Published on March 14, 2014
How Can We Scale Land Based Social Enterprise? Learning Lessons from Social Innovation
Today’s workshop • About the research • Case study overviews – relevance to land based social enterprise • Break • Concepts and tools – putting it into practice
The Research: Why, Who, How? • Managing environmental assets: the need for innovation • Risks and difficulties in scaling social movements • Our approach: critically examine the development trajectory of other community led social innovations • Methodology: desk research, case studies, interviews with the final five sectors • Outputs: informing the innovation debate- blog posts, workshop, audience summaries, final report and….
Innovation is…. the process by which an idea that is new to an organisation gives rise to a new set of activities the process that starts with the emergence of an idea that is developed into a new set of organizational activities, technologies, products, or service a process not an outcome, it can have positive and negative spin offs a pathology that can hinder the development of a social organisation
Social innovation is… a new idea that meets unmet needs good ideas that, when applied, work to generate social value and drive changes in established culture, behaviours or organisational systems a complex process that profoundly changes the basic routines, resource and authority flows, or beliefs of the social system in which it occurs
… about system change Social entrepreneurship: how an individual operates Social enterprise: how an organisation operates Social innovation: how a system operates
Scaling Scaling is: • extending the value of the investments made • doing more of A or doing A better to generate more of B • “expanding impact” not “becoming large” Scaling can happen by: • Organisational / sectoral growth • Directed diffusion • Takeover or emulation • Diffusion
HIV/AIDs Community-Led Health Services History: • Epidemic - fear, ignorance, isolation, stigma, & outrage Form: • Community groups and charities providing services, campaigning Development: • Statutory funding, changing patient demography and new activities • Mergers between NGOs, government partnerships and competition Getty Images
HIV/AIDs Community Led Health Services Themes: • The freedom to innovate, experiment and to criticise systems • A trade-off between service provision and campaigns, professionalism and volunteers, community involvement • Distortions caused by large amounts of central funding and changes in policy focus and priority • Tensions between the need for national plans and local knowledge
Development Trusts History • 1970s formal origin, surge since 2000s from public bodies Form • Communities focused on an asset, diverse spectrum of uses and arrangements, shifting mix of income Development • Growing push from government and local authorities
Development Trusts Themes: • Replication allowing diversity to be maintained, each meeting local needs • Strongly focused on localities so need to balance scaling and innovation • As public bodies ‘push’ for asset transfer, but with reduced support - trusts (and others) may take on too much, acquire liabilities • Does taking on ownership of assets help or hinder the delivery of an organisation’s social value?
Community Recycling History • Excess waste from throwaway products, decline in municipal recycling collection Form • Collection groups with grants, job creation income and sale of materials Development • Easy availability of money and legislative change • Bidding for local authority contracts, competing with private sector who appropriated their innovation and shut them out, social value lost Plastics and the lorax
Community Recycling Themes: • Move from community pull to government and funding pull • Importance of financing, leadership and administration • Scaling vs. continuous innovation / diversification • Impact vs. value - what is lost when an innovation mainstreams in this way?
The Land Management Sector Supply side • Large numbers of small groups • Often informal • Range of forms and motivations • Traditional “friends of groups” • Organised, values-driven groups • People meeting their own needs • Unorthodox groups Demand side • An openness to new approaches from (some) public landowners • Linked to austerity and budget cuts • Localism agenda is helping provide legitimacy & a framework - but no funding • Enthusiasm from (some) individuals within landowning organisations • Barriers to implementing new practices
DISCUSSION • What resonates? • What is relevant for the land-based sector? • What is different with land?
Local Food Growing History • Food scares, health and localism concerns Form • Diverse groups with sales, volunteers and external funds Development • Big Lottery and government pushing with programmes • Network of local providers / producers must be rebuilt - possibility of ‘local food hubs’ Local food network
Local Food Growing Themes • Striking a balance between being ‘good’ and being a business • Scaling means networks – an ecology of producers, processers, retailers • Practitioners feel the need for policy changes e.g. planning, investment and definitions to help – what does ‘local food’ mean?
Community Energy History • Rising energy costs, energy security, environmental concerns Form • Renewable energy generation (of different forms) and energy efficiency • Partly or wholly owned by the local community, majority at least partially grant funded Development • Sector growing with some policy push, government programmes, feed in tariffs, and strategies, though infrastructure needed badly. Click Green
Community Energy Themes • The need for external input - finance, infrastructure, policy • Financial concerns seen as a ‘trojan horse’ to produce social value • Practitioners fearful of appropriation/abuse by private sector
How Can We Scale Land Based Social Enterprise? Learning Lessons from Social Innovation
Key Concepts and Tools • Push vs pull • Types of scaling vs transferability of knowledge • Scaling vs innovation • Social impact vs social value • Niche vs mainstream
Pull vs push • Demand side “pull” Recognition of needs that are not being adequately met, by social entrepreneurs and campaigners, who then seek to address these needs • Supply side “push” Social entrepreneurs and campaigners are encouraged by funders and policy-makers to meet needs through a particular innovation
Scaling vs replicability Controlled Uncontrolled Low replicability High replicability Organisational growth Directed diffusion Takeover or emulation Diffusion HIV Recycling Asset transfer Energy Food
Scaling vs innovation • scaling successful past innovations may make future innovations less productive • scaling of a single service mitigates against trying new approaches, leading to scale rather than radical innovation • ongoing cycles of innovation may make scaling less productive • pushing innovation at the expense of strengthening more routine activities may actually destroy rather than create value
Social impact vs social value Social impact: the value created for beneficiaries, society, and the world - value that cannot be reduced to economic wealth for owners or consumption benefits for customers • Social value = the how e.g. creating training and employment opportunities or building social capital • Social impact = the what e.g. normalising recycling or changing the face of palliative care
Niche vs mainstream “If the private sector comes into a niche market, open up and let the service get mainstreamed – move on, create new products and services, and conquer new markets” - Liam Black
Discussion 1. What resonates for you / your organisation? 2. What feels useful about these concepts? 3. What feels difficult about these concepts? 4. How / when might you use them? 5. What would help you in using them in your own context? e.g. toolkit / checklist / video / animation etc
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