There is a growing consensus that to tackle the most pressing problems the world is facing, such as inequality and climate change, we need to use the unique resources, skill sets and power of multiple sectors.
At the 2018 Social Innovation Exchange Wayfinder, which Nesta CEO Geoff Mulgan and I will be attending, we will be building on a call to action from last year's event: 'how do we get truly multi-sector in social innovation, including engaging corporates and the private sector in the social innovation process and outcomes?'
To create true social change and to have long-lasting outcomes we need to think systematically and take a multi-pronged approach to developing the social innovation sector and practice by:
But without the private sector as part of this story it is difficult to achieve the reach, scale and long-term change required. They are (often) the employers, the funders, the sellers and the consumers. Some corporations have power and influence that can rival governments, and the new wave of activist CEOs are reshaping the public dialogue around these serious problems.
For too long, private sector organisations have been seen as potential funders by social innovators and not as social innovators themselves. The private sector has also viewed the social innovation sector as something to support in a paternal way and not a sector that could support new, profitable and sustainable business opportunities. This paradigm has been challenged by the shared value movement and by some enlightened businesses who are trying to change corporate social responsibility into something more than compliance and PR.
At Nesta we are working with some large private sector organisations to engage in social innovation through the Inclusive Economy Partnership, as well as through other programmes in development.
We are also working to develop methods that best engage cross-sector groups to do the following:
Watch this space for more information about this agenda. If you are an enlightened business wanting to change the world for the better, please get in touch with any thoughts or ideas about this work: [email protected]