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Social Innovation Laboratory
With the progression of modernization, problems that are difficult to cope with in both administrative and corporate levels have become more conspicuous on a global scale. In addition, protecting and forming natural and social environments that improve human well-being is becoming an urgent issue in modern society. Improving the productivity of society as a whole, and revitalizing regional communities are both very important issues.
Amidst these circumstances, the use of contradictory conventional approaches which include notions of "self-benefit" (the benefit of an individual or a certain organization) and "public-benefit" will eventually lead to a bottleneck. On the other hand, individually promoting only business approaches seeking "self-benefit", and administrative approaches seeking "public-benefit" will not be enough. There is a need for "social innovation" that demonstrates social entrepreneurship, that links market mechanisms and business management methods to the promotion of public-benefit, and that effectively realizes a society comprised of a "network of relationships".
There are two aspects to bringing about solutions to social issues. One aspect is the implementation of science and technology by society (scientific and technological innovation), and the other aspect is the promotion of changes to human relationships and interactions through the creation of new products and services, systems and organizations, etc. (social innovation). Synergy between these two innovations ("scientific and technological innovation" and "social innovation") is important in realizing solutions to social issues.
The Social Innovation Laboratory strives to research and develop various solutions to help improve society, such as the concept of "social innovation" and related practice models, support tools, as well as realization models for synergy between scientific and technological innovation and social innovation. Results from this research will be utilized in education programs within the "Social Innovator Course", a professional course established in Graduate School of Media and Governance.
Outline of research activity plans (December 24, 2014 - March 31, 2015)
In the first academic year, together with the promotion of practical studies related to social entrepreneurship and social innovation models, the Social Innovation Laboratory will engage in research studies to clarify the current condition of social innovation domains based on the research and development results so far by the members of the laboratory, and create the basis for the laboratory's activities.