The Chemistry of Social Innovation: Fusing Elements to Make Change, and Other Insights from the 2023 Social Innovation Summit

By Darcy Sawatzki and Wendy Salas

June 9, 2023

June 9, 2023 – What if you put both peanut butter and jelly into one sandwich? With that idea, Julie Davis Chandler brought one of the greatest snacks to the world in a 1901 issue of the Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics.

And what if you used autonomous vehicles to pick up and deliver surplus food to communities facing food insecurity?

And what if you adapt systems currently used for supporting refugees to help families with trans family members relocate to sanctuary states within the United States?

And what if you could use sugar-based bio-nylon to make clothes to reduce the amount of polluting synthetic fiber?

These collaborations and innovations are not science fiction – they are happening now and were just some of the many brilliant ideas shared and celebrated at the 2023 Social Innovation Summit in Los Angeles this week.

At Evoke Kyne, we know that collaborations and innovations are crucial elements in helping make health more human. In our brainstorms, we experiment by mixing disparate ideas, elements and partners to see what sparks. Here are seven elements we gleaned from the Summit and will be bringing into our next brainstorms to imagine what’s possible:

  • Tapping a poet in residence (shout out to Charles Patton II, Red Lion Poetry).
  • Using experiential storytelling to understand people who are too often misunderstood or ignored (inspired by the exhibit on over-incarceration at the Legacy Museum).
  • Collaborating with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to elevate research on intersectional onscreen representation for disability, age 50+ and other identities.
  • Engaging the blockchain community through philanthropic NFT creation (as Fidelity Charitable did with the “Art of Generosity” collection).
  • Propelling yourself via smart branding for good as Erica Ford did when she became the Peace Doctor, determined to help end gun violence. 🧡
  • Taking inspiration from your community as did in founding Foundation to prepare youth in his hometown of East LA/Boyle Heights to be future innovators through STEAM education.
  • Keeping accessibility top of mind as the Born This Way Foundation did in developing the Be There certificate program. Continue to innovate by learning from the community programs are designed for and keeping their needs in mind.

As the great Maya Angelou said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” Thank you to wonderful change agents who shared their ideas, innovations and interests at the Social Innovation Summit. We are charged up and ready to spark!