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Real social innovation needs empathy and understanding- podcast with Richard Hull

Enrique Rubio's picture

In this podcast, Richard Hull says that real social innovation needs empathy and understanding of the people and context upon which we want to make a difference. Richard is the Director of the Master’s Program in Social Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths in the University of London. One of the things that I found most interesting about his program is the motto of thinking of social entrepreneurship “outside of the box”, which Richard explains during the podcast.

He describes the strong connection that exists between creativity, which is the foundation of the program, and social entrepreneurship. Particularly, even though there’s a lot of innovation, creativity, and technology that is very visible, he says that there’s a lot of work going on quietly in the background, and it is important to understand its lessons, too.

Richard talks about the example of participatory market development approaches, where the design of innovation revolves around the poorest and most marginalized people. He mentions how some western technologies are dumped in developed markets, becoming totally inappropriate. Richard highlights that it is fundamental to create the innovations with the people who are going to end up using them, rather than imposing on them.

He mentions that real social innovation comes from immersing oneself into the context in which we want to work and that we want to change. Social innovation requires the full development of empathy with the context in which we want to make a difference.

Listen to the podcast here:

Real Social Innovation with Richard Hull


If you want to contact Richard, you can find in him in Twitter or Goldsmiths at the University of London.

This post first appeard on Innovation for Development.

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Photo © Dominic Chavez/World Bank

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