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The Science of Social Impact Innovation: How to Deliver More Impact through Innovative Business Models

1 4iNNO LLC, San Diego, CA
2 Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University, Provo, USA
3 Innovation is Social, San Francisco, USA

International Journal of Innovation Science

ISSN: 1757-2223

Article publication date: 25 June 2014



Rather than spend an inordinate amount of time and resources on planning what is inherently unknown and uncertain, socially-focused organizations like Panera Cares, Banco Davivienda, and Brigham Young University's (BYU) Design Exploration lab quickly map out their assumptions, run experiments to test those assumptions, and adjust their plans based on their learnings. In this article, we explain and expand on how organizations of all kinds (whether they be large corporations, social ventures, or government agencies) have bought into the idea of using innovation and experimentation for impact; and how despite recent advancements of design thinking on the social impact front, the actual implementation of innovative ideas remains elusive for many organizations. The article further presents a more systemic model for social impact innovation: social impact models, which provide one possible solution by enabling social ventures to achieve a more robust validation of their new- and not-so-new-to-the-world ideas by mapping and strategies by mapping out each assumption and iteratively testing them in the field. With this article, the authors seek to provide a practical process for how to apply the model, and how to avoid the most common illusory validation traps, which together would allow socially-focused organizations to more frequently succeed and deliver more impact with their endeavors.



Ortega, S., Furr, N., Liman, E. and Flint, C. (2014), "The Science of Social Impact Innovation: How to Deliver More Impact through Innovative Business Models", International Journal of Innovation Science, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 73-82.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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