Innovation is recognized as a key to success in the technology startup space. This association with tech companies, though, signifies that once we think about innovation, we often imagine new gadget or market an invention idea. This mindset makes creative breakthroughs seem predicated on having a top engineering team plus a big research and development budget. Fortunately for nonprofits and social enterprises, this is simply not the truth.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines innovation as “a new idea, device, or method.” Although it will come by means of a new machine or microchip, innovation can even be a whole new method of a problem, a modification of behavior, or even a new way of using existing resources. Innovation can happen at any organization in any sector.
Some of the most successful and celebrated innovations of history decade center primarily with a new approach or a new method of using resources. Organizations from the for-profit and nonprofit sector have used existing methods and technology differently so that you can revolutionize their space. Use their breakthroughs to inspire your team to help make game-changing creative leaps inside your mission.
Finances are power. That has long been the status quo. Not only can the wealthy choose what services or products to acquire for his or her own enjoyment, backing from large investors often determines which products and projects become open to the wider public. Although this product is still prevalent, the arrival of crowdfunding has opened investing to a much wider population.
In 2003, the platform ArtistShare was released to help you musicians fund projects with direct contributions by fans, as opposed to from record labels. Crowdfunding platforms for all kinds of campaigns, projects, and merchandise quickly followed. Sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter have created a whole new avenue for entrepreneurs and inventors to gain funding. Much like a social media marketing profile, users can create a page introducing their project and appeal to relatives and buddies for support.
Crowdfunding allows regular people to contribute a little investment to films, clothing designers, food products, and a lot more. Because the cost of admission is so low, nearly anyone can become a venture capitalist, and the risk of funding a task is spread widely across its backers. By channeling existing payment and social media systems, crowdfunding sites allow regular customers to support projects inside their infancy with minimal risk. The entrepreneurs also can tap into existing connections and social sharing to fund their ideas.
Crowdfunding has even spread towards the nonprofit sector, where organizations use these platforms among others to fundraise for projects.
Landmines are the weapons that go on taking. Simply because they are designed to be tough to detect, they carry on and kill and maim civilians years right after a war. What’s worse, landmines are usually positioned in developing countries with few resources to locate and neutralize them.
While new technology often seems at the centre of solving problems, APOPO took benefit from an indigenous creature and standard animal training techniques to mitigate the danger. African Giant Pouched Rats can be really smart animals with a superior experience of smell. APOPO conditioned these to identify landmines. By training the animals to use their powerful experience of smell to detect the deadly weapons, APOPO has disabled over 68,000 landmines in Tanzania, Mozambique, Cambodia, and other countries.
APOPO didn’t invent animal training plus they didn’t genetically engineer a fresh rat. They took benefit from existing resources and methods and used them to produce a new answer to a longstanding problem.
Facebook and twitter could be most widely known for allowing us to share with you the minute information of our way of life online, but social organizers have unlocked its power like a tool for mobilizing people and spreading information.
Beginning in December 2010, a wave of political protests and demonstrations called the Arab Spring spread from the Middle East and North Africa. “People who shared interest in democracy built extensive social networks and organized political action. Social networking became a critical section of the toolkit for greater freedom,” said Philip Howard, who led research of how social media shaped the movement’s activity.
While these political actors weren’t the first to spread content and news of demonstrations on Twitter as well as other platforms, the Arab Spring represents a change in how people viewed and used social platforms. This shift in the strategy to organizing people has rippled to causes worldwide, including #BlackLivesMatter and #YesAllWomen. Naturally, a tweet won’t solve a social issue by itself. But smart use of social platforms will help a movement reach a wider audience and compel traditional media outlets to analyze and publicize the trouble.
While ridesharing platforms like Lyft and Uber appear like a very high-tech strategy to transportation problems, their power lies more within their social model than their apps. Ridesharing took existing GPS technology, patent an invention, and survey systems to modify the way in which people use cars.
As Lyft CMO Kira Scherer Wampler explains, 87 percent of commuter trips are people traveling alone. What this means is more cars on the streets plus more traffic. This concern, together with unreliable taxis and poor public transportation, made commuting an expensive, frustrating problem. Lyft and Uber took the technology individuals were already using every day to create a new solution.
By synthesizing mapping data with driver profiles, ridesharing makes the procedure of getting from point A to point B faster, cheaper, and more fun. “Our vision is to fundamentally change car culture,” says Wampler. To do this, ridesharing companies aren’t designing new vehicles or perhaps building new devices. They may be mobilizing people to use the tools they have more efficiently.
Despite having the success that many cancer of the breast organizations had in spreading awareness, the disease was still being seen as a problem just for seniors. This resulted in a massive part of the population wasn’t being subjected to the detection methods and preventive lifestyle changes that could save lives.
Keep-A-Breast, whose mission is “to empower young adults worldwide with breast health education and support,” has begun to bridge the gap by reaching young people in another way. Teens are learning about cancer of the breast risks at one of their preferred summer events.
The Vans Warped Tour is really a music festival which includes traveled everywhere in the U . S . each summer within the last 21 years. Over 500,000 kids attend, spending the time watching performances and visiting booths. For 10 years, one of the attractions is Keep-A-Breast’s Traveling Education Booth, where volunteers speak 19dexhpky youth and give details about breast cancers and preventive tips. KAB says, “The how to get a patent brings breast cancer education to young people alone turf.” By changing the way they reach people, Keep-A-Breast has brought life-saving information to your population that had been being left out of the conversation.
Since we work to solve the world’s most pressing social problems, it’s important to realize that innovation is just not limited to tech startups and wealthy corporations. What many of these organizations share is really a new idea, a new way of doing things. They investigated conditions and resources that they had and asked, “How are we able to do more?”
For older nonprofits, it could be especially tempting to keep using the well-trodden path, but a whole new approach can lead to huge progress. You don’t need to create a new road so that you can “take the street less traveled.” You need to simply see the path and pursue it.
Daily, social impact organizations are coming up with and scaling new strategies to the world’s toughest challenges. Hopefully you’ll join us on the Collaborative and fashionable Awards in Boston in June to showcase and share innovations such as these.