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photo of Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes and Stephanie Berzin

Technology for Social Justice: The Social Innovation Initiative

Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes

Associate Professor, GSSW, Older Adults and Familie, Graduate School of Social Work

Stephanie Berzin

Chairperson, Children & Youth, GSSW, Children, Youth & Family

Core components of the GSSW’s new Social Innovation Initiative have been designed to use technology for promoting innovation by organizations in the social service sector that want to identify new approaches for addressing today’s compelling social problems.  Social Innovation represents a new paradigm about social change that supports the development, implementation, and sustainability of transformational responses to social needs.

The technologies will make it possible to accomplish three important goals established for the Initiative: 1) Given the strong linkage between technology and innovation, the technologies will contribute to the generation of innovative ideas for responding to today’s compelling social problems; 2) the Initiative will introduce both MSW students and social service leaders to new technologies that they can, in turn, apply for other uses; and 3) the technologies will be critical for the creation of a community of social innovators that includes both practitioners and academics.

The technologies discussed in this proposal are: 1) telepresence that allows for synchronis exchanges and broad participation in innovation training and knowledge-sharing experiences; and 2) a website that supports the development of a community of social innovators and allows for on-going interactions. Using these advanced technologies, the project will cultivate leadership for social innovation among social service practitioners, build innovation capacity within existing social service organizations, and contribute to scholarship on social innovation.