Social Innovation and Ability-Oriented Approach

نوآوری اجتماعی و رویکرد توانایی‌محور

Social innovation and ability-oriented approach
The capability-based approach, an effective development in ethics, provides a way to consider justice and democracy among social innovations. This approach allows for an opportunity to verbally reflect and promote social innovations that are social in both their goals and their means.

Social innovation and capability-based approach (CA) belong to a family of advanced approaches in social change. Both terms agree with the theory that social improvements are possible and that there is a valid place for intentional efforts and hope for these changes. Both terms experienced growth in the post-Cold War era. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the chances for a shared global development suddenly looked better. Meanwhile, economic globalization increased environmental sustainability and economic inequality. Therefore, innovation as a stimulus for economic development needed to be developed. Social innovation emerged and with it a shift in focus from changes in products to changes in methods. At the same time, economists and philosophers called for a pivotal change from development in the sense of economic growth to the benefit of human development based on the ability-oriented approach. It provides an alternative conception of development that provides a way to establish justice and democracy at the center of social innovation; Instead, social innovation provides a reservoir of practical ideas for exploring a capability-based approach.

Ability-based approach: introducing terminology
In a series of classic essays, economist and philosopher Amartya Sen argued that even philosophers in their discussions of justice tend to adhere to an economic view that focuses on goods and services, to the detriment of the question of what people can do with these goods and services. . As an alternative to “commodity,” Mr. Sen, along with philosopher Martha Nussbaum and a multidisciplinary research community, developed a new approach focused on the opportunities and freedoms of individuals: the ability-based approach.

An example shows a shift in focus: three people receive the same amount of money. The first person is a young and healthy person, the second person has a physical disability and the third person needs to take care of a baby. Effective opportunities associated with the same amount of money are different for each. For a person with a physical disability, it is more difficult to move than the other two. For parents with babies, there will be many additional caregiving needs that reduce the opportunity to use the money effectively.

Shifting the focus from money to goods, another version of this can be given: the same three people receive a bicycle respectively, the first can use the bicycle, but the second cannot because of physical disability; Parents could theoretically use a bike, but it’s not really useful – a special transport bike with space for children and shopping bags etc would be useful. In short, when we focus on ends rather than means, the diversity of people and the diversity of their goals emerges immediately. A capability-based approach tries to provide improvement in place so that this point is taken seriously:

It is an ethical focus on behavior as an end. It asserts that we cannot calculate value or well-being as a whole, but must ultimately consider each individual individually.
It introduces the concept of function as the activities and states that lead to a person’s good or bad state (for example, “being healthy” or “being sick”).
Concept of capability as a person’s freedom to enjoy various functions that are valued and reasons for having value to them (we have seen that owning a bicycle is not the same as having the opportunity to use it; in capability-oriented terms, different people have different conversion functions, as In other words, they have the ability to convert resources into performance).
It places a focus on agency: the ability of individuals to pursue goals they value and reasons to value them requires participation in the process; People are not the only active recipients of goods and welfare (in the second example, better than “bicycles for all” is a discussion about appropriate means of movement before the discussion).
Emphasis on pluralism: It is important to think about capabilities and functions collectively. Reduction to a single measurement is strategic (in the first example, the nature of money and income does not replace the need to discuss the different goals of different people).
Emphasis on diversity: As with the bicycle example, with respect to individuals and as ends, it does not mean conformity. Differences between individuals, including personal characteristics and their social and environmental contexts, must also be taken into account.
Difficult Kinship: Ethics and Social Innovation
The capability-based approach introduces several points for social innovation institutions, policies, and research. The first point is the privileged focus on the role of social innovation. In today’s societies, issues tend to be left to experts, departments and special policy processes. Although this dynamic is part of modern societies, its disadvantages are still well known: silvicultural thinking and compartmentalized approaches that fail to connect the dots. The ability-based approach emphasizes both the diversity of values and goods as well as the connections between them. For example, it has been used to examine the causal relationship between democracy and adequate nutrition/health. As such, it calls for a privileged focus on social innovation in modern societies: capability innovations as establishing and strengthening capability connections between sectors, for example between health and political participation. This focus requires changes in the structure that social innovation can lead to

Economic foundations of social innovation
The combination of social innovations with growth and evolution will only reach the extent that it can show its social and economic impact for the beneficiaries as well as the society in general. For social innovation to flourish, an inspiring environment that provides support and enables mutual learning is essential.

