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Confusing change-making with actual change

Change-making is the process of transformation and not to be confused with the transformed outcome that results from such a process. We confuse the two at our¬†peril. “We are changing the world” is a rallying cry from many individuals and¬†organizations working in social innovation and entrepreneurship which is both a truth and untruth at the […]

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Decoding the change genome

Would we invest in something if we had little hard data to suggest what we could expect to gain from that investment? This is often the case with social programs, yet its a domain that has resisted the kind of data-driven approaches to investment that we’ve seen in other sectors and one theory is that we […]

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The Ecology of Innovation: Part 2 – Language

Although Innovation is about producing value through doing something new or different than before, the concept is far from simple when applied in practice by individuals and institutions. This second in a series of articles on innovation ecology looks at the way we speak of innovation and how what we talk about new ideas and […]

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The urban legends of learning (and other inconvenient truths)

Learning styles, technology-driven teaching, and self-direction are all concepts that anyone interested in education should be familiar with, yet the foundations for their adoption into the classroom, lab or boardroom are more suspect than you might think. Today we look at the three urban legends of learning and what that might mean for education, innovation […]

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Seeing the lights in research with our heads in the clouds

Some fields stagnate because they fail to take the bold steps into the unknown by taking chances and proposing new ideas because the research isn’t there to guide it while social innovation has a different twist on the problem: it has plenty of ideas, but little research to support those ideas. Unless the ideas and […]

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Social Innovation Laboratories

Zaid Hassan’s new book The Social Labs Revolution provides a look at the messy world of social change making. While far from being a how-to guide, the book provides a rare glimpse at the thinking behind the lab concept and some stories that illustrate how challenging, complex, and contradictory social change can be in its […]

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The New Zombie

Information is everywhere (and if you live in cities, people might be everywhere, too) and yet the volume of information we see is overwhelmed by what we do not see. Zombies are among us like information and because of that information might be less attuned to what is going on around them. This has enormous consequences and most of it is not good.

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The Literacy of Change

It has been said that change is the only constant, yet for something so pervasive change is a remarkably thorny and poorly understood concept. One reason is that change is often approached as a set of facts about a static state of affairs instead of as a literacy, which at change in a far more dynamic context that reflects human systems more accurately.

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Public Health and Social Media: Catching Fire From Small Sparks

Public health is regrettably not a field that I often think of when I consider powerful examples of using social media for change and impact, but every so often something changes that. Monday something changed. Toronto Public Health, one of the largest health units of its kind in North America, took to Twitter to voice […]

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Scaling Education: The Absurd Case of the MOOC

The MOOC offers enormous potential to re-shape the way people learn and promoting access to content and expertise that many in this world could have only dreamed of years ago. But the naivete that such learning can be done in an monocultural way without losing something special about the context in which people learn and use what they learn might lead to some expensive lessons.

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