Social innovations have become more prominent today because of ongoing research, sustainability practices, open source technology and design. There is growing interest with the public policy makers and they are now supporting social innovations. There is new thinking about innovation in public services and governments and the need of a deep social change. Innovative ideas and solutions are being listened to and supported in a bid to create social change with innovation. Social innovations are being used worldwide and social enterprises are sprouting. People are beginning to realize the importance of social and responsible investment and innovative design to solve major problems.
In West Michigan, the most visible example of this social innovation is at Cascade Engineering. Fred Keller, speaking at the TEDx Grand Rapids conference at the Civic Theatre in, told the crowd “business has the opportunity to change the world for the better.” Cascade Engineering is a nationally recognized proponent of sustainable business practices that emphasize the key role business can play in building financial, social and environmental capital. They have a very important economic and social impact on our regional economy.
There is a growing interest in social entrepreneurship and businesses are focusing more on innovation in their services. There are new methods of innovation being inspired by the open source field and collaborative approaches are becoming more popular.
Social innovations are exploding all over the globe with new inventions and non-profit organizations being created for change. These social enterprises are the wave of the future, our future on this planet. New ventures are sprouting up and innovations are enhancing the capacity of the society to act.
You can be a part of this innovation and create sustainable changes that will impact the future of our planet in a positive way. Change is imminent and the rise of social innovation is something we should all be a part of in the future. Create opportunities that allow for-benefit economic development, remove the barriers faced by these enterprises, and create a supportive ecosystem for them in your region.
Authored by Kara Wood, Economic Development Director, City of Grand Rapids
Wood serves as a Secretary on the Michigan Economic Developers Association Board of Directors.