Expansion of Social Innovation in Brazil

گسترش نوآوری اجتماعی در برزیل

گسترش نوآوری اجتماعی در برزیل

Brazil faces many challenges, including unequal treatment, inefficient use of public resources, and lack of access to basic services such as education, technology, and safety. A similar situation prevails in the second largest city of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro. The city has long been nicknamed the “broken city” because of the large gap between the slums (where people live in informal slums in the hills) and the rest of the city (where people live on paved streets). About. 45% of Rio’s residents live in apartment complexes, but only 10% of them live in affluent areas. Rio de Janeiro is used as the main example in our analysis of social innovation in Brazil, although other Brazilian cities may have different situations. Throughout history, Brazil has been the place where innovative social ideas and approaches such as participatory budgeting and the Global Social Summit in Porto Alegre have been tested. These experiments also include experiments such as theater and “oppressed pedagogy” by Augusto Boal and Paulo Freire.

Types of social innovation in Brazil
In Brazil, especially in Rio de Janeiro, it is possible to identify five main types of social innovation based on the main topics of interest of a number of activities. Although there are other examples and each of these may fall into several categories, in the table below we have identified the most prominent types of social innovation in Brazil.

Challenges example description category
Government Social innovations promoted by governments at various levels, with the aim of changing the way the government makes decisions on behalf of the population. Participatory budgeting (Puerto Alegre, Fortaleza, Belo Horizonte): inspired by more than 1,500 cities worldwide to involve citizens in decisions about government investments (city or neighborhood). Strengthening democracy and increasing participation in city council decisions
Lab Rio (Rio de Janeiro): the action of the city government of Rio de Janeiro, where young residents participate in the creation of the city’s strategic plan.

Promoting youth participation in city council decisions
Culture Actions related to culture, art, and communication
FLUPP (Rio de Janeiro): Literary festival held in different favelas of Rio under the public security policy called “Frunsani”.

Changing the stigma that favela residents are not interested in reading or writing
Papo Reto (Rio de Janeiro): Creation of a real-time security system through a WhatsApp group that informs residents of the security situation in the favelas of the Complexo do Almao.

Overcoming the insecurity caused by the police fight against drugs
Networks Activities that are part of a national, local or international network or the creation of new networks Impact Hub (Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Recife, Florianópolis and Curitiba): Collaborative space for entrepreneurial activities, member of the international Impact Hub network. Creating a suitable environment for the work of young entrepreneurs
Norte Comum (Rio de Janeiro): moving cultural production to peripheral areas in the city of Rio de Janeiro, creating a local network that includes more than 10 neighborhoods. Overcoming the lack of cultural attractions in the most impoverished areas of the city
New patterns of consumption and production, sustainable behaviors New and conscious forms of production and consumption Roupa Livre movement (Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Florianópolis, Recife, Salvador): large events to sell second-hand clothes and teach people to customize them. Changing unsustainable production and consumption patterns
Carona: A car sharing system (application) at a public university in Rio de Janeiro. Improving movement standards
Universities New ways to exchange knowledge at Universidad das Quebradas (Rio de Janeiro): promoting new interactions between academia and public knowledge. Promoting interaction between academics and public knowledge
DESIS Laboratory at the University of Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, Florianópolis and Porto Alegre): member of an international network, “Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability”, which includes more than 40 laboratories at universities.

Promoting a sustainable and innovative future
Finding innovative solutions to solve problems in Brazil
In Brazil, people often come up with creative solutions to social problems and resource shortages. This creativity appears in various groups facing challenges and is not limited to professionals or government support. This groundbreaking approach is especially critical for people with limited resources and training.

One of the ways Brazilians use to deal with challenges is through culture, like the FLUPP event. Cultural activities help reduce barriers in the city and create positive changes in the flow of information and cultural expression in underserved areas (such as the Norte Comum area).

Creative efforts are not only seen in disadvantaged groups, but also among the youth of the middle classes of the society. Some of them are looking for alternatives to unsustainable methods. Examples include the Roupa Livre movement and Caronaê or Meaningful Work, as seen in the Impact Hub network in São Paulo.

Brazilian social innovation is not just about making money for low-income groups, it goes beyond ordinary entrepreneurship. In analyzing and supporting these innovations, it is vital to take a broader view, even in a country that is constantly developing.

Many of these innovations use information and communication technology (ICT) to create new patterns of communication in the city. This issue helps different areas such as poor neighborhoods to communicate with the outside world; Something similar to the Papo Reto project that illustrates this very well. However, not all of the large networks’ efforts lead to success; Some remain small and local, helping to launch other similar initiatives in the same city. The best example for this is Norte Comum.

International networks such as Impact Hub and DESIS Network also play a role in influencing social innovation in Brazil. These innovations may not always be so easily replicated; Because they often originate from specific local conditions and organizational support such as FLUPP.

A notable feature of Brazilian social innovation is the emphasis on face-to-face communication within small groups. These individual connections help people to transcend individualism and strengthen the social fabric, especially in big cities like Rio de Janeiro.

Support and communication matrix
Every startup in the field of social innovation can be placed in a matrix. One end of the matrix shows how much it depends on personal connections and creative thinking, while the other end shows how much it needs formal support from sources such as government, public policy, universities, and international networks.

Considering this matrix, having formal support helps social innovation grow, but not all actions necessarily require it. Starting some actions by trusting people’s creativity and communication, even without official support, succeed in progressing.

In Brazil, especially in Rio de Janeiro, there are many ways to present new ideas to solve social problems. Some of these ideas help individuals and groups to face daily challenges and provide access to rights, goods and services. Other ideas are started by middle-class people who want to improve their living conditions in the city. The importance of these actions is that they can create positive social changes in Brazil. These measures have the potential to strengthen communities, reduce differences and promote sustainable solutions in consumption and production of goods. Although the Brazilian government has no consistent policies to support these innovative social efforts, these efforts continue to thrive. In addition to the involvement of universities and international networks, many of these actions are the result of people’s creativity, building relationships and the desire to have a better life.

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