Book launch: “Innovation and Scaling for Impact. How effective social enterprises do it” by Christian Seelos and Johanna Mair

Johanna Mair & Christian Seelos

During our first international SEFORÏS Conference in Birmingham, Prof. Johanna Mair, Professor of Organization, Strategy and Leadership at the Hertie School of Governance, Academic Editor of the Stanford Social Innovation Review and Scholar at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society gave a keynote on innovation processes,  scaling capacity and social impact of social enterprises.

The insights of over 10 years of research are now gathered in the new book “Innovation and Scaling for Impact. How effective social enterprises do it”, published by Stanford University Press and co-authored with Christian Seelos, Adjunct Professor at the Hertie School of Governance and a Visiting Scholar at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.

The book draws on four in-depth case studies of social sector organizations that represent innovation archetypes. Issues such as learning processes in organizations, innovation pathologies and the relationship between achieving social impact, innovating and scaling are furthermore all highlighted and thoroughly discussed in the book.

A copy of the book can also be ordered online.

A more detailed overview of the book can be found here.

SEFORÏS research discussed at the Stanford PACS Junior Scholars Forum hosted by the Hertie School of Governance

The Stanford Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society held its 3rd annual Junior Scholars Forum at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin between June 15th – 17th, 2016. SEFORÏS research was well represented. Alexandra Ioan presented her research on patterns of interaction between social enterprises, resource providers and established social welfare organizations in Germany. Miriam Wolf acted as a discussant of a paper unpacking the role of transparency in philanthropic organizations.

As Johanna Mair, convener of the forum jointly with Walter W. Powell, Rob Reich and Paul Brest and member of the SEFORÏS academic board explains, the Junior Scholars Forum is the most powerful tool to disseminate, test and refine emerging insights from our research on social enterprises in 7 European countries, China and Russia. The issues of governance, financing, impact, innovation and institutional context that are core to the research undertakings in SEFORÏS were highlighted throughout the discussions.

The Stanford PACS Junior Scholars Forum brings together young researchers working on civil society, philanthropy, social entrepreneurship with the aim of creating an intellectual community around these issues. The intense exchange between junior and senior scholars during the Forum contributes to the development of high-quality research in this domain. By building an interdisciplinary research community, Stanford PACS is supporting the next generation of dedicated scholars in this field.

This year`s Forum hosted 11 junior scholars from 10 different nationalities working in 8 different countries. They conduct work on topics such as transparency, the sharing economy, collaborations between civil society organizations and private companies, social impact measurement and social entrepreneurship.  

Professor Johanna Mair talking Social Innovation with Angela Merkel

Prof. Johanna Mair from the Hertie School of Governance in Germany was invited to the Chancelllery of the Federal republic of Germany together with a number of other high-level international experts in order to discuss social innovation and social entrepreneurship in Germany, during the 2nd International German Forum.

The International German Forum was created by the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, as a new forum for interdisciplinary exchange on internationally relevant, future-related issues. It offers a platform for politics, business, science and civil society experts to discuss ways of shaping economic, ecological, social and political transformation processes and elaborate concrete plans of action.

"What matters to people – innovation and society"

The key issues discussed during the two-hour meeting with the Chancellor Angela Merkel ranged from how social enterprises can contribute to individual and collective well-being to how they are organized and how their innovative potential can be unleashed at a broader scale.

Merkel emphasized that particularly developed industrial nations like Germany face challenges to remain innovative because they rely on a long history of well-solved problems. This, she suggests, leads to a tendency to continue solving problems in the way they have always been solved. She also mentioned the particularity of the German context where social welfare organizations are embedded in a highly institutionalized system and have a long history of solving social problems. In this context, enabling change and innovation is a particular challenge not only for the government but also for a variety of actors in the social sector.

From research to policy

In this vein, by developing a deeper understanding about the organization of social enterprises, the particularities of the national contexts they are embedded in and how they contribute to a more innovative and inclusive society, SEFORÏS is very timely in meeting the need for policy to be supported in developing thriving environments for social innovation in Germany and elsewhere.

More on the 2nd International German Forum here.

(picture: dpa)