The BC Social Innovation Council released its final report, Action Plan Recommendations to Maximize Social Innovation in British Columbia, on Friday April 27th. Here is the report. The eleven recommendations are meant to enhance the work of social innovators and entrepreneurs today as well as creating opportunities for new ideas and new players in the future. The recommendations are illustrated in the diagram below.
The structure associated with the Social Innovation Council was innovative itself and reflects the words of Emily Carr, one of British Columbia's greatest artists: perfectly ordered disorder, designed with helter skelter magnificence.
There were three co-chairs, one each from business (Jim Fletcher), government (Molly Harrington) and community (yours truly.) Molly also chairs a thirteen Ministry Assistant Deputy Minister's Committee on Social Innovation Partnerships created to work with the Council. An elected politician, Gordon Hogg who is both Government Caucus Chair and Parliamentary Secretary for Social Innovation was an active participant and political advisor to the Council. Thanks to his leadership, members of the Opposition New Democratic Party were briefed and invited to attend Council public events. Finally, the Minister responsible, Stephanie Cadieux met with every visiting expert the Council brought into the province to keep abreast of what was happening around the world. This helter skelter combination of tri-sector co-chairs, elected official and public service blend, political leadership and spirit of non partisanship has never been tried in BC.
From the outset the Council was committed to model the spirit and value of working together by bridging faulty assumptions, traditional boundaries, misunderstandings and past grievances. It may appear complicated or confusing in desription. In practice it was effortless and creative. This is one of the reasons the recommendations already have momentum behind them. They are anchored in a common appreciation for our challenges. There are alliances, resources and commitments coalescing around most of the recommendations.
The job now is to shepherd them through to implementation. That is why the Council recommended the creation of a successor body, with the interim name, Partners for Social Impact. And why we welcome the addition of other individuals, groups, institutions and companies to accomplish this task. Partners for Social Impact will no longer be advisory to government. Instead the BC Government is committed to join other members as an equal contributing partner.
The opportunity is now to make something magnificent of our perfectly ordered disorder.