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Teaching Social Innovation

Unemployed Youth (Closing the Loop) 1. Course -1998 (25 students, ecosystem mapping) 2. Pilot - 1999 3. Campaign for Segregation - 1999 4. Company 5. CRP Service: a. 30 workers b. 5 years c. 2 tonnes per day

My provocation is -

"Social Innovation for a less-stuff-heavy-world" I will present social innovation as the polar opposite of technical innovation - where the designer as agent aims to change the world by organising people into an activity ecosystem. Technical innovation focuses on behaviour change by inserting technological and/or material artefacts that enable, nay constrain, people to do things differently. The studio in social innovation may look at a social problem such as "alcohol fuelled violence in small town Australia" or at enabling cultural vehicles such as "guerilla retail" where designer-makers engage with their customers in high energy obscure and poky locations. Often these studios are set up to challenge and provoke students, who in turn are challenged to provoke and massage groups of people/ communities into sustainable enterprises that steer clear of the mainstream market economy. Run in collaboration with College of Business, the social innovation solution gets taken further forward from the scenarios on posters to action planning in the form of Business Plans. Collectively the focus of the Social Innovation Studio is on a world where this is less 'stuff' - and where needs and wants are met through social and communal - coops, communes, collectives, organisms and crucially, the construction of vehicles for individual activism.

Social Innovation - a buzz word in contemporary design practices the world over refers to a kind of design practice that works with people to involve them in the process of arriving at solutions. These solutions can be both products and services and are as often a combination of the two - and may focus upon issues of sustainability. The tutorial will expose students to research and studies of social innovation projects and engage in a discussion about the methods of the innovators. The tutorial will propose new and sustainable ways of tacking the challenges of the future. This tutorial aims to give design students an activist role in transforming lives (first by transforming their own life for a month) and then through a process of doing local case studies develop an understanding of how social innovators and social entrepreneurs go about solving problems in a collaborative fashion. The tutorial in the end challenges the student to develop an understanding of social innovation though a process of acting out entrepreneurship. Each student will do three things in this course: • Go onto a 100-mile diet for a month • Research a specific case study of Social Innovation in Melbourne & • Develop a social innovation venture. The Business Plan of the venture will be tutored by a Professor from RMIT Business. This tutorial is ideal for students interested in sustainability, innovation, entrepreneurship and developing business plans.

Reading 1 8-Aug-2008


Reading 2 15-Aug-2008

4 5

Reading 3

Studio, discussion, 1.303.30 Workshop - listing areas of need (food, transport, services, community) Students pin up case studies - Discussion of Case studies

Reading 4 5-Sep-2008 Reading 5 12-Sep-2008


EMUDE and other writings, student talks from Term Paper Reading 6

19-Sep-2008 8 9 10 11 12

Presentation of Business Plans, GSB building 300 introduction? Reading 7

26-Sep-2008 3-Oct-2008 7-Oct-2008 14-Oct-2008 21-Oct-2008 28-Oct-2008


Morning Session, 9.30 3 to 12.30, OPT!

Assignment - Pin up Submission of Venture abstract - Development of Reiew Venture WORKSHOP Introduction to Venture: DiaLife Elements of a business Case study (SV) Plan,

22-Aug-2008 29-Aug-2008



GSB Consultation Appointment, Building 300, PS, SB GSB Consultation Appointment, Building 300, PS, SB GSB Consultation Appointment, Building 300, PS, SB Presentation: Business Plans, reflection, Party Open Consultation Submissions

Develop a social innovation Business


PROVO - Warm Up Talk/ briefing, 12.30 to 1.30 Design in Introduction/ Briefing : Context Introduction to Lib Subject Guide, Handouts Quick SI problem Introduction to Venture: CRP solving

Amplifying Social Innovation

Dates Reading/ writing 25-Jul-2008 Readings from 1 Blog 1-Aug-2008

Become a Locavore for a month


Assignment - Pin up Reiew Term Paper Returned with Comments, Individual tutes

Action Planning Workshop - Development of Business Plans

Become a Locavore for a month: Document life as a Locavore (keep a journal and photo document), and participate in a focus group discussion for the Locavore Project. (4 week project, July-Aug) Amplifying Social Innovation: Research and Document one Social Innovation Project in Melbourne. Disseminate the Case study thru the internet ( you tube and Blog) (4 week project, August) Develop a social innovation Business: Define the business and demonstrate its viability thru a business plan.(Sept tutes, GSB SUPPORT!)

