3. Deeply understanding and empathizing
In both Social Innovation and Service Design initiatives it is of most importance to be unbiased in the analysis process. It’s mandatory to understand and accept the surroundings and the real needs of the society/ community, as well as the differences between all the stakeholders that are involved. In the Empathize phase in the Double Diamond methodology, it’s precisely where that happens, and this is taken into account. Deeply empathizing with the people whose problems you are trying to solve is the only way to achieve something valuable.
Service Design can offer an efficient approach to give some confidence that the investment in the development of Social Innovation initiatives makes sense, and it can prove whether it is worth the investment of its implementation before committing any resources. With the qualitative deep research about the context, it gives trust that you are going in the right direction, meaning that it’s actually solving the right problem and not “almost” hitting the nail on the head. Where it can also provide the insurance of testing the solution before its development, safeguarding the resources invested, meaning it’s solving the problem right.
4. Meaningful solutions
In Social Innovation, the people who have the initiative are the ones who create the solutions to respond to their daily problems and needs. When solving their own problems, they are equally responding to other citizens through participating in the public and social sphere.
There is a growing dependence on fast expansion and fast results, meaning fast profit. Every day it gets more valuable to speed up testing and diffusion that delivers results efficiently (less time and less money as possible). This creates an even bigger pressure on having meaningful, efficient, but also sustainable answers.
New forms of organizational models are arising, whereas the mainstream polarities between private vs public, needs vs wish, local vs global start getting combined and mixed when Social Innovation solutions enter the picture. Combining resources, skills, and tools for the end result to meet the needs triggered in the first place is a characteristic of Social Innovation, so boundaries between these polarities get blurred. Service Design thrives, whether used in public or private organizations, industries, and contexts, it’s a chameleon that adapts in conformity to the challenge proposed. It’s this parallelism between Social Innovation and Service Design that introduces disruptive ways of thinking and problem-solving strategies, resulting in impactful and meaningful solutions to the community concerned, where traditional approaches failed to be effective.