Entrepreneurial and creative society

Search By: 'corporate social responsibility' Show all

Government Procurement Preference for Social Enterprises

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 09/07/2016 1473283700
Canada can and should be leading the world in social entrepreneurship; by diverting efforts and funding out of resource extraction and into entreprene .... Read more

Canada can and should be leading the world in social entrepreneurship; by diverting efforts and funding out of resource extraction and into entrepreneurship training programs, Canada could, at a national level, turn Canadian’s attentions away from the old economy and towards the values-based economy. The values-based economy is the ultimate vision for organizations like Certified B Corps. In this vision, businesses start to compete not only for market share, but for recognition as top “impactors.” As B Labs puts it, it is the drive to “be not only the best in the world, but the best for the world. A values-based economy is one in which the average consumer considers the values, philosophy and business practices of the organizations they choose to purchase from, before they make their purchase decisions. The Canadian Government can also provide incentives to business faculties at higher-learning facilities to change-over to values-based business teaching.

In order to lead social entrepreneurship, Canadian society needs to value green business certifications (example: LEED Certifications), social enterprise certifications (example: B Corp status) and social responsibility certifications (example: Fair Trade certification).

The Canadian Government can support this culture shift towards a values-driven economy by pledging to seek tenders from these types of certified, socially-focused organizations. Government contracts are extremely influential in the Canadian marketplace and it really matters who the Federal Government chooses to do business with. The Government can look at commitments like that of the City of Toronto (http://on.thestar.com/2cbohRw), which has committed to purchasing from more diverse organizations as a guide.

If Canadian entrepreneurs truly believe that their businesses are more likely to be successful as social enterprises rather than as traditional profit maximizers, they will structure their businesses as social enterprises. By providing opportunities to learn about triple-bottom lines, CSR reporting and social innovation, the Canadian Government can encourage social entrepreneurship.

Credit: Animikii Inc., B Corp Canada

8

Views

1

Comments

3

Follows

4

Like

Create opportunities for multi-sectoral collaboration

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 08/19/2016 1471645425
Social entrepreneurs approaches complex challenges by bringing all the tools of all sectors to play on the challenge. This is different from social en .... Read more

Social entrepreneurs approaches complex challenges by bringing all the tools of all sectors to play on the challenge. This is different from social enterprise wherein it is mostly about NFP organization generating income to better meet their mandate (the UK is a leader in this space) or social purpose business like B Corps using a business first approach to develop socially or environmentally appropriate products and services (the US is a leader here). Canada can lead by creating opportunities for multi-sectoral engagement that allows different groups to come together to redefine and ultimately solve our complex challenges. This includes the work of places like the MaRS Solutions Lab; the creation of a pro bono marketplace being led by the McConnell Foundation, MaRS and Aimia; Studio Y; and the work of the Centre for Impact Investing to help fund this approach using the innovation tools of social finance. Let's hold a competition to determine which big challenge to address and then focus all we have to solve it by using our neutral spaces for cross sectoral collaboration facilitated by design and systems thinking. 

Credit: JW McConnell Family Foundation; MaRS Discovery District; Social Innovation Generation (SIG)

8

Views

1

Comments

3

Follows

1

Like

Include Social Purchasing Values in all government procurement and infrastructure

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 07/24/2016 1469372797
Every purchase has an economic, social and environmental ripple effect! Insuring best value in purchasing means considering  the full cost and true i .... Read more

Every purchase has an economic, social and environmental ripple effect! Insuring best value in purchasing means considering  the full cost and true impact created when government spends tax payer money on goods and services and infrastructure. Adding a social value into the mix of price, quality and environment will enhance the demand for social enterprise goods and services. A requirement for social value consideration in purchasing will lead private sector government contractors to implement stronger social values into their bids, often opening up sub-contract opportunities for social enterprises. See www.buysocialcanada.ca

 

9

Views

2

Comments

6

Follows

8

Like

Social Innovation of Collaborative Commons - to Complement Rapid Technological Innovation

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 07/10/2016 1468165446
Rapid technological advances are both enabling and driving a shift toward Collaborative Commons (CC) as a socio-economic paradigm of the future (see B .... Read more

Rapid technological advances are both enabling and driving a shift toward Collaborative Commons (CC) as a socio-economic paradigm of the future (see Background below). 

