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The Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, acts as a platform for research and engagement with social innovators, academia and policy in UK and across the world. Its primary focus is to understand, promote, and engage with social innovators and create and support social ventures and projects.

Social innovation is concerned with the development of creative and practical solutions to complex social problems. While many social innovators work in non-profit organisations, they are increasingly found in government and corporations. Indeed, the boundaries between the sectors have become increasingly indistinct, and much social innovation takes place at the intersection between them.

The Centre will therefore focus on leadership for social change, wherever it takes place. Leadership for social change involves a different kind of leadership, one that's less adversarial, one that seeks to have a positive impact on the kind of world that we live in, and one that blurs the boundaries between what's for-profit and what's non-profit.

The Centre will engage in scholarship focused on social innovation and social ventures that aim to create sustainable social and economic value, which encompasses the private, public and third sectors. It will create new academic courses aimed at practitioners who want to use research to enhance understanding of, and the impact of social innovation.

The Centre will also support social innovators through events, training programmes and online materials. A central tenet of the Centre would be that it brings academics and practitioners together in all aspects of its governance and delivery.

Vision

Creating sustainable social and economic value through generating and disseminating knowledge, as well as supporting the development of, social ventures is central to Cambridge Judge Business School's entrepreneurship vision.

In the last few years there has been a significant and sustained global interest in creating social value through social innovation and social enterprise. Moreover, creating social value is no longer the preserve of the NGO sector, but integral to the strategies of many public organisations and, increasingly, the private sector.

The boundaries between sectors are becoming blurred in the attempts to tackle 'wicked problems' through social innovation and be seen as 'virtuous organisations'. The term social ventures attempts to capture the plurality of this new wave of entrepreneurial, environmental and organisational innovation.

CJBS will engage in scholarship focused on social innovation and social ventures that aim to create sustainable social and economic value, which encompasses the private, public and third sectors led by the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation

The Centre will engage in research and teaching on social innovation and ventures across sectors and direct support to entrepreneurs and organisations. It will focus on:

  • knowledge creation through research focused on individuals and ventures and the organisations, networks and institutions which frame, enable or constrain them. Dissemination of knowledge will focus on academic publications and mechanisms to reach a practitioner and policy audience
  • learning and unlocking potential through the development of taught academic courses and the Executive Education offer
  • support to social ventures through providing informed, accessible and timely information as well as mentoring, space and events.

Governance

The Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation is a research centre within Cambridge Judge Business School. It has a Practitioner Advisory Board of Social Innovation Fellows selected by a competitive process.