During the last ten years in which I have devoted myself professionally to social innovation, I have witnessed the transformation of the sector in Latin America. The region has become one of the spaces where the work of thousands of organizations and individuals that use innovation to respond to some of the most prevalent challenges facing humanity is seen more vibrantly. The collaboration of IE in the Fundación MAPFRE Awards for Social Innovation has allowed me this year to have a deeper and more systematic approach to three specific areas around which these prizes revolve: Health Improvement / eHealth, Insurance Innovation and Mobility / Road safety. In these awards we have worked with hundreds of organizations and people who weave the ecosystem of social innovation in Latin America. Both in the conversations with them and in the reading and evaluation of the candidacies for the prizes, some main trends are identified in each of the three categories.
Improving Health / eHealth has been the category that has generated the greatest response from social innovators in Latin America. Among the candidatures received, we can highlight two aspects that are critical in the region. On the one hand, universal access to basic health services. Latin American social innovators are taking on the challenge of complementing health services where public administration does not arrive. For this, they offer schemes of access to quality health services for free or at very low costs. They achieve this thanks to technological innovation, innovation in their income generation models and the voluntary work of great professionals. Second, there is a very important focus on child health care. The weakness of health services in the region affects especially children; Accessing or not early access to the treatments they need can have a definitive effect on their future and even on the construction of their identity. Providing them and their families with an adequate diagnosis, treatment and accompaniment is the mission of many of the social innovators in Latin America.
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About the author
Concepción Galdón, IE Social Innovation Director/Academic Lead Concepción Galdón is IE University’s Social Innovation Director/Academic Lead. At IE she has the mandate to promote Social Innovation academic content across Schools and Programs, encourage more research in Social Innovation and reach out to organizations and partners interested in Social Innovation. Concepción is professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at IE. Concepción is also President of the social Venture Puentes Global, which she co-founded in 2009. She´s a member of Ashoka Spain’s Venture Board and of the board of Harvard Kennedy School Spain Alumni Network. Graduated with a B.S in Economics from U.A.M, Concepcion holds a Master’s in Public Admin and Int. Development from Harvard Kennedy School. Her professional exposure includes social impact projects in Bolivia and Madrid, UN Headquarters, Santander Bank and the Finance Ministry of Liberia. There, she worked with the Government of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Nobel Peace Prize 2011.Since 2010 Concepcion has held several positions in IE, including deputy director of the Center for Diversity.