The M List 2015: Social Innovation

35 local innovations creating social change.
The M List 2015: Social Innovation
M-Mazing: (L-R) Mark Richardson, Sara Alvarado, Deidre Green and Nathan Clarke

Imagine the intersection of creativity and passion, where innovators and entrepreneurs come together to solve vexing problems. It’s called social innovation* and it’s happening all over Madison. Social innovation can be a product, an idea, a principle, a movement or even a piece of legislation. The 2015 M List captures thirty-five dynamic innovations that emerged through collaboration among businesses, nonprofits, education centers, government agencies and socially minded groups. This is more than a who’s who list. This is Madison Magazine’s M List.

M Adams, Freedom, Inc.
Sara Alvarado, Equity Matters
Lynda Barry, Image Lab Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
Amelia Baxter, Whole Trees
Garry Bies, Wisconsin Legislature
Matt Brueggemann, Flux Mopeds
Mark Burish, BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation
Nathan Clarke, Mad Urban Bees
Mark Clear, GigBlender
Kevin Connors, Dane County Land and Water Resources Department
Elizabeth Donley, Stemina Biomarker Discovery
Robert Engelke, Ultratec
Mark Evans, Urban Community Arts Network
Meg Gaines, Center for Patient Partnerships
Brent Gerlach, 100Arts
Sara Guyer, UW-Madison Center for the Humanities
Deidre Green, Simpson Street Free Press
Roald Gundersen, Whole Trees
Erica Halverson, The Bubbler
Richard Halverson, The NETWORK
George Hofheimer, Filene Research Institute
Tania Ibarra, Equity Matters
Jack Jorgenson, The NETWORK
Brian Juchems, GSAFE
Michelle Kaebish, Madison Symphony Orchestra
Lorrie Keating Heinenmann, BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation
Amy Kesling, Equity Matters
Jim Kramer, Simpson Street Free Press
Kelly Kuenzie, Children’s Dyslexia Center
Salli Martyniak, Forward Community Investments
Will May, RADD
Trent Miller, The Bubbler
Ali Muldrow, GSAFE
Erica Nelson, Race to Equity
Willie Ney, Office of Multicultural Arts Initiative
Dexter Patterson, Urban Community Arts Network
Kathleen Radionoff, Digital Badges
Karen Reece , Urban Community Arts Network
Dan Reed, American Family Ventures
Jen Remsik, YWeb Career Academy
Jim Remsik, YWeb Career Academy

Marilyn Rhodes, Meriter Foundation’s PulsePoint
Mark Richardson,GigBlender
Dorothea Salo, RADD
Tom Shannon, BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation
Haywood Simmons, Equity Matters
Amber Sowards, GSAFE
Kurt Squire, Games+Learning+Society
Constance Stienkuehler , Games+Learning+Society

Chris Taylor, Wisconsin Legislature
Kabzuag Vaj, Freedom, Inc.
Keith Warnke, Learning to Hunt for Food
Teri Weiss, Skate Armor
Karin Wolf, BLINK Temporary Public Art

*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

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.