When it's popular, people follow. This common principle probably also applies to social innovation. If we perform a correlation study, it wouldn't come as a surprise to me if replication of any type of social innovation is heavily linked to popularity and intensity of media coverage. Is there really much careful consideration involved when it comes to replicating social innovation?
Talk about light, solar lanterns become the 'definitive solution' at this moment. Banking? It's mostly narrowed into mobile banking immediately. And sanitation? Mobile toilet/ toilet kiosks are on the rise. It's important that we don't lose track that those are promising initiatives but not the permanent solutions. We have to explore other potential solutions within the same fields.
We always stress on poor-centric product design, but I'm not always convinced that their needs have been carefully considered during replication of popular products. The marketing slogans almost always quote on significant number of the poor living without certain products to justify the potential. It has become the standard way to sell the idea in communities with distinctive needs from different parts of the world. I think we need to be careful that it's not popularity, media coverage, simplistic market size and funder attention that drive replication. Social innovation shouldn't be turned into default solutions.