The 10 most popular articles on social innovation of 2021

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(Illustration by Nyanza D)

The most popular articles published by SSIR online in 2021 focused on some of the most difficult issues facing the social innovation industry today. Several, including three of SSIRThe series “This is what racism looks like” explored the pernicious effects of systemic racism within organizations. The urgency and resonance of this topic was also reflected in the continued popularity of 2019’s feature film, ‘The Bias of’ Professionalism ‘Standards,’ ‘which was read the most. SSIR everyone’s article this year. Other popular articles have questioned the values ​​and assumptions of major movements such as remittances, corporate sustainability and ESG investments. We hope they all provide important information and nourishing food for thought as you continue your work in 2022 and beyond.

The beliefs that qualified black applicants are rare and that black employees are not as qualified for promotion as their white colleagues are real and much more common than many realize. Author Autumn McDonald explains the four basic mistakes behind this myth and how it harms both individuals and organizations. Part of the “This is what racism looks like“series.

“A board can be redesigned in a number of ways, provided it has the collective will to do so. This is both the beauty and the challenge of a board structure: only a board has the power to change itself, and boards can interpret and apply their own expectations regarding their roles and responsibilities. In most cases, boards are their own accountability mechanism. This structure can work wonderfully or fail miserably, depending on how a board is populated and self-governed.

Despite all the glowing press that unconditional cash transfers have received, according to Mulago Foundation Director Kevin Starr, cash is still a long way from living up to the hype and transforming the development sector.

To get a sense of the direction impact investing could take over the next decade, the authors examine where the field is in three areas that play a disproportionate role in its goals and practices.

With environmental devastation and social injustices pushing the planet to breaking point, NYU Business Professor Hans Taparia argued that a stronger environmental, social and governance (ESG) rating system is needed to ensure that investors get the positive impact they pay for.

“Systemic change is the only path to climate stability. But what the corporate sustainability movement has really been successful in doing is making sure everyone is working within a narrowly defined playing field that leaves the one thing we need to change untouched and threat-free – l economy based on fossil fuels. “

What is “not here” syndrome? As Professor Charlie Hurst explains, far too many people still deny that racism is a problem in their own organizations, even when they are ready to recognize it as widespread in the rest of society. Part of the “This is what racism looks like“series.

“Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DCI) have been woefully insufficient to address individual and institutional challenges in the workplace, especially outrages upon personal dignity,” argued author Aida Mariam Davis . “Efforts on behalf of DCI can reinforce the patterns of symbolism, assimilation and disrespect that oppress Black and Indigenous employees and leave all employees without the proper tools to dismantle discriminatory organizations and practices. ” Part of the “This is what racism looks like“series.

Artist, writer and activist Jihan Gearon calls for bringing matriarchy back to Indigenous communities to rebuild and decolonize the foundations of Indigenous community life. Part of the “Decolonization and Radical Indigenous Futures“series.

“Each board culture is uniquely shaped by the ideologies and beliefs of board members, as well as their relationships with nonprofit leaders and staff, external partners and with each other. others. »The cover story of SSIRThe summer issue of s offered nine examples of how nonprofit boards can be colonized and strategies to free them. (Available only for print and digital subscribers. Subscribe here to access.)

Read more stories by SSIR editors.


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