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ERIC Number: ED547404
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 36
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 38
ISBN: 978-1-927634-00-4
Uncharted Territory: Can Social Innovation Revitalize Literacy and Essential Skills Programs?
MacLaughlin, John; Samson, Ron
Centre for Literacy of Quebec
The concept of social innovation has recently emerged as an influential approach to address intractable social problems. Increasingly discussed in academia and policy circles, the concept draws on multifaceted practices and ideas from many disciplines. Yet despite widespread discussion and promotion, there is still limited understanding of precisely what the concept means in practice. This paper serves as a primer on social innovation. It explores the different forms, drivers, and actors involved. It distinguishes among forms such as social entrepreneurship, social intrapreneurship, social enterprise, and various types of social finance such as social impact bonds, with examples. Finally, this paper challenges the Literacy and Essential Skills (LES) field to ready itself to engage in social innovation by posing some key questions about if and how social innovation could be used to improve LES service delivery and programming. The paper refers briefly to, but does not focus on, critiques that have been developed about specific forms of social finance. A glossary is included.
Centre for Literacy of Quebec. 2100 Marlowe Avenue Suite 236, Montreal, QC H4A 3L5, Canada. Tel: 514-798-5601; Fax: 514-798-5602; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES)
Authoring Institution: Centre for Literacy of Quebec (Canada)
Identifiers - Location: Canada