Definition of Social Impact

A significant, positive change that addresses a pressing social challenge.

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Creating social impact is the result of a deliberate mix of activities with a goal matching this definition.

Unpacking the Definition – pressing social challenge

It’s critical lớn clearly differentiate between the broad term of “impact” and a more deliberate definition of social impact. Impact on its own implies an influence or effect on virtually anything, given its context. Social impact, however, is grounded in the effect it has on a pressing social challenge.

A healthy debate about what is pressing today is welcome và necessary as societal conditions invariably shift. Local contexts might differ from each other, perhaps mirroring global needs or occasionally running counter khổng lồ them. But a cấp độ of consensus is required, often based on ensuring a foundation of human dignity and opportunity, which is most pressing for underserved populations & those lacking essential resources or services.

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Unpacking the Definition – significant, positive change

Although possibly taken for granted as an assumption, the change social impact professionals seek must improve sầu the conditions around the current situation. So the effect of social impact must be a positive sầu change khổng lồ the challenge.

Finally, the use of significant is compelling for a couple of related reasons. The first is that social progress demands deep, structural movement of the status quo. Tackling symptoms of problems or trifling around the edges remains insufficient. Moreover, the phrase “social impact” is increasingly en vogue và often misused to imply even minimadanh mục change. For us to lớn retain a potent và persuasive term, we must demvà that social impact stands for a significant shift in society.

Social “I”s and “E”s

As language is evolving in our field, many institutions of learning now have sầu centers focused on one of the Social “I”s và “E”s. While these are undoubtedly being used interchangeably, each term is rooted in a certain frame:

Social Entrepreneur: individualSocial Enterprise: structureSocial Innovation: novelty/processSocial Impact: results

There are a plethora of ways lớn achieve sầu social impact, & our goal is lớn expose students to lớn all of the above frames, and many more–ranging from philanthropy to lớn social justice, khổng lồ kiến thiết thinking and other strategies.

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We choose to focus on social impact so that we deliberately emphasize the multiple routes towards a desired outcome. While we cover these other “Social X” phrases in all of our work, we are focused broadly on cross-sector và multidisciplinary efforts to deliver social impact.

Content adapted from Rishi Moudgil, Founder/Director of Center for Social Impact 2014