Social Impact Innovation Project “Luci nel Parco”
The Fondazione Etica plans and also carries out innovative schemes for social change. The idea may seem somewhat abstract or even vague, but in countries such as Great Britain and the USA this has been more of a cultural model than a political or economic one.
What is SOCIAL INNOVATION? It is simply resolves the need for a new all-encompassing development model for a community, by taking note of other previously-failed models, such as the one demonstrated in this enduring global economic crisis:
“We are used to thinking of innovation, in its truest sense, as something that springs forth from universities or in important company laboratories. It is there that scientists are hard at work, applying their expert knowledge and exclusive skills in order to roll out new products (cars, washing machines, vacuum cleaners) that are beneficial to everyone. As far as social issues are concerned, the national government deals with social services, the healthcare system, economic policies and growth structures. Political organisations, such as political parties, trade unions and social movements pressure the government by putting the spotlight on what does not work effectively, or at all, and needs to be addressed. These three groups remain completely detached from one another.”
This system is no longer working.
This is evident from the overall impoverishment, social inequalities, consequential social tensions, and the inability of the government to deal with new social demands, high levels of inefficiency and public corruption.
The countries of the G8, especially Italy, must address the large need to spend on welfare services that are not covered by resources. It is here that social innovation can bridge the gaps between the need for essential services, the inadequacy of resources available to policymakers, and of investors’ need for profit. These are no longer separate and, sometimes, conflicting issues, but now go hand-in- hand to create a modern, functioning society rather than one that is ideal and fair.
What is social impact innovation?
Italy also began to deal with Social Impact Investing, joining the Task Force promoted by the British Government with its own Advisory Board. Marginally, different foundations, not just banks, also deal with it, while Fondazione Etica has made it its mission since 2008, even before the Human Foundation, established in 2013.
A few steps have been taken by the banks too, especially in the loan based sector: the bank that has dared the most in the social network is Ubi Banca, which has issued about 70 Social Bond Communities, for a value of around 800 million euros, which have allowed to disburse over € 3 million by way of donation and to allocate a ceiling for loans of approximately € 19.5 million.
With regard to the equity based segment, on the other hand, the case of Oltre Venture Capital, which with the philanthropy venture managed to raise over 7 million euros from private entities, totally invested in 17 new Italian companies (healthcare , microfinance, social housing).
However, although something has moved in Italy as well, there is no discontinuity to date in the planning of social policies in our country, still marked by the traditional scheme according to which the State fully provides for the coverage of social spending, while investors individuals and entrepreneurs think about doing business, compensating, then, with donations and other forms of philanthropy.