Stu Conger, former manager, NewStart program
Our society has evolved over the centuries to become what it is in terms of the laws that control and protect us; the institutions that educate us, reform us, promise eternity, nurture, discipline, employ and govern us. Each of these components has changed over the centuries through the invention and adoption of social inventions created by individuals, groups and organizations. Some have come about as a result of strong advocacy (such as the barons who forced King John to sign and abide by the Magna Carta) and others by a single individual seeking comradeship (the invention of the modern service club). Many educational, social, political, poverty, and labour problems are in great need of new procedures, organizations or laws to resolve them but there is a dirth of efforts to invent solutions. Relying on advocacy or happenstance is not enough. There is a need for social invention centres dedicated to the experimental creation of new solutions. Governments think that by adjusting a policy, renaming a program or reorganizing a department they can solve important social programs but they are wrong. What they need are new methods and organizations yet to be invented. This book describes hundreds of social inventions through history and makes a plea for deliberate programs for social invention.
October 04 2009