Social Innovation and the Evolution of Creative, Sustainable Worldviews

  • Liane GaboraEmail author
  • Mike Unrau
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture book series (PASCC)


Ideas build on one another in a manner that is cumulative and adaptive, forming open-ended lineages across space and time. Thus, human culture evolves. The pervasiveness of cross-domain creativity—as when a song inspires a painting—would appear indicative of discontinuities in cultural lineages. However, if what evolves through culture is not discrete 'memes' or artifacts but worldviews—the webs of thoughts, ideas, and attitudes that constitute our ways of seeing and being in the world—then the problem of discontinuities is solved. The state of a worldview can be affected by information assimilated in one domain, and this change-of-state can be expressed in another domain. In this view, the gesture, story, or artifact that constitutes a specific creative act is not what is evolving; it is merely the external manifestation of the state of an evolving worldview. Like any evolutionary process, cultural evolution requires a balance between novelty, via the generation of variation, and continuity, via the preservation of variants that are adaptive. In cultural evolution, novelty is generated through creativity, and continuity is provided by social learning processes, e.g., imitation. Both the generative and imitative aspects of cultural evolution are affected by social media. We discuss the trajectory from social ideation to social innovation, focusing on the role of self-organization, renewal, and perspective-taking at the individual and social group level.


Creativity Social creativity Social innovation Cross-domain creativity Cultural evolution Worldview EVOC Perspective Media Creative destruction 



This research was supported in part by a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of British ColumbiaKelownaCanada

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