Publish on: 18 Aug 2015
Poverty, economic decline, global climate change and ageing population are challenges faced by our country. These social problems need “social innovations” as countermeasures. Social innovation is a way of thinking that draws upon the expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and commitment of many sectors working together – nonprofit, private, government – with innovative ways of doing business.
Social innovation involves turning today's prevailing business model of maximising short-term profits for shareholders on its head and returning to the way companies operated a few decades ago, when they were more rooted in the physical communities in which they operated, and there was greater accountability, Companies used to look at their role as being part of a community, and the impact they had on society was integral to how they did business."
The rise of social media and the power this has given consumers is one driver for change: companies are being forced to think about creating more value for them as well as their shareholders. According to Hans Daems, group public affairs officer for Hitachi Europe: "Social innovation – it's our future. Those companies that can do social innovation in the best way have the best chance to remain successful in the future"
As per law, all registered Mauritian companies have to contribute 2% of their profit to Corporate Social Responsibility. NGOs have the challenge to come up with social projects to tap from these funds to advance their cause and the interests of their beneficiaries. Can Social Innovation be the answer? Can companies and NGOs work together to innovate and come up with systems and products for the most vulnerable of the our society?