March 15, 2013. Ioannis Ioannou (@iioannoulbs), Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School and Heather Hancock, Managing Partner, Innovation Talent and Brand at Deloitte discuss corporate social innovation and how large organisations can use their skills, expertise and synergies to help solve major environmental and social challenges.
In recent years, business schools have been both advocates and developers of social innovations, often enlisting support from schools of design or engineering in exploring promising new products that are intended to address both economic and social demands. Barely a month goes by without some “pro-poor” or “base of the pyramid” or “inclusive” innovation hitting the news. A multitude of different solar-powered indoor lights and charcoal-saving cooking stoves have been invented in recent years.
But few of these innovations have been scaled up to benefit large numbers of people. Part of the problem may be that those engaged in social innovation activities at business schools operate apart from the mainstream curriculum....
Guy Pfeffermann is chief executive of the Global Business School Network, www.gbsnonline.org (Wikipedia), and was previously chief economist for the International Finance Corporation. Jonathan Doh is the Herbert Rammrath chair in international business and director, Center for Global Leadership at the Villanova School of Business.