Six Patterns to Spread your Social Innovation by Al Etmanski, is a book which addresses the many challenges social innovation face. This book explores the difference between short-term success and lasting impact. Al refers to many Canadians who have obtained a lasting social impact. In the book, Al Etmanski talks about six patterns that he came up with which help scale a social innovation. This book also shows the difference between strategies and patterns. Strategies are actions which help get you from point A to B but patterns are like a design or a model. These patterns show how social innovation starts as a novel idea and later on evolve into a life-changing idea. In my opinion, I think that Al Etmanski doesn’t miss any issues. Al goes into great detail when talking about the patterns and gives many examples of business/innovations. Personally, I think the impact of this book would be great because this book is like a guide for new Innovators who are seeking to change their communities and make a better place to live. This book also can help Innovators who are facing challenges. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Social Innovation. It’s a source of inspiration for the potential entrepreneurs and change-makers.
This format of the book is easy to understand and has many examples to support these patterns. I believe that Al wrote this book to share his experience and a system which works for the young social innovator. I found this book amazing because of it full of practical take ways and inspiring stories. Al refers to this book as the outcome from his journey across North America. During his journey, he meets with activists, thinkers, and many more. And there he came up with the patterns. All the patterns work together rather than alone. This book was written in 2015, I think it’s still relevant today because Al talks about many social and environmental problems we are facing even today such as poverty, pollution and many more.
The intended audience is innovators, leaders or anyone who wants to turn an idea in world-changing action. Again this book is like a guide, which is great for young innovators but at the same time, this book can be for anyone interested in Social services or business studies.
This book is well put together because mostly Al supports every claim he makes, Al gives real-life examples of organizations and idea which have created great change The first chapter I have chosen is “Think and Act like a Movement”. In this chapter, Al begins by talking about movement such as “Womanly art of breastfeeding movement” which was launched unintentionally by seven young mothers.
Al also talks about when he got the chance to meet Marian and their Discussion about the movement which was just intended to help friends and people in the community. This movement has influenced millions of mother directly. Al believes that movements perform better than other forms of organizing.
Firstly, movements provide more Flexibility between sectors, organizational boundaries, backgrounds and jurisdictions. Secondly, movements address the critical set of change variables, such as culture and beliefs. Institutional change cannot have without movements. Al talks about movements which can be bad or good for example, Hitler becoming the head of a mass movement or movement which promote racism, sexism and even genocide. Al gives examples of social justice movements such as multi-generational (injustices experienced by First Nations), movements which comprised of small acts (La Leche League), Self- Organizing the slow food movement) and many more. In the ending, Al refers to a plan his organization created. PLAN (Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network) developed the PLAN’s Methodology for Thinking and Acting like a Movement. There are four parts to this plan, Doing, Sharing, Changing, and Inspiring. Al is using PLAN as a Learning Laboratory. Firstly, we start with doing, which means focusing on the daily anchors our big picture.
Secondly, Sharing which means to share your work with interested groups. Thirdly, changing, PLAN’s innovations need to be embedded in public policy.
Lastly, inspiring which means making ways for people to replenish their spirits, to be inspired and to engage in dialogue. Thinking and acting like a movements means knowing that movement you’re a part of, making contributions (small or big). Also, you should pay attention to the key players and what decisions they make. In conclusion, I think movements are one of the ways to bring social change (small or big).
Personally, I think this chapter is largely connected with social innovation because Al gives many examples of movements which have improved society. The second chapter I have chosen it “Mobilize your Economic Power”. Al begins by talking about his visit to Ashoka, social entrepreneurs and help them make impacts. Al talks about the question he was asked by bill which was “What would PLAN to do with a million dollars do?. Al didn’t have an answer. Later on, Al talks about what bill introduced to him, social investing, social finance and emerging world of patient capital. Al says he realized that his social enterprise was small scaled and his organization was ignoring the economic assets of our members. Al created a committee which had advisers from financial institutions. A new approach was selected and began calculating economic power. Al suggests that you can accelerate social change by mobilizing your collective net worth. Al gives some more examples of organizations. Al gives some question you should ask yourself, these questions might help you. One, what are the combined economic assets of your membership. Two, who else supports your campaign. Thirdly, who are your natural business partners? And lastly, what business rely on your patronages?. Al briefly talks about power and money and how might they benefit you. Al also gives some way to take care of your business/ways to mobilize your economic power. For example, firstly purchasing locally, this way you can help create more local jobs and a stronger local economy/sustainable economy and keeps business from outsourcing jobs. Al also talks about sharing economy and how they can benefit. Overall the meaning of mobilizing your economic power means that you put together your social and economic power, create a new economy that favor human beings and building a momentum of unions and cooperative economy. Also, it’s better to have flexible funds rather than having a budget. This is related to social innovation because this chapter gives you many ways you can improve your funding and slowly spread your impact. For example, Microfinance and peacekeeping are large innovations which need proper funding. You need to have connections to help you spread your ideas. Connections meaning unions, business and also even new markets.
If I had the chance to meet Al Etmanski I would ask him the following questions.
Firstly, who inspired you to go into this field? Secondly, which movements were you part of? Or which one created the most impact? Lastly, did you ever have a setback? And how did you over that problem?
These questions are important to me because knowing where the person is coming from, this will help me understand more what Al might be trying to say in the book and it is a good way to gain deeper insights. For my second question, I think Al’s answer might be PLAN (Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network) which he co-founded but there can be more, that’s why I would love to ask this question. This organization supports people with disabilities. For my other question, I don’t have a guess what Al’s answer might be but you always learn from mistakes.
Here are my Definitions of “social innovation”. Al’s definition is “the lasted descriptor of the ageless human pursuit to make the world a better place. My first Definition of Social innovation is “establishing new ways to deal with social issues”. Two, Social innovation is “the Progress and implementation of new ways to meet social needs”. Three, Social innovation is “new strategies, concepts, ideas and organizations that meet the different social needs of a community”. Fourth, Social innovation is “To do determine what is needed but in a social way”. Lastly, Social innovation is “a product, an idea that addresses unmet needs”.
The one I would pick is Social innovation is “new strategies, a product, concepts, ideas and organizations that meet the different social, cultural, economic needs of a community such as homeless or poverty”. I think this definition is appropriate because it makes it simpler to understand and goes in-depth with explains.