovation skill cards page to learn what these skills are and more importantly, how to acquire them. Also, check out these related social innovation ‘how to’ pages to learn:
- how to develop your social innovation skills
- how to overcome your own mental barriers and habits
- how to train yourself and lead your team
Access the skillcards and related ‘how to’ blog posts here.GO TO SKILLS
Or go directly to your chosen skillcard:
- Ability to inspire others
- Storytelling in presenting ideas
- Granting rights and sharing responsibility with team members
- Understanding the needs and expectations of all team members
- Analytical approach in understanding needs, processes and challenges
- Careful listening to the needs and expectations
- Ability to combine ideas from different areas
- Ability to carry out tests and to draw conclusions
- Ability to prioritize
- Risk management on different stages of developing ideas
- Ability to approach the right people for reaching my goals
- Ability to team
- Careful observation of processes, clients, surrounding world
- Looking at the problem from different perspectives
- Thinking “outside the box”
- Staying goal oriented
- Resourcefulness in searching for solutions
- Strategic thinking
- Flexibility in adapting to changing conditions
Or to your preferred article with tips:
- Learn to observe the world: 8 tips for social innovators
- Look at the problem from different perspectives: 8 concrete suggestions of how to do that
- How to think strategically? 8 tips
- How to Turn Dreams into Action
- How to inspire others if you want to change the world
- 8 tips for learning to prioritise if you want to change the world
What’s happening in social innovation?
Social challenges are growing around the world. So is the response from social innovators. Discover the latest social innovation trends in different topics, sectors and parts of the world. By learning what’s out there you will be able to understand the big picture and develop better solutions yourself.
Check out our social innovation thought leadership and trends articles page to stay on top of the global developments in social innovation.
Access the trends here.GO TO TRENDS
Or go directly to your chosen article:
- 8 key social innovation concepts
- 8 cool examples of social innovation in North America
- Social innovation: just another hype?
- Social innovation in Europe: 8+1 remarkable Erasmus+ projects
- Social innovation in Europe: 8 inspiring projects funded by the EU’s research programme
- 8 social innovation initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean
- 8 social impact investing terms you should know
- Do not be afraid of profit: shared value for social and traditional business
- 8 amazing examples of how to address a grand social challenge
- 8 mind-blowing social innovation ideas
- 8 remarkable social innovation prototyping methods and tools
- Ability to Listen: A must for Social Innovators
- 8 amazing examples of how to keep your social innovation alive
- 8 social innovations that went viral
- 8 social innovations that created true systemic change
- Social innovation in Asia: 8 remarkable projects
- Social innovation in Africa: 8 remarkable projects
- Social innovation in Australia and New Zealand: 8 remarkable projects
How do our mentors answer your most burning questions?
Instead of asking a single social innovator several questions (like we do in our interviews), we bring many answers to one question at a time in this mentoring advice series.
It is a great learning route for you if you want to learn a variety of approaches and insights to your burning questions, such as
- how to come up with a social innovation idea?
- how to overcome your fear when starting out?
- how to finance your social innovation?
- how to attract public attention to the issue you want to tackle?
- how to make sure your approach will actually meet the users’ needs?
- how to scale?
- how to change the whole system?
Access the advice here.GO TO ANSWERS
Or go directly to your chosen mentor advice article:
- Get over your fears and move your project forward: 8 successful social innovators tell us how they did it
- Want to raise money for your social innovation? 8 inspiring social innovators tell you how
- How to scale your social innovation? 7 successful social innovators share their tips
- Aspiring social innovators: read this one piece of advice from 8 people who managed to make their social innovation dream come true
- How to start from scratch: 7 successful social innovators share their advice and tips
- How to attract public attention and engage your audience: 8 successful social innovators tell us how they did it
- Does your idea really fit the needs of its users? 8 social innovators share their experiences on meeting user needs in social innovation
- Making your social innovation truly matter: 8 successful social innovators tell us how to change systems and perceptions
- How to raise money for your social innovation: lessons learned from 8 social innovators
- How to change systems in social innovation? 8 inspiring social innovators share their stories
- How to start your social innovation: 8 successful social innovators share their advice and tips
- 8 inspiring social innovators share how to attract public attention and make others believe in your purpose and potential
- 8 successful social innovators share their core piece of advice on how to make your own social innovation idea happen
- Hope and imaginary solutions do not sell: 8 social innovators share their experiences on how to meet the actual user needs in social innovation
- 8 successful social innovators share their tips on how to scale your social innovation
- Overcome your fear: 8 successful social innovators tell us how they did it
- Get over your fears and move your project forward: 8 successful social innovators tell us how they did it
- Generating great social innovation ideas: 8 successful social innovators tell us how they came up with the idea for their initiative
- How to get inspired to start that passion project: 8 successful social innovators tell us how they did it
- Have ideas? Do you want people to join your team and cause? 8 successful social innovators tell us how to attract public attention
- A satisfied customer is the best business strategy at all
- Creative ways to raise money for your project: 8 inspiring social innovators share their ideas
- Finding a strategy to scale your social innovation: 8 successful social innovators tell us how they did it
- Change the system in the most positive ways: 8 successful social innovators share their ideas
Which social innovation concepts are good to know?
Social innovation is full of jargon, terminology that is used differently in social innovation field than elsewhere, or concepts that have only recently emerged. This may feel overwhelming at times.
Check out our social innovation glossary if you:
- want to check a concrete term
- want to quickly speed up your understanding of the social innovation jargon in general
- want to make sure you use some social innovation terms correctly, as defined by the most prominent experts in social innovation (versus just ‘google’).
Access the definitions here.GO TO GLOSSARY
Or go directly to your chosen glossary term:
- G: venture philanthropy
- G: network
- G: design
- G: participant
- G: design thinking
- G: beta
- G: randomised controlled trial
- G: innovation lab
- G: boundary object
- G: scaling
- G: method
- G: changemaker
- G: systemic innovation
- G: microfinancing
- G: collective impact
- G: socially responsible investing
- G: social entrepreneurship
- G: service
- G: system
- G: social impact bond
- G: shared value
- G: systems failure
- G: social impact
- G: social capital
- G: systems thinking
- G: social investment
- G: social design
- G: theory of change
- G: touchpoint
- G: triple bottom line
- G: stakeholder mapping
- G: Social impact assessment definition
- G: service innovation
STEP 3: EVALUATE WHAT YOU'VE LEARNED
Take our quiz!
STEP 4: APPLY WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED TO YOUR OWN INITIATIVE
PUT YOUR COMPETENCES INTO PRACTICE.
Download your copy of the Social Innovation Logbook and go innovate!