We are already talking about this for some time and the COVID emergency has given the last push necessary to make a need evident: it is time to leave the economy of profit, to enter the economy of Social Innovation & Cultural Growth Yes, profit must be pursued, but through new models where (healthy) human development shall aim at cultural growth and social innovation.
Social innovation is an innovation that focuses on the individual and the improvement of their living, working, social and environmental conditions.
This is an economy which does not aim at creating new needs but to solve problems that have not yet been solved, or to find better solutions than those implemented so far.
It is an economy that shall not create new products to sell and consume quickly, but focus on services.
All this through new models designed with innovative social schemes in mind which are not simply focusing on the goal, but above all how to achieve it.
People must become central, strategic, protagonists. Not only those who receive a service or product but also the individual who produces that product or service.
A friendly work environment where enthusiasm, creativity and talent of each individual shall be released and the flexibility shall become the status quo.
An example of this approach to economics and productivity are, for example, Design Thinking, ATE (accelerated talent experience) or the Circle. Approaches that, specifically focus on creative solutions, on solving a problem by observing it from an unusual point of view, thus developing lateral thinking, but above all by circulating and sharing knowledge and talent of people through the creativity.
An aspect also recognized by Murray, Caulier Grice and Mulgan in their “White Paper on social innovation“, where they write:
“We define social innovations as new ideas (products, services and models) which satisfy social needs (more effectively than existing alternatives) and which at the same time create new relationships and new collaborations. In other words, innovations that are good for society and that increase the possibilities for action for society itself.“
As we know, the state is responsible for responding to the needs and demands of citizens, but if it is not the case, each individual has the moral responsibility to fill this gap.
In fact, individuals can be the engines of the useful economy, of the useful development, which can find its maximum expression in various sectors, including health care, social assistance, social integration and training.
A reality capable of “revolutionizing” the market through a paradigm change.
Company such as the Japanese multinational Hitachi focused on its Social Innovation Business, which combines information technology (IT), operational technology (OT) and products.
Siropack, a high-tech company from Cesenatico, Italy, that has made employee well-being and attention to the environment its business philosophy
Or the nascent Piedmontese, from Torino, startup xScoreInsight, which supports business organizations to improve the information potential of data, promoting new models of cultural growth and social innovation, using big data and artificial intelligence. A disruptive startup that we will hear a lot about
These are some of the examples where through new technologies and embracing disruptive changes, different types of organizations have the opportunity to optimize the use of resources, including the human resource, by having an effective impact on the society.
Photo by: Tim Marshall