The ISIS research centre at UBC’s Sauder School of Business is partnering with the Province of British Columbia and other business and non-profit organizations on a dynamic initiative to fund social innovation in B.C.
Announced today by Premier Christy Clark at the Non-Profit Partnership Summit in Vancouver, the initiative will centre on a collaborative competition titled “Collabetition,” which will take place in 2012. The goal is to generate innovative solutions to social ills that will work in B.C. at the local level and province-wide. It will also help raise the profile of B.C. innovators who are developing new approaches to care for one another in their communities.
“This is a unique opportunity for the Province of British Columbia and the many leading for-profit and non-profit organizations here to innovate in order to tackle some of the most pressing social and environmental problems we face,” said UBC Sauder School of Business Assoc. Prof. James Tansey, executive director of the ISIS research centre. “We are proud to represent the University of British Columbia in launching this initiative, and are committed to engaging faculty and students in this grand experiment.”
“The province is a participant and supporter of social innovation and entrepreneurship in B.C.,” said Premier Clark. “We need to find new ways of doing business – one that involves working with the private, volunteer and non-profit sectors to create solutions that make a real difference in people’s lives. Working together, we make real change.”
Using social media, the Collabetition will invite people from across B.C. to submit innovative solutions for social problems they hope to enact in their communities. Competitors with the best solutions will be awarded resources to improve, perfect and share their innovations with the rest of the province and beyond.
Other partners supporting the Collabetition initiative include the Advisory Council for Social Entrepreneurship, Ashoka Changemakers, LIFT Philanthropy Partners and TELUS.
The ISIS research centre is focused on leveraging business tools to advance social innovation and sustainability, through research, incubation, and application. ISIS defines social innovation as using new approaches to solving social, cultural, economic, political, and environmental challenges. Using and encouraging social enterprise, social finance, and strategic corporate social responsibility, ISIS aims to build institutions designed to create value rather than dependency.