Chinese Version

How We Understand Social Innovation

Despite of its rapid economic growth in the past thirty years, China has witnessed increasing imbalance, incoordination and unsustainability in its development as social development has lagged behind in this country, leading to a growing number of social problems and tensions. Therefore, China has proposed in its 12th five-year plan to address both the symptoms and root causes as well as strengthen and innovate social management. In its 18th National Congress, the Communist Party of China made one step further and argued for faster social development while improving people’s livelihood and making new ways of social management. It called for a social management system featuring party leadership, government accountability, social coordination, public participation and protection by the rule of law. Social management innovation will be a strategic institutional arrangement for China now and in the coming years, providing a historic opportunity for all sectors of society to participate.

In this context, China’s philanthropy sector has entered a new stage of development after many years of extensive growth. Different charity organizations have begun soul-searching and adaptation. Facing challenges, the philanthropy sector has a stronger desire for innovation and change.

As a private publication committed to become a platform to support social innovation in poverty reduction and development, YouChange has identified the goal of supporting social innovation and thus promoting social progress since it came into being. In YouChange’s perspective:

Social innovation means new ways of thinking and solutions to resolve social problems, mitigate social tensions, meet social needs, stimulate social vigor and vitality, create social value, and promote social progress, equity and harmonious development.

Social innovation means finding new ways to resolve social problems; it means building cross-sector platforms which involve different sections of society, conduct equal-footed dialogues, encourage full communication and promote comprehensive cooperation to resolve specific social problems; and it means cultivating micro-environments conducive to new development models and criteria. As time passes by and more and more successful cases accumulate, comprehensive solutions to certain sets of social problems will emerge. After analysis, review and comparison, these solutions will be conveyed to movers and shakers in the government and business community for greater support and wider application.

Under new circumstances, YouChange has put forward its thinking on social innovation—explore innovation in philanthropy on the basis of cross-sector cooperation, support government policy innovation, encourage businesses to be more oriented towards social innovation, and promote innovative development of urban and rural communities.

Social innovation is always the banner of YouChange. We believe, to support and promote social innovation is the sure mission and advantage for a third sector organization and particularly for a private foundation. YouChange will make utmost efforts in playing a pioneering and leading role to identify, test and select maverick models in poverty reduction and development for the government, market and society to assess and select according to their perspectives.

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