Social Innovation

Traditional policy approaches have failed to catalyze significant and lasting change for many complex social problems, such as homelessness, justice involvement and reentry, and educational achievement. Social innovation, which is an iterative, inclusive process using innovation frameworks to achieve more effective and just solutions to solve complex social problems, provides an alternative to traditional problem solving approaches. The Price Center conducts research on all aspects of social innovation, which offers both new processes and new models for solving society’s most persistent social challenges.

Graddy-Reed’s study is the first of its kind to examine how organizational identity—including nonprofit, for-profit, and hybrid models—impacts decisions around risk and innovation.

This draws together ideas about the next generation of SIBs that will be better placed to deliver more innovative approaches & act as positive disruptors in local public services.

Sherry Arnstein’s classic “A Ladder of Citizen Participation” still shapes our understanding of citizen participation within and beyond planning.


Payment by Results and Social Impact Bonds: Outcome-based payment systems in the UK and US

Year: 2018

Pay for Success is an approach to contracting that ties payment for service delivery to the achievement of measurable outcomes. Private investors provide upfront financing for a social service and are repaid with a return on investment by a back-end … Continue reading

Do hybrid firms out-provide traditional business structures? An examination of prosocial behavior in North Carolina firms

USC Price Center for Social Innovation

Year: 2018

Hybrid organizations are organizations that employ a for-profit model with a social mission. In recent years, there has been a push to create formal legal designations that protect the organization’s social mission while allowing it to access investment capital and … Continue reading

Pay For Success

Year: 2018

A concise introduction to the “pay for success” model with resource links for additional study.

What Is Collective Impact

Year: 2018

A concise introduction to the concept of “collective impact” with two examples of significant initiatives in Los Angeles.

A Patchwork of Identities: Emergence of Charter Schools as a New Organizational Form

Emergence: Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Volume 50

Year: 2017

This paper examines the emergence of an organizational form, charter schools, in Oakland, California. It links field-level logics to organizational founding identities using topic modeling. It finds corporate and community founding actors create distinct and consistent identities, whereas more peripheral … Continue reading

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