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APPROACH, EXPERTISE & Services

Our philosophy is about people, values, passion, and culture—intangibles that can't be financially measured or modeled but that truly make the difference. Social Innovations is about taking individuals and teams through a sustainable innovation process including idea exploration, testing and plan execution to hone in on entrepreneurship skills and innovative thinking that leads to the development and execution of new or improved business innovations/models.  We are guided by the belief that the strongest ideas are created through a cross-disciplinary process and that these ideas will take root, attract the needed capital/support, and ultimately have a significant impact regionally, nationally, and globally.


The future of the healthcare industry depends on providing value over volume. The Social Innovations Lab pioneered the concept of measuring outcomes, and helped Geisinger leaders put into practice rapid-prototyping, testing, and delivering products and services that will serve to delight our members and patients now and in the future.  The Social Innovations Lab brought energy, excitement, and skill sets for the change we needed in Geisinger.  

Alex Maiersperger, Business Strategy Manager, Geisinger Health Plan


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SOCIAL INNOVATIONS JOURNAL

The Social Innovations Journal ™ Ecosystem Publications, in a journey to change the world, curates, in partnership with region leadership,  a region's social innovations; social enterprises, and public-private partnerships and shares this collective knowledge and best practices across international social sector ecosystems.  The Social Innovations Journal utilized this approach because we believe that the potential for good ideas to inspire more good ideas cannot be underestimated and the value that entrepreneurs and innovators bring to local communities and regions across the nation need to be harnessed and shared.  In addition, article authors are invited to co-present their social innovations  in a webinar panel format to be shared across the Social Innovations Journal readership. 

The Social Innovations Journal ™ Knowledge and Policy Publications, in a journey to change the world, curates, in partnership with industry experts,  health, education, social mobility, human services, and investing publications educating and providing key actors with the data, research, and tools to create necessary policy and systems change .  The Social Innovations Journal utilizes this approach because we believe system and policy leaders need a repository of collective knowledge to share and learn about best practices in order to create and drive system and policy changes leading to better social outcomes.  Aligned with each knowledge and policy publication is a regional symposium and webinars that brings key actors together to discuss and create action plans leading toward adoption and implementation. 


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SOCIAL INNOVATIONS INSTITUTE AND LAB

Social Innovation Organizational Labs: Providing practical training to Inspire Entrepreneurial Mindsets. The Social Innovations Lab is built on the premise that innovation is a process, not just an end result. The Social Innovations Lab  takes participants through a process of innovation which transforms leaders and their companies into smarter, sharper, better versions of themselves. The journey is an intensive, sustainable process in which innovators are invited to explore their ideas, test them, and adapt them for better outcomes. This process hones entrepreneurial and innovative thinking skills while developing, and eventually executing, new and improved business models. Through interactive guides and curriculum modules, participants from a variety of disciplines will imagine, refine, and pursue their own enterprises and innovations. Upon conclusion an organization leaves with an average of 3-9 social venture pitch ready business plans; a shift of the organizational culture toward innovation and adaption; increased social enterprise skills/competencies; and cross department collaboration.  

Business Case Development to Support Governmental Policy and Systems Change:  Utilizing public data; international and national best practices and trends; and interviews with system leaders we build the business case demonstrating how adoption of new social innovation models leads both to improved social impact outcomes and cost savings.  Upon conclusion the system will leave with a financial and social impact business case and recommendations for a collective engagement process with government and related organizations leading toward adoption and implementation. 

Collective Impact Community Ownership:  Utilizing a peer-to-peer (cross-organization) approach that organically narrows down the best and most feasible ideas to rise to the top while building collective "buy-in" across colleagues and institutions. Once the best and most feasible ideas are selected, our process assists cross-institutional teams to move toward the development of goals leading toward mutual accountability and sustainability. Key to this process is selecting a “backbone support agency”, while maintaining community ownership of the project/process. Through interactive collective workshops, community stakeholders from a variety of disciplines will imagine, refine, and pursue their collective agenda. Upon conclusion, the collective leaves with the knowledge and tools necessary to develop a common agenda, define the backbone governance, and create shared measurement frameworks necessary to achieve population-level impact. 

Social Innovations and Entrepreneurship Professional Certification:  In partnership with CGNFS International participants build their respective social innovation and enterprise skills and competencies leading to an internationally recognized professional certification that complements their academic degree.  Upon conclusion, each participant leaves with a professional certificate certifying their social impact, financial, marketing, and systems and policy change skills and competencies. 


Social Innovations presented us with the tools and guidance that helped evolve business ideas into tangible business plans, equipping staff for the next steps in business development for the organization. Through this process we were provided with the inputs and training to embed entrepreneurial thinking in our development efforts and served to change the culture of the organization to a more innovative and business-oriented approach.  Because of this process we initiated seven services lines that are at various stages of implementation, from rapid prototyping to implementation.  Finally, this process allowed leadership and business divisions to interact and collaborate in ways that will increase organizational-level collaboration across business divisions.  

