How Game Changers Catalyzed, Disrupted, and Incentivized Social Innovation: Three Historical Cases of Nature Conservation, Assimilation, and Women’s Rights
Ecology & Society
We explore the impact of “game changers” on the dynamics of innovation over time in three problem domains, that of wilderness protection, women’s rights, and assimilation of indigenous children in Canada. Taking a specifically historical and cross-scale approach, we look at one social innovation in each problem domain. We explore the origins and history of the development of the National Parks in the USA, the legalization of contraception in the USA and Canada, and the residential school system in Canada. Based on a comparison of these cases, we identify three kinds of game changers, those that catalyze social innovation, which we define as “seminal,” those that disrupt the continuity of social innovation, which we label exogenous shocks, and those that provide opportunities for novel combinations and recombinations, which we label as endogamous game changers.
Westley, Frances R.; McGowan, Katharine A.; Antadze, Nino; Blacklock, Jaclyn; and Tjornbo, Ola. "How Game Changers Catalyzed, Disrupted, and Incentivized Social Innovation: Three Historical Cases of Nature Conservation, Assimilation, and Women’s Rights." Ecology & Society 21, no. 4 (2016) : 13.