The Evolution of Social Innovation
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The Evolution of Social Innovation

Building Resilience Through Transitions

Edited by Frances Westley, Katherine McGowan and Ola Tjörnbo

In a time where governments and civil society organizations are putting ever-greater stock in social innovation as a route to transformation, understanding what characterizes social innovation with transformative potential is important. Exciting and promising ideas seem to die out as often as they take flight, and market mechanisms, which go a long way towards contributing to successful technical innovations, play an insignificant role in social innovations. The cases in this book explore the evolution of successful social innovation through time, from the ideas which catalysed social and system entrepreneurs to create new processes, platforms, projects and programs to fundamental social shifts in culture, economics, laws and policies which occurred as a result. In doing so, the authors shed light on how to recognize transformative potential in the early stage innovations we see today.
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Chapter 2: National parks in the United States

Nino Antadze

Abstract

The chapter conceptualizes national parks as a social innovation. It explores how historical developments, coupled with the efforts of individuals, turned the national parks idea into an institutionalized reality. The chapter shows that the literary and intellectual movements of the 19th century, the advancement of science, and the political process of colonization created a gravitational field within which the national park idea gradually gained its present shape and content. The chapter probes into the establishment of the Yellowstone National Park and the convergence of altruistic sentiments, political priorities, and economic interests that led to its creation in 1872.

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