A New Model for Social Welfare –Design and Social Innovation

Recent news of earthquakes, ‘left behind’ children, soup kitchen, war veterans has become the public’s interest. On one hand, it has stimulated public participation in charities but at the same time, negative news and the creditability crisis of charities has raised the concern on how the public can methodologically participate in charity work.

Under the rapid modernization of industry, IT, urbanization and agriculture, we have to face many society’s structural and social changes and more frequent disasters and public safety concerns. These ‘social needs’ are not issues that can be solved via business operations nor can be totally relied on government support and grants therefore, this year’s ‘LotusPrize’ competition has specially set up an independent ‘Social Innovation Service’ category, merging public resources from government, charities, enterprises and independents to encourage related personnel to actively participate and discover better ways to improve the methods of social service.

We call for the public, designing and working together to create a better society for all diversities, cultures and environments, for the poorer central and western districts, for public safety and post disaster reconstruction and urban – rural integration. This group is open to the public, encouraging all to create and direct new values, way of life, public acceptance and social innovation through green design, eco design and product service systems.

This year’s competition has got attracted the support from Hunan TV V-Fund and also became one of the co-organizers for the competition. Hunan TV V-Fund was co established between Hunan Broadcasting System and China Social Welfare Foundation which is also the first national charity launched by a media corporation with rich media resources. Hunan TV V-Fund works adheres to the idea of ‘public charity’, ‘happy charity’ and ‘honest charity’, focusing on improving the public’s inner quality and ethics on TV media. For this competition, V-Fund has given the topic of ‘Ya An’ (recent earthquake disaster area), inviting the creatives from around the world to help resolve the issues of the people from Ya An through the power of design and media. The design could be products or an effective service system or other resolutions. The charity will give 1.2million yuan for winning teams to execute their ideas. No doubt that this prize will have the fiercest competition. Who will achieve their dream?