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Concept of Social Innovation

Discuss about the Aboriginal Women Empowerment for Engagement Theory.

This report aims to discuss social innovation as a concept to be utilized in increasing the community engagement in the region of Aboriginal and Torres strait Island of Australia. This report has discussed the functions of a non-profit organization named Aboriginal Community Controlled Organization (Absec.org.au 2018). It mainly works for the aboriginal communities because it is operated and controlled by the communities themselves. This organization has aimed to provide education to the aboriginal girls and younger women. In addition to this, the organization will be providing all necessary trainings and vocational courses to the community women so that they can utilize their merits and become as productive as men. This will decrese the incidents of immature mortality and domestic violence in which cases, the women become sole suffers. Through this social innovation, the aboriginal women will have opportunity to get education which will reduce discrimination (Registry 2018). This paper has discussed diffusion of innovation by Rogers through which the organization will be able to understand the impact of the social innovation as well as the communities’ response towards the change. This paper concludes with some challenges which need to be overcome as early as possible so that the change can have economic, ethical and environmental effect at its best.

Social innovation is a new approach with sets of concepts and ideas that aims to meet all the social needs of the communities. This can be related with the various elements like education, health and employment of the communities. Social innovation focuses on the social progress by using various open source methods (Gill 2015). All of these techniques have one specific aim that is increasing community involvement and for doing this, the organizations follow various paths such as microcredit, online volunteering and activism. The theory of social innovation and community engagement has various facets like social entrepreneurship, governance and social marketing. There are diverse of actors which introduce these social innovations to the communities. These are mainly the independent organizations, non-profit institutions, research academies and various companies. The chief focus of social innovation theory is to change the perspectives of the people so that the communities may meet all of their necessities and for these functions, all he needed changes can take place.

There is a basic difference between the social work and the social innovation. Social work is to help the communities in various ways but social innovation has a connotation of empowering these communities in all-inclusive ways. Social innovation gives priority to the internal functions of the institutions so that productivity can be increased. From the perspective of community engagement, social innovation aims to maximize the power of the individuals along with the groups so that the willingness for changing social relations increases. Social innovation utilizes the common goal of the countries and help them to achieve their goals.

Aboriginal Community Controlled Organization for Women Empowerment

According to the theory of diffusion of innovation by Everett Rogers, diffusion is a process by which innovation can be communicated through certain channels over time and among the members of a particular social system (Rogers and Shoemaker 1971). For empowering the communities, the communication is vital because it is a process in which the participants create as well as share their acquired information with one another for reaching a mutual understanding. In case of diffusion of innovation, the communication is about new approach and for this, understanding of the process is important. This helps in improving community engaged efforts for spreading the innovative processes.

According to this approach, there are five stages to understand the variations in how the communities respond to the community engagement efforts. The first stage is knowledge where the individual groups get exposed to social innovation but do not possess enough information about it (Phillips et al. 2015). The second stage is persuasion where the group feels interested in that particular innovation therefore, seeks more information about it. In the third sate decision, the communities weigh the ratio of advantages and disadvantages of applying that innovation then decide whether to decide or to reject that process.in the following stage implementation, the groups adopt the innovation and employ that innovation to some degree. During implementation stage, the utility of the innovation is resolute and additional knowledge can be sought. Confirmation is the fifth the where the communities judge the utility then decide whether to continue with that innovation or to what extent.  

For the non-profit organization named Aboriginal Community Controlled Organization situated in Australia, the social innovation will be focusing on the development of the country’s aboriginal people. This organization is initiated and operated by the aboriginal communities themselves hence acknowledges the right of the aboriginal people to self- determination. For this kind of community organization, the social innovation can be associated with the initiatives to empower the aboriginal girls and women through proper education. No organization or government is powerful enough to close the gap between the non-aboriginal and the aboriginal people living in Australia if not invest effort in the education process. By the means of education, they can create scope for employment, eradicate health issues and bring equality among the two opposite class of people (Moulaert 2016). Only through proper investment of money and effort to create educational opportunities in the aboriginal people especially the girls and the young women. The data has revealed that six out of ten aboriginal girls complete secondary schools as opposed to the ratio of eight in ten non- aboriginal students in Australia.

