Blending faith and social innovation requires a new way of thinking. We can think of new capital and we can think of new ways to do church. Faith communities worldwide are embracing new ways of solving neighborhood needs, offering third spaces for urban and rural dwellers, and sustaining community activities in financially hard times.
And this isn't a new phenomenon, it just has a new name. For example, John Wesley's theology of social ministry inspired the Guinness Brewery family to transcend the sacred and the profane in the 18th century.
Social Innovations are new social practices that aim to meet social needs in a more efficient, collaborative or just way than the existing solutions. The result? Improved working conditions, employment to those who have barriers to getting a job, education, up-cycled waste, community development and health. These ideas are created with the goal of strengthening community and sustaining quality of life across all stakeholder groups.
“Social innovation is not the prerogative or privilege of any organizational form
or legal structure. Solutions often require the active collaboration of constituents
across government, business, and the nonprofit world.”
—Soule, Malhotra, Clavier
Social innovation is driven by key principles:
Exchange of ideas, solutions & values
Shifts in roles and relationships & power
Integration of private, public & philanthropic capital
Examples of Social Innovation include:
Peace & Justice Education Programs
Fair Trade Products & Supply Chains
Neighborhood Housing or Job Creation projects
Connecting Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship results in new approaches to societal inequities and environmental challenges and responding to the needs of neighbor in creative and sustainable ways.
Social Innovation courses will equip you with models, tools and action-oriented projects to bring a social innovation lens & approach to your ministry and community.