The purpose of this research is to explore the possibility of improving the contribution of academic theory to philanthropic practice in the broad realm of social innovation. With more information about the structure and tendency of these two sectors, strategic and thoughtful efforts can be made to increase the capacity of the sectors to drive more significant social impacts. To provide a basis for understanding the case for alignment, an encompassing picture of research themes and trends in the published academic literature in the field of social innovation is built with the help of bibliometric analysis and data analytics techniques. Regarding the philanthropic side, the general elements that shape the dynamics of community foundations in general, and in particular, the case study of the Systems Change granting practice of the Vancouver Foundation are explored. To make academic literature more accessible to practitioners, a prototype artificial intelligence literature review engine for social projects is developed with data mining methods.
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Thesis advisor: Holden, Meg
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