About Social Innovation

What is Social Innovation?

A simple definition of social innovation is "new ideas that work in meeting societal goals". Social innovations have the power to transform our approaches to long-standing problems, and dramatically change not only what we do, but how we do it. What makes these innovations social is the fact that they are motivated by the end goal of meeting a social need. 

Social innovation is an initiative, product, process or program that profoundly changes the basic routines, resource and authority flows or beliefs of any social system. Successful social innovations have durability and broad impact.”       - Frances Westley

The Need for Social Innovation

Organizations whose primary purpose is addressing social issues, such as non-profits, are faced with problems that are large, complex and difficult to solve. They also often lack the resources to do everything they want to do, as quickly and effectively as they would like. While Canadian non-profits are doing great work and improving the lives of many people, there is still a long way to go. Social innovation is needed to address these challenges.

Social innovation in not-for-profit organizations can take on many forms. It can mean:

The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation offers support to organizations who are looking to consolidate or scale their own innovative approaches through the Social Innovation Fund.

In all cases, real social innovation enhances impact. By spreading social innovation, we have the potential to scale that impact dramatically.

Practical Tools for Social Innovation

Innoweave recognizes that many organizations do not have the resources or the time to incorporate new innovations that could increase their impact. By focusing on spreading practical tools for social innovation across the not-for-profit sector, Innoweave has the end-goal of both improving outcomes and increasing organizations' capacity for innovation.

New Approaches and Innoweave

Innoweave works with community organizations to help them access social innovation tools to enhance their impact.