Nestled on the fourth floor of UW–Madison's Helen C. White library, Dorothea Salo and Will May's crowded offices are filled with a mammoth amount of digital information on audio cassettes, VHS cassettes, printed books, floppy disks and more.
Concerned with the rapid degradation of media carriers and a loss of cultural heritage, Salo created RADD, or Recovering Analog and Digital Data, with tech support from May to rescue information from high-value analog and digital media at risk of deterioration. For years, RADD has made the preservation and sharing of family legacy and community histories possible. The state is joining the Digital Public Library of America this year, and Salo and May are contributing materials to the digital library and helping the public know more about the history of Wisconsin.
What is social innovation?
According to Stanford University's Social Innovation Review, social innovation is a "novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable or just than existing solutions" and benefits primarily society as a whole rather than private individuals.
It includes these elements:
- Increasing employment, productivity and economic growth
- Justice, fairness, environmental preservation, improved health, arts and culture and better education
A social innovation:
- Can be a product, production process or technology (much like innovation in general), but it can also be a principle, an idea, a piece of legislation, a social movement, an intervention or some combination of them.
- Recognizes the fundamental role of cross-sector dynamics: exchanging ideas and values, shifting roles and relationships and blending public, philanthropic and private resources. Innovation blossoms where the sectors converge.
- Can't be understood, let alone solved, without involving the nonprofit, public and private sectors.
The M List
Madison Magazine's M List is a who's who of organizations and individuals who are having an impact on our local culture and economy. In its third year, the M List recognizes those making strides in the area of social innovation. Last year's list of innovators were in the food industry. The original M List, in 2013, honored the technology sector. The 2014 M List honored "Foodtastic" entrepreneurs and innovators.