New Report: Building Capacity for Innovation in the Social Sector
Social inequities such as poverty and homelessness are intersectional and complex; they are persistent, wicked and their solutions are elusive. Building capacity for innovation in the social sector, i.e., encouraging the adoption of practices and processes designed for radical solutions to social problems, is an increasingly widespread strategy.
Because innovation and change in the social sector are driven by knowledge processes, universities as anchor institutions would seem to have a natural role to play in the social impact ecosystem. Campus-community knowledge collaborations and innovation partnerships can be a vector of impact and, if the conditions are right, academic engagement can increase capacity in the social impact ecosystem.
We wanted to better understand the needs of social sector organizations (SSO) in relation to their capacity, interests and experience with innovation and, along the way, assess how these needs had been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team collected input through a survey from 180 social service organizations across Canada and analyzed responses for trends, themes, and sentiments.