Many things have been picking up the ‘social’ modifier lately. Here are some of the ones I’m encountering and what I think they mean.
First, the modifier ‘social’
- modifies the following word to the focus of serving a social (and/or environmental) benefit
- technology employed for social benefit (most commonly digital
- concerned generally with societal change and how it happens
- innovations and the process of innovating solutions that deliver or enable social change
- a venture with purpose primarily concerned with delivering social benefit
- concerned with developing and supporting entrepreneurs focused on social change (and primarily social ventures)
Clearly, each of these words describe fields with much activity and research into how they work. Adding the modifier, at best prompts the question of how, when modified, is it different. In my perspective it’s the realization that things aren’t linear – and in fact are ‘chaotic’ – which then calls on the research of systems science and it’s theories on complexity and systems. And it also seems to be best done in an ‘open’ way – or maybe better put – those that are in the depths of doing this stuff tend to do ‘open’… which of course… is another story.