The paper looks at the development dynamics of social innovation processes (Haxeltine et al, 2016) addressing these from the perspective of their resourcing requirements. It distinguishes between financial and other kinds of resource needs and begins from the observation that, even if the financial needs of social innovation processes are low, social innovation still incurs some financial costs. These will increase if a social innovation activity is to grow. Strategies and associated business models for covering financial costs must therefore be developed if initiatives are to sustain and grow. This holds implications for the transformative potentials of social innovation. Each solution entails different tensions, risks and ways of addressing these. Each holds implications for mission, governance, organisational culture and relations with external systems and actors. Each solution therefore maps onto different and distinct development pathways, affecting what kinds of contribution to societally transformative change the social innovation process can make. The paper develops a simple typology of pathways to help practitioners understand the different options and make informed decisions. The paper points out nevertheless that there is inevitably an element of compromise implied in securing a funding stream. Some degree of hybridisation of social innovation processes, initiatives and organisations is inevitable in the search for financial sustainability and is likely to entail the emergence of some form of social enterprise activity and some modification of original transformative ambition. The social innovation process is transformed through hybridization and with this, also, the nature of its transformative potential (Weaver et al, in press).[Authors' abstract]
Weaver, P. M. and Marks M. B. (2017) Social innovation resourcing strategies and transformation pathways : a first-cut typology, (TRANSIT working paper # 11, July 2017), TRANSIT: EU SSH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169.
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