WICI Seminar: February 10, 2009
Waterloo Institute for Complexity & Innovation
University of Waterloo
Social Innovation and Resilience: A Complexity Approach to Change and Transformation - Presentation Slides (.pdf) - sig.uwaterloo.ca/_bak/documents/WICI.pdf
Social innovation is an initiative, product or 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. Achieving durability and scale is a dynamic process that requires both emergence of opportunity and deliberate agency, and a connection between the two. Frances Westley will discuss how disruptive social innovations can address seemingly intractable social problems such as environmental degradation, poverty, and mental health and how the capacity of a society to create a steady flow of social innovations, can contribute to its overall social and ecological resilience.
Frances Westley joined University of Waterloo in 2007 as the J.W. McConnell Chair in Social Innovation. In this role she will head up a Canada wide initiative, Social Innovation Generation, a cross sectoral partnership to build capacity for social innovation in Canada. Dr. Westley is a renowned scholar and consultant in the areas of social innovation, strategies for sustainable development, middle management and strategic change, visionary leadership and inter-organizational collaboration. Her most recent book, Getting to Maybe focuses the dynamics of social innovation, and institutional entrepreneurship in complex adaptive systems. A previous book, Experiments in Consilience, focuses on the dynamics of inter-organizational and interdisciplinary collaboration in the management of ecological and conservation problems.