Uncharted Territory: Can Social Innovation Revitalize Literacy and Essential Skills Programs? (2013)

This paper serves as a primer on social innovation. The authors note that while the concept of social innovation has recently emerged as an approach to address intractable social problems, there is still limited understanding of precisely what the concept means in practice. However, while there is no common definition of social innovation, it does assume a desire to do things differently, with better results.

The paper looks at the distinctions between such forms of social innovation as social entrepreneurship, social intrapreneurship, social enterprise, and various types of social finance such as social impact bonds.

For example, intrapreneurs are similar to entrepreneurs, but work within established institutions, where intrapreneurship is defined by organizational practices and management styles that integrate risk-taking, innovative approaches, and the reward and motivational techniques more traditionally associated with entrepreneurship.

The authors pose some questions about if and how social innovation could be used to improve Literacy and Essential Skills (LES) service delivery and programming. Areas to consider include determining the LES problem for which a particular social innovation is the solution; determining what evidence suggests that a particular social innovation is the right approach; and finding ways to determine whether the approach was the right one.

This document was prepared as a background paper for The Centre for Literacy’s Fall 2012 Institute, held in Saint John, New Brunswick. The centre supports best practices and informed policy development in literacy and essential skills by building links between research, policy, and practice.

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2013-06-18
APA citation
John MacLaughlin and Ron Samson. Uncharted Territory: Can Social Innovation Revitalize Literacy and Essential Skills Programs? 2013. Web. 28 Feb. 2021 <http://en.copian.ca/library/research/cfl/uncharted_territory/uncharted_territory.pdf>
John MacLaughlin & Ron Samson (2013). Uncharted Territory: Can Social Innovation Revitalize Literacy and Essential Skills Programs?. Retrieved February 28, 2021, from http://en.copian.ca/library/research/cfl/uncharted_territory/uncharted_territory.pdf
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