Joseph Kimbrell, CEO and Thomas Carton, Chief Business Development Officer: Louisiana Public Health Institute


The Social Innovation Lab was an invigorating experience for us at MPHI. It pushed us to think differently about our work and to trust in our ability to “sell” our expertise and products and explore how to do more of what we love to do. The lab brought together multidisciplinary teams from across the institute, each contributing different perspectives and skill-sets. The collaboration was very gratifying, it fostered a closer interaction between staff who have similar interests and complementary skills. The Social Innovations Process was very thoughtful, flexible and readily adaptable to our unique structure and needs. I personally appreciated your professionalism and your temperament and clear passion for what you’re coaching organizations in doing. You were generous with your time and your knowledge.

May Darwish-Yassine, Ph.D. Chief Program Officer, MPHI


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Let's Take On the World!

The Social Innovations Journal is hosting weekly webinar panel discussions for a wider range of expertise.  Each webinar panel will have the perspectives of multiple social innovations authors, entrepreneurs and sector leaders from multiple cities across the country and world. 
 
We believe innovation never happens in one place, so we’re bringing multiple places to you.
 
Our webinars will run for 1-hr at 2:00PM EDT on Wednesdays followed by 30 minutes of Q&A, and will be interactive allowing for audience direct connections to industry experts. 
 
Attendees can expect an insider’s perspective on a range of topics, best practices and what the most innovative and cutting edge solutions are currently being implemented in cities and communities across the world.

Climate/Environment - Sustainable Models

Climate/Environment - Sustainable Models

DESCRIPTION

Environmental sustainability has come to the center of American consciousness, as the increasingly destructive effects of global warming have slammed communities across the country. From fires in the west to floods in the east, communities throughout the United States are facing unprecedented infrastructure challenges including compromised energy, water, and transportation systems. Unless addressed, decades of neglect and lack of investment will result in loss of business sales, reduced jobs and wages, and negative impacts to the country’s GDP. Federal, state, and local governments face a $1.4 trillion public funding gap to address infrastructure challenges -- and by 2040, this funding gap will be more than $5 trillion.

This webinar brings together experts from across the country to discuss what latest innovations are being done to combat the effects of global warming. Attendees can expect to receive an inside look into the coming trends, opportunities and what communities, businesses and non-profits can do today, to build effective and sustainable models.

Moderated by:

Nicholas Torres, CEO, Social Innovations Journal, Institute, and Lab

Speakers:

Rose Jordan, Marketing Director Greenprint Partners

Kelly Roache, Director of Inclusion Soltice

Becky Bronstein, Program Coordinator of Washington Green Schools

Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture

Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture

DESCRIPTION

This webinar will review Equity in the Center's Race Equity Cycle framework, share critical learnings from its “Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture” publication and provide insight on tactics to support organizations in moving through the Race Equity Cycle.

The Race Equity Cycle identifies the three stages and common entry points of building a Race Equity Culture; helps organizations find themselves in this work; and names the levers that create momentum in building a Race Equity Culture. Participants will be provided key learnings on how to operationalize equity and measurably shift organizational culture toward race equity.

1) Participants will be introduced to research and resources Equity in the Center provides to support leaders and organizations in advancing race equity.

2) Participants will understand key research findings from the “Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture” publication, and how to apply the Race Equity Cycle framework in their own work.

3) Participants will learn about management and operational levers that can shift organizational culture toward race equity.

Presenter: ANDREW PLUMLEY

Andrew Plumley comes to ProInspire with experience in sustainability, strategy, and diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting in both the social and private sectors. He has also worked in education, where he’s advised on diversity and inclusion strategy at higher ed. institutions, as well as provided access and success programming for Pell eligible, students of color. Andrew is a “We All Belong” program board member for the Community Economic Development Office, as well as served as a city council appointed Police Commissioner in the state of Vermont.


Andrew has a BA from Middlebury College, and received an MBA with a focus in social and environmental sustainability from the University of Vermont’s Grossman School of Business. In his role as Senior Program Manager, Andrew manages the launch of Equity in the Center, which is a field wide initiative to influence leaders to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to create a more diverse and equitable social sector.
Learn more about Andrew in our occasional blog series, The Backstory.

The Poverty Stoplight: A New, Poverty Metric & Coaching Methodology

The Poverty Stoplight: A New, Poverty Metric & Coaching Methodology

DESCRIPTION

In the War on Poverty era, poverty was typically understood to be a thing that happens to other people. In the 1964 Economic Report of the President, which laid out the budget for the War on Poverty, the Administration suggested that poor people lived in “a world apart. . . isolated from the mainstream of American life and alienated from its values.” People living in poverty were them, not us, and poverty itself was an anomaly, an aberration, a deviation from the norm. As a result, part of the mission of the Great Society was to incorporate them into “mainstream” institutions and culture, through education, job training, housing, medical care and so on. But we now know that poverty in the U.S. is not an anomaly or something experienced by a small minority of people. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, 34.5% of all Americans were poor at least once for two months or more between 2009 and 2012.

That’s Lesson One.  Attendees can expect and inside look into best practices for combating poverty, coming trends and what individuals and organizations can do today, to support this movement.

Presented by:
ML Wernecke, Director of Policy & Communications, Benefits Data Trust