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Societal Innovation

Societal Innovation

Here is a post from a collaborative project that I  am involved with which works in the area of Societal Innovation


What is Societal Innovation? 

Societal innovation is about new ways of organising for an uncertain future.

Key themes emerge in society, and in the western world we are challenged as we move from a consumer society and a focus on short term gain to a society where the world of work has changed and is uncertain, we are living longer,  natural resources are limited, and our education system is geared around an industrial model which is no longer relevant.

societal innovation is about asking and finding ways forward to the challenges of work, worklessness, and how we are to make meaning from our work.  It asks ‘how can the future look for young people and those currently not engaged in meaningful work.’ It investigates ways in which work and working practices can accommodate all in society.

It investigates how ‘silver potential’ can be exploited for the benefit of society and its citizens –  retirement after 40 years farming the land or mining the ground was an inevitable consequence for a worn out body, yet today people in the prime of health and intellect are leaving our organisations. People thinking about  Societal innovation ask ‘how can the skills, wisdom, know how, and experience of all members of society co-create and co-operate for the good of all?’

Our education systems have served us well, however how will learning need to develop to meet the uncertain needs of the knowledge society. What skill and knowledge will need to be learned, when will in need to be learned, where will it need to be learned, and at what stage in life. Societal innovation asks the question “what will the school of the future be like, and at what age will the students attend?”

We see changes and examples from our own experiences which  highlight these issues and , at the same time, give a glimpse into the future: Some doctors are working in excess of 80 hours a week whilst in some families three generations have not worked; Ivan J Goldberg and Will Hopper –both octogenarians – write and publish insightful blogs about business, economics, and politics; Despite the best efforts of governments, University lecturers, and their students over 20% (probably much more) are unsuccessful in finding graduate work.

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Aug 04, 2011 : alexfenton Says:

Fascinating post David, I've posted my thoughts from my subject area to your new website and to Creative Hive also.

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