Corporate social innovation 

What is Coporate Social Innovation?

Corporate social innovation (CSI) describes corporations who integrate  social innovation into their corporate activities. Although a relatively new term, shared value companies are not new,  although the recent influx in CSI is a sign of the growing strength of this field.

‘Corporations play a significant opportunity in 2018 and the next decade to be part of the solutions for both social and environmental problems today. They have the resources and operate at a scale that most other entities don't have to come up with real solutions for the problems’ — Kriss Deigelmeir, Tides, USA

Why engage in corporate social innovation?

  • The growing complexity and accelerating pace of change in society demand a new role for business in the world;

  • Globalisation increases transparency and expectations of accountability;

  • Fast-paced social media means that there’s a brand risk for not contributing to society;

  • Societal norms and values are shifting for businesses, as customers & clients increasingly want companies to do well by doing good, particularly amongst the younger generation;

  • Employees have increased desire for meaning and purpose from work

  • Scarcity of resources coupled with a growing consciousness of our interconnectedness and the precarity of our social-economic-ecological systems means we need to creative about the future — and fast

Given these conditions, corporate social innovation is a pathway to long-term business growth, resilience and thriving.

It is a combination of both push and pull that drive corporate social innovation

Companies create long-term value through integrating a corporate social innovation strategy resulting in:

  • Brand value

  • Business growth

  • Workforce competitiveness

  • Innovation

  • Return on capital


Leaders' Perspectives

'As a company we have to find the Right mechanisms to support social innovation'.

‘If a corporation supports people and encourage them to think about social problems, like the environment and sustainability issues, then your people become more creative and the financial result of the company changes as well’

'Corporations in are very important actors. They are driving not only businesses, they’re also driving philanthropy and bringing about social change.'

‘Corporations are discovering that their business models can be more competitive if they incorporate social innovation strategies.’

'Corporations have the resources and the scale that most other entities don’t have to come up with real solutions for the problems.'

'A lot of solutions and a lot of levers for change really rest inside the private sector.'

'This whole notion that businesses are not connected with society is no longer applicable.'

‘Societies are becoming fragmented, divided and polarised. It’s very hard for a business to thrive in such a context.’



Moving from corporate social responsiblity to corporate social innovation.png

This slide is from Kriss Deiglmeier's presentation at the Istanbul Wayfinder. You can see the full slide deck here.