1. What are the trends in Social Innovation for the coming years?
The trends in social innovation for the coming years should address an environment that is increasingly characterised by “VUCA” (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity); the conscious exercise of consumer power (in the form of a purchasing decision). They will also keep in mind how business decisions impact on stakeholder perceptions of the company or organization.
2. What challenges will companies and organisations face in the short and medium term?
Companies and organisations must face important challenges related to societal change. For example, the three basic vectors in this society / economy / changing citizenship are the evolution of technology and its impact on all activities of life; a recent economic and social crisis, which has caused both societal change and altered some societal rules; and the emergence of a new generation to the labour and consumption markets.
All this is defining new challenges and needs, many of them with solutions to be found through Social Innovation.
In the specific case of companies and organizations, and as a consequence of these major changes, two key points to understand the new configuration of the social scenario are the loss of confidence in organizations (public and private) and the fact that companies are unable to exercise total control over their own brand, which is subject to constant exposed.
3. How to prioritise the actions of social innovation in a company? Where do we start?
First of all, by aligning the mission and vision of the organisation with our day to day activities. This coherence is absolutely necessary both within the company and also in the way it is perceived from the outside.
Secondly, by a comprehensive analysis of the company’s specific stakeholder expectations in order then to fulfil, or modulate, them through the company’s business activity.
And finally, by asking what impact the company wants to have on society (in its broadest sense), and planning the actions taking into account the stakeholders/interest groups at all times.
4. Social action or CSR policies of companies do not always add real value to their reputation. Do you think that efforts should be made so that companies focus on their own field of action?
Without a doubt! For example, it makes no sense for a computer company to base its social action on painting the premises of a foundation dedicated to children. We must be able to align the policy of social action with the core business of the company, and place this social action as close as possible to the clients. In order for CSR to contribute to reputation, it must be done well, and it must be well communicated, both to those who are already clients and to society in general.