Fruitful Friction as a Strategy to Scale Social Innovations

Format: Papers, RSD10, Topic: Methods & Methodology

Maria Belén Buckenmayer, Milene Gonçalves, and Ingrid Mulder

Social innovations are promising to tackle today’s complex global challenges on a local scale; Especially when social innovations scale and their impact can generate a societal transformation. The current work elaborates on scaling deep, a specific scaling strategy aiming to shift cultural values, mindsets and beliefs. However, how to apply this in practice is not straightforward. The current work, therefore, aims to develop an actionable strategy that supports social innovators in their scaling efforts. Our research findings show that scaling deep can be defined as an

  1. internal transformation process
  2. a social process
  3. friction being an enabler for change

Second, these insights inform a framework that makes scaling deep more actionable and helps social innovators to use fruitful friction as a strategy to scale deep. The current study adds a new viewpoint to the scaling deep context and presents a concrete starting point of the scaling deep strategy by linking it with the creation of common ground.

Keywords: social innovation, multi-stakeholder collaboration, common ground, scaling deep; framing

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Citation Data

Author(s): Maria Belén Buckenmayer, Milene Gonçalves and Ingrid Mulder
Title: Fruitful Friction as a Strategy to Scale Social Innovations
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Article No.:
Symposium Dates:
First published: 3 September 2021
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Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (ISSN 2371-8404) are published annually by the Systemic Design Association, a non-profit scholarly association leading the research and practice of design for complex systems: 3803 Tønsberg, Norway (922 275 696).


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