Sauder Professor Leader in Social Innovation

Associate Professor James Tansey, Executive Director of Sauder’s Sauder S3i Research Centre, is a key author behind a major BC Social Innovation Council Action Plan (pdf, 251 KB) released on April 27.

The report makes 11 recommendations for how government, businesses, non-profits and communities should use social innovation to solve the province’s most pressing social issues.

“The recommendations in this report have the potential to stimulate social innovation across B.C. in a way that has long-term impact on some of our greatest social challenges,” said Associate Professor Tansey. “It’s been an honour to participate and to bring our expertise to the table.”

The action plan focuses on five key areas for progress: supporting social enterprise; increasing legislative enablement; creating social innovation labs; generating community engagement; and fostering learning and research. Some of the recommendations build on innovative ideas currently gaining ground in the province and around the world, such as the Social Enterprise Tax Credit, BC Ideas and Social Innovation Labs.

The BC Social Innovation Council was established in January 2011 by Gordon Hogg, B.C.’s first parliamentary secretary for social innovation. The Council consists of government, Aboriginal and community organisations, and business agencies with an interest in social entrepreneurship.

Last November, the Sauder S3i Research Centre began partnering with the Province of British Columbia on social innovation initiatives. The goal is to generate innovative solutions to social problems, which will work both on a local and a provincial level.

The work of Sauder S3i is focused on leveraging business tools to advance social innovation and sustainability, through research, incubation and application.

The research centre defines social innovation as any new ideas or ventures contributing to solving existing social, cultural, economic, political and environmental challenges and encompasses concepts such as social enterprise, social finance and strategic corporate social responsibility.