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Why Social Innovation Matters

By Laura Bunt

What has been particularly striking as we’ve drawn together this work has been the sheer breadth of the social innovation field. Not only does social innovation happen across different parts of the economy, but people are using these various methods to tackle very different issues – ranging in size and scope, origin and application. Indeed, the most creative interventions are often those that cross the traditional boundaries between sectors and disciplines: working with designers to reform a prison; resolving conflict with tricks of the theatre trade; approaching architecture with new insights from neuroscience.

And it is exactly this kind of intervention that is critical in addressing some of today’s complex, entrenched social and economic challenges. Preventing rising trends in obesity, responding to shifting demographics and reducing carbon demand new methods, systems and processes that better reflect human motivations and coordinate action across different areas. At NESTA, we are convinced that social innovation needs to play a vital role in responding to these increasingly urgent issues and hope this website helps to deepen understanding of its methods.