Universities can be Social Innovation Organizations too
“Can private universities turn into a social innovation organizations?” A few days ago, Professor Richard Fang from the Culture University asked me this question.
Professor Fang asked this question because the Department of Commerce announced the “Principles of Social Innovation Organization Registration” in August this year.
Last year, the “Corporation Law” was amended to include the conditions for company establishment, and added “the company’s actions to promote public interest.” Social enterprises that take into account their social responsibility and market operations can register as a company and voluntarily expose the charter to solve the problem in the past that profit and mission are unable to balance.
However, in the social enterprise ecosystem, organizations with various forms also hoping that each other’s missions and results can be more clearly disclosed in public. Therefore, when the amendment to the “Company Law” was passed, the Legislature attached a resolution requesting the government to discuss how to respond to the needs of these friends within a year.
To this end, many friends are actively seeking methods and providing advice. In March, I met with William H. Clark, Jr., the main promoter of the Common Law Act in the United States. He shared the case of Ecuador and provided a reference for Taiwan: that is, first proposing administrative rules and experimenting for a while, then form a formal law.
The advantage of “administrative rules” is that organizers who are committed to social innovation can proactively expose their charters, missions, and public interest reports without penalties. Not only to protect the current legal mechanism, but also let relevant companies refer to the results during the trial, and then decide how to form the law.
Therefore, we wrote the “Principles of Social Innovation Organization Registration” as a pilot point. Any type of organization can be registered as a social creation organization. The purpose is to enable any friend who is interested in social innovation to find a partner by log into the platform and expand social innovation ecosystem.
So, can private universities turn into social innovation organizations? My answer is: “Of course!” Private colleges and universities, as long as they are registered in the organization type under the “financial corporation”, they can be regarded as a “business oriented financial corporation”.
Over the years, whether it is the Ministry of Education’s “U-start Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program” or the “University Social Responsibility Practice Program” (USR), the creativity and vitality demonstrated by the teachers and students have fully demonstrated the spirit of social innovation: “everyone’s business, everyone helps.” As a organizer, colleges and universities will also develop closer partnerships for the practice of sustainable development.
The registration for the Cultural University has just completed. I hope that in the future, both public and private higher education institutions will be able to log in together on the si.taiwan.gov.tw platform and become fellow organizations to empower social innovation.