Costruire una comunità di artigiani e artigiane dell’innovazione sociale?

6646459575_5e472ea571_zPoco più di un mese fa un accademico con un tasso di genialità che pareggia solo la sua ruvidezza, davanti ad un gruppo di 30 innovatori culturali italiani, ha duramente criticato i practitioner che con lui dialogavano.
Cito quasi testualmente: “…voi che venite dal mondo delle pratiche, quando vi mettete a fare ricerca scimmiottate noi accademici e diventate maledettamente retorici mentre cercate continuamente di affermare nuovi concetti, coniate nuove parole o elaborate schemi eleganti. Vi permettete di affermare verità che dovrebbero essere proferite solo dopo un’intera vita di ricerca e rielaborazione, perchè la ricerca richiede un paziente lavoro di accumulazione e sedimentazione di saperi…”
Colpito nel vivo e nel personale (in quei giorni stavo terminando la prima stesura di un ebook dove proponevo una definizione originale dell’economia startuppara) ho immediatamente risposto che quella critica poteva anche essere vera ma che quell’atteggiamento è originato dall’urgenza del fare che è connaturato in operatori, manager e imprenditori dell’innovazione sociale, culturale e non. C’era un non detto ma chiarissimo (e presuntuoso) mentre voi vi scervellate su come dovrebbe andare il mondo noi lo facciamo girare e il vostro raffinato pensiero critico arriva sempre quando ormai i giochi sono fatti e il vincitore ha già intascato il bottino. Continue reading

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Coop or not coop… This is’nt the question. Why it’s!

A few days ago Evgeny Morozov wrote a nice article about the relationship between the political left and the new watchwords of capitalism: innovation, start-ups, co-working , makers, creative class… and many other  are treated by the left as solutions to the economic crisis.
The left, like a teenager , fell in love with a few concepts that identifies as a solution to unemployment, economic stagnation, the decreasing demand. My point of view, however , what is missing to the left is the analysis of the causes of this situation. Without this analysis, how do we know if the solutions are really the right ones? There is nothing wrong with trial and error method… but if we can adopt a critical approach we could spare us a few tries.
We depart from Italy. Two days ago, ISTAT published data on the labor market: Unemployment at 13% , a record since 1977, +8000 in a month and +272000 in a year. Young at 42.3% . Really much.
It is impossible to imagine that the increase in labor productivity is’nt one of the causes.
Without looking too far, I think about my job: I can do now in a week the same job that a time I would take a month. I have access to an impressive quantity of data; I use more than 4 instruments at the same time to maintain relationships with colleagues, customers and suppliers; I write and photocopy in three days an impressive number of pages…
If productivity in some sectors has grown so much, also increased its ability to generate
richness. Where is it deposited this wealth? Certainly not in the welfare state if it’s continually cut. The indices on the international distribution of richness give us an answer so simple as shocking. Italy is among the countries with the most unequal distribution of income, after only to the United Kingdom in the European Union and with levels of inequality than the average of OECD countries. The system of the Italian welfare state, as has recently reminded the newspaper pagina99, favors the rich more than the poor. In fact are entirely absent policies of redistribution of richness between generations, between classes, between geographical origins. Leaving the system without any rules redistribution becomes concentration that is extremely functional with the accumulation of capital in a period of economic transformation (relational capitalism).
But without distribution you die! So if we want to support the distribution processes, we cannot limit ourselves to program small one-off interventions. What is needed is a ‘choice of sides’, built in a critical and timely way.
The social enterprise may be the main actor in this process. The system of values​​, orientation, impact and democratic  are perfect for combining production and redistribution. When social enterprises will be able to get out of the public-private bias and to include new actors and new products in the welfare state system all their work will be even more oriented to equity.
At this stage, however , the pressures to loosen the bonds of no-distribution of profits and the new love with impact finance are likely to weaken the redistributive vocation of the social enterprises. Really they need it? Their competitive advantage, that is necessary to operate in this capitalist system, is their propensity to develop the economies of knowledge, collaboration and redistribution. It seems to me they already have three good reasons to choose to cooperate!
Continue reading

Social innovation and relational Capitalism

Let’s go back in the time. Let’s look for social innovation, the real one implemented in the society. How to find it? I propose trying texts and articles that talk about it clearly in the sense that we use today , “new ways to respond to new or emerging social needs”. Even stopping to 1800, we will discover quite quickly that social innovation is a cyclical phenomenon, as a succession of periods of high concentration and periods in which social innovations are rare. The first cycle reaches its peak in mid ‘800 – the first industrial revolution. The second in start of ‘900 – second industrial revolution. The third between 1930 and 1940 – financial capitalism. The fourth in the last 10 years of the ‘900 – cognitive capitalism. In this perspective, the social innovation becomes a phenomenon by which individuals react to the pressures of a changing social environment by interacting with it and fueling further changes. Continue reading

Partiamo dalla fine

caccia 17-570X330PXEccoci al primo post.
Arriva subito dopo la pubblicazione sulla Rivista Impresa Sociale del “saggio” dal titolo “Oltre la retorica della social innovation” che puoi scaricare qui.
L’ho scritto sperando di contribuire ad aprire un dibattito sull’innovazione sociale. Lungi dal concentrarsi esclusivamente su elementi definitori – anche se una definizione, in parte inedita, c’è – punto sull’analisi della formazione della struttura concettuale dell’innovazione sociale, evidenziandone due elementi critici: l’astoricità e l’acriticità.
Inoltre, propongo di considerare la dimensione del conflitto come parte integrante dei processi di innovazione sociale, perché altrimenti il rischio è che si trasformi in un innoquo sistema di regolazione dello staus quo, perdendo quella vis trasformativa che nelle intenzioni di molti ricercatori – e soprattutto degli attivisti – rappresenta l’elemento centrale di senso dell’innovazione sociale. Idea che pare iniziare a maturare anche la Young Fondation, fondatrice e anima della scuola britannica della Social Innovation.
Buona Lettura!