Social Innovation Approach
We knew RECOVER needed to apply a different approach and invite a new way of working together. Our search for a way to deal with the complexity of urban wellness led us to a process called social innovation.
Social innovation is about creating and testing solutions to difficult problems and bringing a diverse group of voices together. It has been used in other communities with success and we were optimistic that it can help us with the complexity of urban wellness.
We believed it had the potential to work here in Edmonton, but we had lots of learning to do. It stretched our way of thinking and doing, but those on the RECOVER journey have been willing to leap in together, collaborate and see where this will take us.
Central to social innovation is collaboration, but collaboration only moves at the speed of trust. In neighbourhoods that have historically experienced significant tensions, it was important to acknowledge the conflicts and work through them together. Fostering trusting relationships takes time. We knew that the small and big solutions we were looking to develop had to be created alongside the people that would be most affected. This was one of the first steps to heal and build important relationships.