Frontiers of Social Innovation

Host Organization: Stanford Social Innovation Review


A little over a year ago, Stanford Social Innovation Review launched its 2020 Frontiers of Social Innovation conference with a focus on the ways that major technological, political, and economic changes were causing shifts in people, power, and resources around the globe.

The events of the past year have cast these shifts into even greater light, while spotlighting one of the critical questions we posed: What can we learn from our experiences to create a more just, sustainable, and equal world, and how can we better prepare for the changes to come?

The imbalanced impact of the global pandemic, the growing movements to address systemic racism, economic inequality, and other social injustices, and the assault on democratic principles and institutions all point to the vital need for social innovation leaders to come together to build and enact an equitable future.

Consider this...

    • • Power—political, personal, and social—remains unequally distributed around the world, both within and between countries. The internet has caused significant changes in whose voices are heard and what organizations wield power, with a spectrum of social movements, from left to right, shaking the foundations of power.
    • • A handful of nations, companies, and individuals possess the vast majority of the world’s wealth, capital, and environmental assets. This inequitable control of resources and the growing chasm between the rich and the poor manifests in growing calls for significant changes in the way resources are controlled and allocated.
    • • Climate change, conflict, and economic trends are causing hundreds of millions of people to migrate within and across national borders. Countries continue to rapidly urbanize, redistributing populations and leaving most rural areas further behind. And dramatic demographic changes within countries contribute to social upheaval.


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