Breaking the Binary
Breaking the Binary: Policy Guide to Scaling Social Innovation is intended to add a perspective to the global conversation already under way about how we move beyond binary choices in crafting responses to social, economic, and environmental challenges. Fundamentally, it is about leveraging private enterprise and capital for public benefit. We refer to this as social innovation.
So what role can and should government play to catalyse social innovation? The first section of this report attempts to answer that question, articulating a framework for credible, realistic policy action that governments can take to turn social entrepreneurship into a major force for innovation. Recognizing that a “one size fits all” approach does not work for countries and regions in different stages of development, with vastly different social problems, the framework does not aim to be prescriptive. In other words, the six broad steps are analogous to the “pieces of the puzzle” necessary for social innovation to flourish, while the case examples under each one are akin to a “menu of enabling tools” that policy-makers can choose from and adapt as their circumstances dictate.
The second section of the Policy Guide profiles leading social enterprises in the Schwab Foundation network working in specific domains: education, health, employment, urban development and rural development. In profiling proven social innovation models, our aim is to showcase the realities of social enterprises, bring the abstract concepts of “social entrepreneurship” and “social innovation” to life, and inspire the next generation of social entrepreneurs to build off of these models and apply them to different problems or cultural contexts.