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Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal is the first online publication to bring a public focus to social innovators and their nonprofit organizations, foundations and social sector businesses in the Greater Philadelphia area, to recognize their successes and encourage others around the country to strive for similar results. As a forum for the region’s foremost social innovators, the Journal shares their expertise, strategies and ideas about topics such as leadership, human capital and disruptive innovation.

Introduction

About 100 miles west of Philadelphia in the town of Palmyra, PA, a dozen seniors are living out their final years in what you might think of as the “anti-nursing home.”

At Hostetter House, there are no wheelchair-bound residents crowding around a nursing station or patients waiting too long to be attended to in their beds. You won’t see medication carts, laundry carts, housekeeping carts or food carts blocking the halls. You won’t hear a steady flow of intercom announcements or call bell alarms.

Instead you find elders socializing in front of the fireplace, out on the patio or around a common dining table. The warm scent of a home-cooked meal permeates the air. Though elders here require skilled nursing care, they move with freedom and dignity and set their own routines. That is because Hostetter House is, in every sense of the word, their home.

Hostetter House is a certified Green House® home, designed from the ground up to provide the highest quality long-term care in an environment that looks and feels like a real home. Twelve years ago, there were no Green House homes anywhere. Now there are 134 in 21 states around the country, with another 100 homes in development.

The Green House Project is not just a breakthrough in how we care for aging Americans, but is also a model designed to catalyze change in the field of long-term care. It is a signature example of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) efforts to bring game-changing ideas to scale.1

We welcome the "Philadelphia Social Innovation Journal as a way to chronicle the imagination and dedication by hundreds of organizations and thousands of their employees and volunteers bring everyday to helping improve their communities. For over fifty-five years, Eisenhower Fellowships has been a part of Philadelphia and we are proud of the tangible contributions our Fellows make to the Delaware Valley. Congratulations too to those who have seen this journal as a way to encourage others to share in and invest back into our community and indeed communities all over the country.”

John Wolf, President, Eisenhower Fellowships

Innovation Themes

  • Special Editions
    Presents a comprehensive overview and in-depth analysis of an issue faced by the region and nation.
  • Featured Social Innovations
    Profiles an innovative, proven-effective (or proven-ineffective) solution to an important social, environmental or organizational problem.
  • Editorials
    Features the opinion of a provocative thought leader in a nonprofit, a socially responsibly business or a government agency.
  • Disruptive Innovations
    Profiles an innovative, promising, yet still unproven solution to an important social, environmental or organizational problem.
  • What Works & What Doesn't Work
    Presents an in-depth analysis of a management challenge faced by a nonprofit, a socially responsible business or a government agency
  • Leadership
    Relates the experiences of a provoking and credible leader in a nonprofit, a socially responsible business, or a government agency.
  • Columns
    Features future trends within the social sector by cutting edge thought provoking leaders.
  • Nominated Innovations
  • Book Reviews

National Partners