Europe is facing complex and interconnected socio-economic challenges, including youth unemployment, migration, population aging or poverty, to name a few, but it is difficult to answer them. Individuals and groups affected by the resulting intractable problems—also known as intractable problems—face significant limitations in their ability to participate fully in social, economic, cultural, and political life. Social innovations emerging in Europe and around the world offer promising solutions for sustainable progress in the face of current problems.

However, incorporating social innovation into inclusive growth will only go so far as to demonstrate its social and economic impact for vulnerable and marginalized populations as well as society at large. It is claimed that the strengthening of these groups helps to overcome the problems caused by the lack of resources by increasing the quality of life of people by strengthening the ability of people to participate in society, which strengthens development, well-being and social solidarity in the long term. It means that the exception is not seen as an individual disability, but rather related to institutional blocks and failures, market failures, silo thinking of the public sector, and the increasing fragmentation of society. It can be logically concluded that the change from the perspective of seeing vulnerable groups as a burden on society to a perspective that values their individual capabilities as well as their participation in society is basically one of the foundations of social discussion.

This paper is organized as follows: next, the meaning of “economic base” is introduced, followed by the SIMPACT model of components, objectives and principles used to explain sustainable business models (Section 4). The last section examines the role of the right environment for social innovation.

This paper significantly derives from the findings of the FP7-SSH project entitled “SIMPACT”, which has attempted to provide a better understanding of the economic dimension of social innovations to better understand the impact of social innovations on social and economic transformation.

Meaning of economic base
Emphasizing the economic basis of social innovations, SIMPACT points to the important role of social innovation as a catalyst for individual well-being, collective well-being, social justice and effectiveness, in short sustainable social impact. This tendency to bridge large-scale societal challenges and small-scale social innovation activities as a set of interactions that transcend levels of governance (micro, meso, macro), institutional boundaries, and sectors (public, for-profit, non-profit or social cooperative). are subject to a wide range of exercises. At the micro level, many small, locally embedded activities address a set of distinct needs. By empowering vulnerable groups, they actively facilitate inclusion processes. At the meso level, it refers to institutional change. In other words, social innovators act as “rule breakers” and challenge existing practices, the welfare system, and market institutions (such as rules, regulations, attitudes, governance). At the macro level, social innovation offers a new division of labor between the realm of politics, i.e., welfare systems and the institutions that govern them, civil society, and economy.

The interaction of components, goals and principles
Social innovation as an evolutionary process includes the development, implementation, practical application and consolidation of new innovations and diverse cooperation of different factors. Therefore, social innovations are characterized by an open-ended, iterative process of experience and learning, including abandonment and failure. For this reason, the economic basis of social innovation is based on the proper recognition of social innovation factors, resources and institutions (i.e. components), factors’ objectives and underlying principles (COP).

Components include factors and resources as production factors and institutions as given environmental factors. From an economic point of view, factors from civil society (formal and informal), economic and political sectors are the central factors. The nature and size of the resources mobilized during the innovation cycle significantly affect the solution. Typically, social innovators must combine economic, political, social, and personal resources to bring their solution to life. Information is evaluated as a fundamental economic resource for obtaining opportunities by social innovators. Social resources interact with economic resources and include communication capital. In other words, they invest in relational assets, knowledge sharing routines, complementary resources and capabilities. In addition, political resources such as human rights influence or supplement the use of economic resources. Finally, political, welfare, social and economic institutions can be designed to strengthen social and economic factors as well as support social innovation. In addition, social innovators are embedded in a specific institutional context in which the behavior and interactions of agents are formed.

Goals include the motivations and goals of social innovators that are economically or socially or a combination of both forces. Economic goals include maximum profit, cost reduction, maximum welfare, draining public budgets, and social goals include strengthening, social solidarity, empathy, or quality.

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