Social innovation, parallel to technological innovation, is needed to

  • Maximize the opportunities and benefits for ALL Canadians from CC
  • Minimize the inevitable disruption to lives during  transition to CC
  • Enable graceful transitional or sustained interplay with existing socio-economic models (as needed)
  • Discover the limits and avoid any pitfalls of CC
  • Engender trust among participants in CC
  • Develop a minimally intrusive Canadian regulatory framework to facilitate the above

To that end, the following is recommended:

  • Increase funding for Collaborative Commons academic research in social sciences and economics with the above objectives.
  • Establish a social entrepreneurship fund to support creation of specifically micro Collaborative Commons, and functional elements of Collaborative Commons.  Evaluate results.
  • Hold national events and competitions in Collaborative Commons innovation.
  • Develop prototype regulations relating to Collaborative Commons and run regulatory pilots to discover what works, before enacting (or not) fully into law.
  • Engage Canadians about Collaborative Commons to gather maximum diversity of ideas and input and generally garner buy-in (or not).
  • Collaborate with like-minded democratic states for additional innovation diversity and synergistic global implementation of Collaborative Commons

Background and Why

Society (and economy) is on the cusp of a dramatic disruption due to exponential rise in technological capability.   Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics borne out of radical escalation of compute power, coupled with advances in sensor and communication technologies, and the ubiquity of the Internet have spawned the Internet of Things (IoT).  IoT is resolutely driving us into the Fourth Industrial revolution dominated by cyber-physical systems.  This will not only sharply reduce the need for human labour, it will also increasingly chip away the volume of human intellect and oversight needed.

At the same time, the Web is enabling the sharing economy.  It’s taking hold due to the inherent pull of convenience and cost savings, personal economic necessity, and desire for environmental sustainability.  The latter is also driving the Circular Economy, where materials and energy embedded in end-of-life products are recirculated into new goods and energy.  Both the sharing and circular economies will reduce the total volume of manufactured goods and raw materials needed, again correspondingly reducing the total human labour, intellect and oversight needed.

The double whammy of efficiencies and the reduced need for goods from above will, for many, reduce or eliminate the means for equitable living and ability to retain agency in society and economy.  Under the existing socio-economic paradigms, this concern will only deepen with ongoing technological advancements, further hollowing out the middle class.  The answer is definitely NOT to stall or stop technology.  On the contrary, Canadian technological innovation must forge ahead at full steam to enable us to compete internationally and grow the total national wealth.  However, social innovation must be tapped to enable ALL Canadians to both contribute to and take from the common wealth, and have full societal agency.

Fortunately an emerging “COLLABORATIVE COMMONS” paradigm shows promise as a new socio-economic order – both organically enabled by the Internet of Things, as well as a reaction to its impacts and side effects.  Collaborative Commons (CC) is characterised by open source information, technology and energy; the blurring of consumer vs. producers into prosumers; access to products becoming the norm over product ownership; and rise of the gig economy over traditional employment.  Basically, it’s a society where citizens and organizations openly collaborate to both create common wealth and draw from it.

While ad-hoc CC instances in some sectors are already generating benefits for its constituents, there are still many unanswered questions and challenges going forward.  What are the trade-offs between different CC models and what model(s) work best?  How can trust, which is critical to collaboration, be engendered and supported among participants? What might be some negative side-effects of CC?  How does CC interplay with traditional market economies, what sectors are best suited for CC, and what are the transition timeframes and trade-offs? What regulatory supports are needed to enable, ease transition, and protect against undesired aspects of the CC?  A heavy dose of Social Innovation is needed now to address the unknowns so that civil society can come out whole on the other side of the transition into Collaborative Commons.

This and related topics are skillfully covered by economist Jeremy Rifkin in The Zero Marginal Cost Society, and related works such as The Sharing Economy by Arun Sundararajan, and Makers and Takers by Rana Foroohar.

6

Views

0

Comments

2

Follows

2

Like