Theory of Diffusion of Innovation and Community Response

Engaging aboriginal young women and girls in this program will help to close the gap between the indigenous and non-indigenous education system. This social innovation aims to improve the retention and tendency rate of the female students in the schools of the aboriginals (Voorberg, Bekkers and Tummers 2015). In addition to this, the innovation will increase participation in employment. Though these innovations the organization will be able to decrease the gender inequality among the aboriginal people of Australia. The social innovation also aims to make the aboriginal women ready for working in the modern companies so that they become economically empowered. This will decrease records of the family and domestic violence in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island of Australia.

This social innovation will increase the community engagement in a great deal because it has social, economic and ethical implication which will be positive and help in the all-encompassing growth of the aboriginal community. It will reduce the tradition gap between men and women in the indigenous society in terms of economy. By providing the young women and girls education, the innovation will reduce the rate of drop outs from the schools in Australia. The gender dissemination that the women face in the aspect of employment, will be deceased when they will have aptitude and suitability of working in the modern organizations with other non-indigenous Australians.

The Aboriginal Community Controlled Organization usually provides all types of support to the aboriginal communities but through this innovation they will be able to focus on a more specialized segment of the community that is the young women and girls (Rasmussen et al. 2015). The yields from investing in the education of the women benefits both the community as well as the country. It has an undisputable, economic ethical and environmental effect.

Economic impact: according to the economists, the profitability of education according to the estimates of private rate of return ins indisputable and universal. The data reveled by the Word bank has stated that if the women get opportunity of having proper education, then more than 1.2% higher return can be expected than men on the resources spent in the education system globally. In the social system followed by the aboriginal communities, the women are seen to have less competitiveness than men therefore the investment in the women education is less. This is the reason why at different regions, the GDP growth has been estimated 0.4-0.9% less solely by the differences due to the gender gap in education (Hendrickx et al. 2016). An educated girl is capable to maximize her personal earning potential in one hand and reduce poverty in the community on the other. This effect of education can be carried from generation to generation because the educated aboriginal women will have more awareness associated with their heath. Hence, in future these educated women will have fewer, healthier and better educated children. The participation of the women in the modern setting of organization will increase the diversity in the labor force of the country. In addition to this, the educated women will take part in the entrepreneurship and present their traditional products to the stage of the world (Habibi, Laroche and Richard 2014).

Challenges to Overcome for Successful Social Innovation

Ethical impact: investing in the women education in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island region will decrease the cases of early marriage and early motherhood. For early motherhood, the health problems in the aboriginal Australians keeps on increasing and affect the future skills of the grown-ups. The family violence due the poor economy or awareness among the family members, the women suffer mostly (Indigenous.gov.au 2018). Therefore, education of women will be able to strengthen the economic situation of the women and they can ask for legislative assistance. Gender inequality which is one the most unethical question prevailed in the lifestyle of the aboriginal people of Australia, will be reduced greatly. At the wider social level, the educated girls lead to an increase in the female leaders and influence in the regulations of the government. Women intervention in the fields of music, dance, sports, art and the community experience will be increasing. The issue of drug addiction due to desolation and economic frustration among the men will be reduced indirectly.

Environmental impact: the education among the aboriginal girls and young women will help in decreasing the population issues in the region as well as country. The educated women will have adequate awareness about the methods of preventing population growth which in the current setting has become one of the most burning environmental issue. In addition to this, proper education will increase environmental awareness which will have a great impact in sustainable growth of the aboriginal communities.

