Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship and New Green Jobs:
Successful Experiences in Mexico” en Ralph D Christy (Author, Editor),
Carlos A da Silva (Author, Editor) Innovative Institutions, Public Policies
and Private Strategies for“ Agro-Enterprise Development, London,
World Scientific Publishing Company, 2014.
Even before the crisis outbreak in 2008, there was a pressing problem affecting both advanced and emerging economies: unemployment (Lang: 2009). The financial crisis first and the fiscal crisis later have put even more pressure on this issues, leading on many cases to social discontent.
Therefore green economy must look at ways of addressing this problem and providing new solutions. This paper focuses on identifying successful experiences in Mexico, in which social innovation becomes a key element in developing of new skills and highly productive alternatives in the green sector (Hämäläinen: 2007).
By studying social processes of innovation, this research can help understand the types of platforms needed to facilitate cross-sector collaborative social innovation (Martens & Keul: 2005).
Following the literature (Praszkier & Nowak:2011) and as a result of this case analysis, we have been able to identify five key elements that these successful practices have in common: First, creativity as the starting point to generate a new or novel output; secondly, if innovation comes as a solution to a problem it can easily be converted into value; third, a collaborative atmosphere fosters individual initiative and cross-pollination; the fourth element is individual expectations, including individual initiative and tolerance for mistakes, which encourage individual effort. Finally, networking based on self-organized special interest groups with informal, horizontal structures, objectives and tasks; these groups tend to have formal leadership and small budgets and are driven from the “grass roots” and/or previous community projects.
In most cases, there are few financial incentives to endorse social innovation, so individuals and organizations have also developed quite interesting recognition instruments to engage new participants; instruments, which, are also presented in this piece of work.
Even more, these initiatives have also proven to be very effective as means of creating jobs, and fighting poverty and its consequences.
In sum, as several studies (Bessant & Tidd: 2011; OECD:2011; Von Braun & Pandya-Lorch:2009) have already found a link between social innovation and entrepreneurship, this Chapter helps build a blueprint towards designing successful development strategies and new public policies to promote green growth, together with job creation, particularly at the local level.