Summer of Social Change

Project Albury Alcohol Fuelled Violence

Urban Food Sharing the commons, Negotiating the private

I believe that the removal of food production out of our day to day lives has disconnected us to our earth, others and ourselves. We no longer know what is in season, when a bumper crop has been enjoyed, how hard it is to grow a particular fruit or how many varieties there are available. By removing ourselves from the production of the most basic of all needs, food, we have quickly become socially, economically, environmentally and psychologically exposed to centralised and incorporated food systems. -Juleitte, 2011

MA - Social Innovaton Ambedkar University Delhi

Social Innovation

2 Year Masters Course in Social Innovation Key Concepts: Design for need, design for development, social innovation, social design,

Rationale and scope Social innovation refers to new strategies that meet social needs — including projects that have a social purpose like microfinance or distance learning — and that extend and strengthen civil society. The concept can also be related to social entrepreneurship, which recognises a social problem and creates, organises and manages a venture to make social change. Whereas a business entrepreneurship typically measures performance in terms of returns and profits, social entrepreneurship assesses success in terms of the impact on society. It is these two perspectives that offer up the potential to focus design attention upon the BoP and provide an alternative to its material focus. As far as social innovation is concerned, India extends huge opportunities with its 1.1 billion population of which about 70% resides in rural areas. Of late, the priority sector has witnessed a lot of interest in India and many national and international organisations have driven into innovation in the fields of green energy, sanitation, water harvesting etc. India has also witnessed significant scientific and technical growth over the last two decades, capabilities which social innovation can easily harness. Even amidst the recent financial slowdown, India is slated to grow at 6.5% even as some developed economies have plunged into recession. Social innovation opportunities could come from the corporate sector as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility programmes. Other opportunities lie with NGOs both domestic and international. Students could also take up entrepreneurship as a new career option. Porter’s five force analysis suggests that Post Graduate Diploma courses could be a very attractive industry to be in. Ambedkar University will have a firstmover advantage as no other institute in India offers a similar one-year program. This is a corporate social opportunity for Indian industry and the design community. We have here the foundation of a cooperative movement that could conceivably create health, wealth and the freedom to choose. Not just for a fortunate few, but for the vast majority across our nation. There are already numerous social entrepreneurial initiatives that are based on innovative business models that create wealth and opportunity even for the poorest. Design studios already work with disparate segments assisting in augmenting the quality of their user’s lives, but this opportunity is for more than just the design industry. I fundamentally construct Social Innovation in Opposition to Technical Innovation. This is an instrument that defines Design – especially Industrial Design as being focussed upon the technical, and also in being aligned to the producer interest. The theory of design however is rich


in the people side thinking methods and has a rich tradition of focussing upon the needs of the users, consumers and lay people. Still the primary location of design has been within the territory of the manufacturer, producer or other agency for profit. In recent years the social has become amplified and there is a lot of work that has been done in the sphere of the social and community from a professional perspective. The Ashoka foundation and the Grameen bank are two examples often cited in the descriptions of social innovation. The thesis of social innovation is also presumed to be advocated by the CKP is his construction of the territory of the BOP. These are perspectives of transforming traditional management practice to be more in tune with the very poor and previously ignored. Social Innovators are people who come not necessarily from any particular professional leaning, but from a strong feeling and desire to do something to transform civil society. The course aims to provide a pathway with professional capabilities for graduates keen to work in the area of the social.

Placement Graduates of this programme would find placement in development organisations, government bodies, international agencies, civil society initiatives, corporate firms, teaching and research institutes and the media. Their special skills would be useful in the areas of NGO management, human rights, environmental protection, international governance and social sector services.


Course plan

Credits Semester 1 Project

24 Health

Semester 2

Semester 3

Semester 4



Thesis Project


6 Participatory Design

Sustainable Societies


Collaboration 6 Digital Technologies/ interaction design Technologies


6 Campaign Management/ Project Mgt


Social Science

6 Social Work/ Community Action

NGO sector in India

Course Structure Semester 1 Project I: Innovation in the Health Sector Participatory Design I: Case Studies Interaction Design I Project Management I: Managing community based projects Social Science I: Social Work



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