Creativity, Social Benefit and Job Creation in Ontario: A Report

Creativity, Social Benefit and Job Creation: The Potential for Social Entrepreneurship in Ontarioby Andrea Baldwin, is the latest paper in theOntario in the Creative Working Paper Series:  It is good! and it is about time!

Yeah! My colleague Andrea Baldwin, from Canadian Business for Social Responsibility has written an excellent working paper on why it is essential that the Ontario government needs to invest in social entrepreneurship and social enterprise…. there is even a nod to CSI in the paper… which is super nice… and much appreciated.

But more importantly, it is great to have a strong voice in support of market transformation in this province…. as I work away with a great group of leaders as a part of the Ontario Nonprofit Network on a letter to Premier McGuintyabout how to support the nonprofit sector through this economic recession, I am constantly pushing the idea that innovation, market transformation and a solutions economy are at the core of our future success.

Toronto and Ontario could fast become the nations hub for green business, social enterprise, creative clusters, social entrepreneurship, green jobs… god knows, I seem to be talking about that and other social innovations (like open systems and complexity) all day long… but to have this paper as a part of the creative age series means that someone out there is making the connection between creative communities and social entrepreneurship… they are making the connections between social innovations and economic competitiveness… they are starting to get that in order to haul ourselves out of the manufacturing dependence, we will need to look at how to harness the power of our values to create a new economy that lives in harmony with people and the planet.

It is great to have another, much louder, voice for social entrepreneurship….

Okay, now that I have said the good things… I must take issue with a few things too…

  1. I question the assumptions of scale in here… bigger is not always better…old ideas of scale may be seriously problematic. Haven’t we learned that with this market collapse? We know that a large portion of our economy is driven my SMEs… why wouldn’t this also be the case with social entrepreneurship? what will gov’t do to support the small in this sector? This also seems inconsistent with Florida’s work on the creative class… small, independent… hmmm…
  2. I take issue with what they are proposing will make this work. It seems to lack the depth and reality of what it will take. And it doesn’t really point to who is working to move this work forward.The ideas are very big and broad… we need the details….
  3. It has also let the government off the hook on ways that they could really bring about this change… like a fundamental change in government procurement policy…

But let’s argue the details later… for now, congrats on a great addition to the field.

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