Web of Research: The NETWORK
The Wisconsin Collaborative Education Research Network, or The NETWORK, lists the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education and its Wisconsin Center for Education Research as supporters of this ambitious endeavor to connect research being done in the education field by UW students with the people who need to utilize said research.
As an outgrowth of the project, The NETWORK’s NetworkEd website is an online directory of educational institutions, educators and groups across the state. Users can search the site by geographic location, a particular search term, type of program, education level, project name and more to familiarize themselves with work being done by innovators across the state–and that’s the point, to create connections among like-minded education groups and locate possible partners for collaboration. Co-directors Jack Jorgensen and Richard Halverson say The NETWORK marshals discussion around the next topic that compels educators, researchers and innovators. “A lot of people talk about the Wisconsin Idea, but we are trying to live it, one connection and conversation at a time,” Halverson says.
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.