First of all, women education is Australia is not very difficult to observe but the question arises when it comes to the matter of the aboriginal communities. The people of these region follow their traditions minutely hence do not ascribe with the importance of women education (Nicholls, Simon and Gabriel 2015). The communities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island have rural life without much modernity in their lifestyles. Their economy is also lagged behind from the rest of the country.  Therefore, they cannot even afford to send their boy children in the schools because of poverty. These children are put into work with the adults so that they can help earning for their household. In this social structure, the women are neglected for not having merits to earn. Thus half of the population remains unutilized in this region. The aboriginal communities follow their own traditional norms hence it is difficult to bring their girls out of the houses for education.

The communities do not have much awareness about the importance of women empowerment. For them, their culture has supremacy over other ideologies hence it is difficult to make them realize the value of education among women. The physical distance of the island from the city or the business area is huge (Satanasavapak 2018). Moreover, the region does not have education centers or schools especially for women. In addition to this, the community schools do not have proper infrastructure, which is one of the main reasons why the people do not agree to send their girls to schools. This stubbornness against women education has enlarged the gap or discrimination in the community.

Conclusion:

Therefore, it can be concluded that though social innovation, community engagement can be increased. Due to poor economy and traditional outlook there are various problems in the women empowerment. Through various programs and regulations, the traditional perspective about women education can be changed positively. This paper has discussed models of social innovation through which the community responses can be judged and shaped in support for change. Though this particular initiative the organization aims to bring a social equilibrium among the men and women in the labor market of Australia and it will ensure progress in indigenous society of the country.

References:

Absec.org.au (2018). AbSec | Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation. [online] Absec.org.au. Available at: https://www.absec.org.au/acco.html [Accessed 16 Apr. 2018].

Australian Labor Party. (2018). Empowering Indigenous Girls Through Education. [online] Available at: https://www.alp.org.au/empoweringindigenousgirls [Accessed 16 Apr. 2018].

Gill, R., 2015. Why the PR strategy of storytelling improves employee engagement and adds value to CSR: An integrated literature review. Public Relations Review, 41(5), pp.662-674.

Habibi, M.R., Laroche, M. and Richard, M.O., 2014. The roles of brand community and community engagement in building brand trust on social media. Computers in Human Behavior, 37, pp.152-161.

Hendrickx, D., Stephen, A., Lehmann, D., Silva, D., Boelaert, M., Carapetis, J. and Walker, R., 2016. A systematic review of the evidence that swimming pools improve health and wellbeing in remote Aboriginal communities in Australia. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, 40(1), pp.30-36.

Indigenous.gov.au (2018). Act of Recognition passes the Senate. [online] Indigenous.gov.au. Available at: https://www.indigenous.gov.au/act-of-recognition-passes-the-senate [Accessed 16 Apr. 2018].

Moulaert, F., 2016. Social innovation: Institutionally embedded, territorially (re) produced. In Social innovation and territorial development (pp. 27-40). Routledge.

Nicholls, A., Simon, J. and Gabriel, M., 2015. Introduction: Dimensions of social innovation. In New frontiers in social innovation research (pp. 1-26). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Phillips, W., Lee, H., Ghobadian, A., O’Regan, N. and James, P., 2015. Social innovation and social entrepreneurship: A systematic review. Group & Organization Management, 40(3), pp.428-461.

Rasmussen, R.L., Overgaard, C., Bøggild, H. and Thomsen, L.L.H., 2017. The role of community engagement in a health promoting initiative in a deprived neighborhood in Aalborg. In Nordisk Folkesundhedskonference.

Registry, A. (2018). Chapter 1: Models and Frameworks | Principles of Community Engagement | ATSDR. [online] Atsdr.cdc.gov. Available at: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/communityengagement/pce_models.html [Accessed 16 Apr. 2018].

Rogers, E.M. and Shoemaker, F.F., 1971. Communication of Innovations; A Cross-Cultural Approach.

Satanasavapak, P., 2018. The influences of the big five personality traits, virtual brand community motives and virtual brand community uses on virtual brand community engagement. AU Journal of Management, 10(1), pp.35-46.

Voorberg, W.H., Bekkers, V.J. and Tummers, L.G., 2015. A systematic review of co-creation and co-production: Embarking on the social innovation journey. Public Management Review, 17(9), pp.1333-1357.

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