“A novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals.” – Phills et al., 2008
What does Social Innovation mean to you?
The first time I encountered, more so, stumbled upon the term social innovation was when I took an Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) gateway class called Social Innovation back in Fall 2019. Then, not only did I get introduced to a whole new world where Innovation and social impact intersect, I learned how Duke as an institution works to educate, research, and translate social Innovation and entrepreneurship under the Duke I&E. The I&E course was an illuminating experience (and still is) to witness how Duke leverages its strengths and resources to become a world leader in the design, development, deployment, and scaling of social Innovation.
I’d like to acknowledge how that course mentioned above was one of my favorites at Duke. Not to mention, without which, I would not be doing the Duke Engage internship today, but also because it challenged us and made us constantly ask, “Why am I doing this?” as an ethical entrepreneurial action. UNICEF defines Innovation as doing something new or different that adds value.
What interests me from this definition is the collective aspect and the social element of this concept. All in all, this is a big question for me that I am still figuring out to answer.