Growing up, I used to play a lot, from hockey with my brother to chess with my dad. The only game that truly bored me to death was Monopoly, which inevitably ended with one of us (usually my sister) bankrupting others. No uncovering of a killer, no epic naval battle, no drawings or puns. One day, I suggested changing some rules, which made the game fairer and much more fun to play on rainy days, even if it never dethroned hockey as best game ever.
Why on Earth am I talking about board games in a short piece about social innovation?
Let’s refocus on our main topic then. If you’re reading this, you probably agree that innovation is key when it comes to value creation, leading markets, and so on. We innovate because we want a more advanced society, which is about the economy, as well as being about inclusion or sustainable development. Innovation thus plays a key role in bridging gaps and solving problems.
But are existing processes, structures, and programs the right toolset to solve complex challenges and develop large-scale solutions to societal problems? Do we have the right rules for the game of social change? Probably not.
The good news is the timing is now perfect in Québec for social innovation, which tackles the problem we just mentioned.
Our ground is Québec’s 2022-2027 Strategy to support research and investment in innovation, which “relies extensively on social innovation” to “excel at the global level and create more economic and social wealth”.
Here at the Conseil de l’innovation, we can see that all players agree on social innovation’s transformative potential: researchers, entrepreneurs, communities, practitioners and most of all, public servants.
We have the will, we have the skills, so let’s rethink some rules, and cocreate a few ones for new solutions to arise and communities to thrive, contributing to a more prosperous nation on all levels. And, while we’re at it, let’s make sure no one loses their shirt before passing GO!