2014 Social Innovation Report
This report examines how social innovation can be harnessed to benefit the Northern Ireland economy as well as its expected goal of social impact.
It aims to provide a practical and theoretically grounded guide for the growing number of individuals and organizations in Northern Ireland who are trying to understand what social innovation is and its importance across all sectors of the economy; the private, social enterprise, non profit and informal sectors.
The report draws on a growing body of global research from respected academics, innovators, policy makers, funders, social innovation enablers and practitioners, and distils the key information into recommendations, actions and opportunities to be implemented over the short to long term which will have a positive effect on the economy and social impact in Northern Ireland.
The importance of social innovation
Over the last few years there has been a growing curiosity and focused interest on social innovation.
Like most countries, the United Kingdom has a range of seemingly intractable issues that the national government and regional devolved administrations are struggling to find solutions to. Examples of these issues are social exclusion, youth unemployment, ageing population and chronic long-term illness as well as Northern Ireland specific social issues associated with a post-conflict environment.
Today there are signs that social innovation is becoming even more important for economic growth, so it is essential that Northern Ireland is ready to take advantage of future opportunities as they arise.
This rise in importance is due partly because some of the barriers to lasting growth (such as climate change and ageing populations) can only be overcome with the help of social innovation and partly because of rising demands for types of economic growth that enhance rather than damage human relationships and well being.
The key growth sectors of the 21st century economy look set to be health, education and care, accounting between them for around 20-30% of GDP, and more in some countries.
- A model for strategic management for social innovation
- How shared value creation focuses on identifying and expanding the connections between societal and economic progress
- A definition of social innovation
- The main goals for social enterprises
- The length of time social enterprises have operated for
- Innovation strategy linkages
- How social impact bonds work
Aims of the report
Extensive field and desktop research was undertaken and two key recommendations were proposed. We believe that the responsibility for implementation of the first key recommendation lies with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and the second key recommendation will require support from all government departments in partnership with key stakeholder organisations, but it should be led by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.
This definition will raise awareness across government departments and embed social innovation in future programmes for government.
|Opportunity||Timescale||Suggested Key Stakeholder|
|Social innovation report referenced in the NI Executive innovation strategy||Immediate: 1-2 months||DETI|
|Additional research undertaken to identify and benchmark key social innovators across Ireland||Immediate: 1-2 months||DETI, Castlereagh Borough Council|
|Formation of Cross-Sectoral Working Group to identify pipeline of opportunities by March 2015 (including ongoing engagement with UK based social innovation experts)||Short: 12 months||Government Departments, InvestNI, Social Enterprise NI,
NICVA, Building Change Trust & Private Sector
|Establishment of social innovation accelerator in Belfast||Short: 12 months||Cross Sectoral Working Group, Young Foundation|
|Establishment of social innovation accelerator in the North West (L’Derry)||Short: 12 months||Trinity College Dublin, Young Foundation
& local innovators
|Establishment of collaborative network focussing on digital social innovation||Short: 6-12 months||Invest NI (Collaborative networks team), partner organisations|
|Agreement to scope out research for social impact measurement study through Horizon 2020 funding||Short: 6-12 months||Social Innovation H2020 Partnership|
|Feasibility study on effectiveness of social innovation vouchers and consultation with social innovation experts||Short: 6-12 months||InvestNI, Young Foundation, SI Camp, NESTA|
|Feasibility study for the establishment of a social innovation hub in Belfast (to cover Northern Ireland)||Short: 6-12 months||Cross Sectoral Working Group, Young Foundation, Nesta, Bethnal Green Ventures, Hub Impact Network|
|Private Sector engagement through BITCNI proposal for Social Innovation Leadership Opportunities Programme (SiLos)||Short: 6-12 months||BITCNI & Private Sector partners|
|Evaluation of SE Hubs outputs – benchmarked against key social innovation sub-fields||Medium: 24-36 months||DSD, DETI, InvestNI|
|Development of seed funding strategy for social innovation including prize and challenge funds||Medium: 24-36 months||InvestNI, Social Enterprise NI, Building Change Trust|
|Integration of social innovation into NI university and college curricula||Medium: 24-36 months||DEL, QUB, UU & FE Colleges|