How to spot a successful social innovation

Social innovation is around solving a big problem at scale, in a different way, because you’re solving it faster, you’re reaching further, you’re doing it cheaper.

says Rajesh Anandan, the SVP of Unicef Ventures. He’s just one of the social entrepreneurs talking about what a social innovation is and how to spot it.

The video–filmed at the 2013 Social Innovation Summit at the UN by PWC–features prominent social entrepreneurs from around the world discussing how to spot potentially successful social innovations. It starts with an idea, but it’s more than that: “Innovation is not coming up with an innovative idea,” says Unreasonable Institute’s Daniel Epstein. “It’s actually launching the pilot, on the ground, in country, and seeing what comes of it.”

And while the problem and the solution are important, if you’re looking for which one is going to work, also see who is working on it, says Chade-Meng Tan, a Jolly Good Fellow at Google: “You’re looking for a team that can fail together and, after failing, pick themselves up and succeed together.” Don’t forget the importance of failure.

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