INFOGRAPHIC: What is Social Innovation?

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By Ellie Burke
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The term “social innovation” grew in search volume on Google year over year by 16.7 percent from June 2015 to 2016. To explore how people are using this term, we created an infographic to dissect its definition.

First, a Brief History Lesson

Before the term “social innovation” was first coined, the idea behind the phrase was born hundreds of years prior. Benjamin Franklin contributed to early discussions and hypotheses around social solutions.

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion about the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.

Defining Social Innovation

The word “innovation” typically conjures thoughts of science, technology, and progress. But, when paired with the word “social,” it takes on a human element. “Social innovation” becomes the betterment of our existence—progress not for the sake of prosperity, but for the sake of people.

Learn about the roots of the phrase, how it’s used today, and what it means to current social impact leaders in the infographic below.

social innovation definition infographic

What does the phrase “social innovation” mean to you? We’d love to hear in the comments below.


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