WHAT IS SOCIAL GOOD BRAZIL?
Social Good Brazil is a an advocate for social change and innovation throughout Brazil and beyond. We use technology, social media and innovative thinking to help make the world a better place.
The Social Good Brazil Program is a Brazilian key supporter of the +SocialGood global community, promoted by the UN Foundation, UNDP, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Mashable.
WHAT DOES ‘SOCIAL GOOD’ MEAN?
SOCIAL GOOD INITIATIVES CAN BE TYPES OF SOCIAL INNOVATION
Social Innovation is a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, or sustainable than existing solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals.
This is the definition developed by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the most renowned publication about Social Innovation.
Searching to better understand the types of novel solutions, the concept of innovation developed by Schumpeter is used, adapting for Social Innovation.
Social innovation can be a new product or service, a new process or method, a new value proposition for a new target public, new inputs, or new partnership or organizational models that generate value for the society contributing to solve social and environmental problems.
Each of these types of innovation can be qualified as radical (doing something new) or incremental (improving something already existent)
Innovation is a field of study and practices that is more disseminated in the private sector than in the social sector. Joseph Schumpeter is one of the first scholars working in the field of innovation.
The definition of innovation coined by Schumpeter in the 1950s is used today, and it is here adopted and adapted to serve beyond the market, and to the society as a whole.
Social innovation has been studied by the private sector, mainly in the United States, since 2010. Social Good Brazil acknowledges the current definition “it is the generation of economic value through positive social change” (Saul, 2011), but does not limit its understanding by this definition.
WHAT DOES SOCIAL GOOD BRAZIL
UNDERSTANDS BY “TECHNOLOGY”?
Engineering, hardware, software, new media and telecommunications are recognized as technology.
Some examples: computers and mobile devices, Internet, website, social media, mobile and computer applications, games, clean technology and technology for accessibility (access to electricity, water, food and agriculture, process aiming to recycle and reduce waste) and assistive technology.
WE ACKNOWLEDGE OTHER DEFINITIONS OF TECHNOLOGY USED IN THE PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTORS, BUT DELIBERATELY OPTED FOR A REDUCED SCOPE. EXAMPLES OF OTHER DEFINITIONS ARE:
- “Technology is a set of processes that an organization uses to transform work, capital, material and information into products and services of great value.” (Christensen, 1997)
- “Social technology is a set of activities related to studies, planning, teaching, research, extension and development of products, techniques or methods that represent solutions to social development and improvement to the population’s quality of life” (Network of Social Technology)
Two patterns can be observed regarding the use of technology to address
Technology for use:
This is technology that does not require a high level of technical knowledge, research or development to be used. This category refers to the use of software, new media and telecommunication that are available for free on the Internet.
Examples: the use of social networks and websites to disseminate social causes, or the development of applications for cell phones. This is a recent field of study and practice and Social Good Brazil intends to investigate it thoroughly.
Technology for development:
Technology that requires dedication or the investment of resources in research and development. Cases in this category create new technology or adapt an already existing one and make it accessible to the public.
Concentrates on the development of computer software, engineering and hardware, clean technology and technology of access (access to energy, water, food and agriculture, processes with less waste or recycling), as well as assistive technology.
Examples: technology for access to water in drought regions such as the Northeast of Brazil, as well as the invention of a low cost microscope to be used in the public school system.
THE THEORY OF CHANGE
The two categories of technology have high social impact by providing:
The two categories favor the dissemination of information in order to improve education and health care, as well as improving services such as water supply, food security, financing and credit for projects, all of which help to reduce social inequality by offering social and economic opportunities to all.
Technology of use is increasingly more accessible via the Internet. Technology for development needs to be adapted to become accessible. Technology also offers transparency and can be a platform for denounces and exposure of information.
The possibility of engaging in social causes and of distance learning are examples of how Internet technology is transforming today´s society, offering everybody power at their finger tips.
Technology of development, when adapting technology for local contexts, enables autonomy of use.
Technology, especially technology of use, allows less effort and low investment to reach a large number of people and achieve high social impact.
An example is the online petition that mobilizes thousands of citizens that engage asking for improvements in important issues such as education, health care, public safety.
WHAT ARE “SOCIAL PROBLEMS”
AND “BETTER WORLD”
“Social Good” initiatives must contribute to solve one
(or more) of the following issues.
WHAT IS “INNOVATIVE THINKING”?
Innovative thinking is being aligned to a new way of using technology. It is a working and producing collaboratively, in networks and with shared leadership. The changes society is going through today are not only related to the evolution of technology, but to behavior and new mental models.
Applying new mental models is crucial to boost innovation with the commitment to solving urgent social problems
THE WORK OF THE SOCIAL GOOD BRAZIL PROGRAM
The Social Good Brazil Program’s vision is a society where technology and innovative thinking are used systematically in order to solve the world’s greatest challenges.
This vision is based on the belief that technology and innovation are essential for solving the complex problems mankind is facing.
To achieve this vision, the goals of the Social Good Brazil Program (also called “pillars”) are:
Disseminate the concept of Social Good, inspiring organizations and individuals to engage in this cause.
Be a hub where people can interact, find information and practical tools to use technology and innovative thinking to solve the world’s greatest challenges.
Identify and support innovative experiences to increase the number of successful Brazilian cases and expand these initiatives’ potential to improve society
- Act in network establishing partnerships with individuals and organizations, that are hubs with know-how and national coverage, and guarantee that partners generate value from the connection among themselves
- Guarantee that the Social Good Brazil online platform is a place that gathers all the supported initiatives. The platform must be the landing page to those who want to connect to Social Good in Brazil and an open repository of knowledge and experiences to anyone that wants to be part of the network.
- Social Good Brazil is not only digital: it invests in face-to-face meetings, to inspire the target public, holding its own seminar annually and participating in events and meetings promoted by other parties, contributing with speeches and workshops about Social Good.
- When supporting innovative experiences, act to reduce the gaps found in the system of social innovation support in Brazil, especially the gap between festivals of ideas and competitions that stimulate the creation of new ideas and the social investment funds and accelerators that look for funding opportunities. Social Good Brazil must focus on the design of the ideas, the development and proof of concept.
- Act as a funnel of social innovation, researching successful cases in Brazil; looking at international experiences and niches of action for benchmarking; select and implement methodology or punctual initiatives that work as experiments to learn and produce knowledge that can be used to design new initiatives.
1.1. International Seminar in Florianopolis: it is a biannual meeting opportunity for 2 or 3 days, offering an ideal environment for connection and exchange ideas.
1.2. Social Good Summit Meetup Brazil: a biannual meeting, parallel to the Social Good Summit in New York, aiming to bring the experiences of this event to Brazil.
2. Online Platform: an online environment to favor links among people interested in social good. It is an interactive website connected to social media
3. Social Good Brazil Lab: a laboratory to design and prototype Social Good initiatives. The laboratory methodology involves a program of 10 weeks, where participant entrepreneurs have 12 virtual sessions and 06 face-to-face meetings to design, prototype and test their ideas.