Social innovation is characterized by the capacity to address social needs that traditional policy seems unable to tackle, the empowerment of groups and individuals, and the willingness to change social relations. It can take place within the private/public and for-profit/non-profit sectors, or in the spaces between them. Some recent social innovations include open source, fair trade, microfinance, and impact investing. Social innovation has influenced fields as far ranging as social services, health, work integration, environmental sustainability, and consumer protection.
Although social innovation is on the rise, is it simply another buzzword? It might not be able to substantially tackle pressing social needs. Rather, some critics claim that it might even disguise a dangerous lack of attention to structural inequalities, especially those that affect the poorest.
Hence, this workshop will explore what kind of role social innovation as a process and a strategy could play in fostering human capacities in Latin America. In this context the Humanistic Management Center will contribute an overview and case example for impact investing in Latin America and caution explicitly over positioning it as the panacea for the social and environmental challenges we face as a global community.