Innovation is considered a key to success within the technology startup space. This association with tech companies, though, ensures that if we consider innovation, we regularly think about newer and more effective gadget or invention ideas. This mindset makes creative breakthroughs seem predicated on possessing a top engineering team along with a big research and development budget. Fortunately for nonprofits and social enterprises, this is not the way it is.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines innovation as “a new idea, device, or method.” While it comes by means of a new machine or microchip, innovation may also be a fresh procedure for a challenge, a change in behavior, or even a new means of using existing resources. Innovation can happen at any organization in virtually any sector.
Among the most successful and celebrated innovations of history decade center primarily over a new approach or perhaps a new strategy for using resources. Organizations in the for-profit and nonprofit sector have tried existing methods and technology differently to be able to revolutionize their space. Use their breakthroughs to inspire your team to produce game-changing creative leaps inside your mission.
Money is power. That has long been the status quo. Not only will the wealthy choose what products or services to purchase for his or her own enjoyment, backing from large investors often determines which products and projects become available to the wider public. While this method is still prevalent, the arrival of crowdfunding has opened investing up to and including much wider population.
In 2003, the platform ArtistShare was released to help musicians fund projects with direct contributions by fans, as opposed to from record labels. Crowdfunding platforms for all sorts of campaigns, projects, and merchandise quickly followed. Sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter have formulated a new avenue for entrepreneurs and inventors to get funding. Very much like a social websites profile, users can create a page introducing their project and entice relatives and buddies for support.
Crowdfunding allows regular customers to contribute a compact investment to films, clothing designers, food products, and much more. Because the cost of admission is so low, nearly anybody can become an investor, and the potential risk of funding a task is spread widely across its backers. By channeling existing payment and social network sites systems, crowdfunding sites allow regular customers to support projects in their infancy with minimal risk. The entrepreneurs may also make use of existing connections and social sharing to fund their ideas.
Crowdfunding has even spread for the nonprofit sector, where organizations start using these platforms among others to fundraise for projects.
Landmines are the weapons that carry on taking. Simply because they are created to be hard to detect, they still kill and maim civilians years after having a war. What’s worse, landmines are often put into developing countries with few resources to locate and neutralize them.
While new technology often seems at the core of solving problems, APOPO took advantage of an indigenous creature and standard animal training strategies to mitigate the danger. African Giant Pouched Rats are extremely smart animals by using a superior experience of smell. APOPO conditioned these people to identify landmines. By training the animals to use their powerful sense of smell to detect the deadly weapons, APOPO has disabled over 68,000 landmines in Tanzania, Mozambique, Cambodia, and also other countries.
APOPO didn’t invent animal training plus they didn’t genetically engineer a fresh rat. They took good thing about existing resources and methods and used them to create a new solution to a longstanding problem.
Twitter and Facebook might be most widely known for allowing us to talk about the minute details of our lives on the net, but social organizers have unlocked its power as being a tool for mobilizing people and spreading information.
Starting in December 2010, a wave of political protests and demonstrations known as the Arab Spring spread with the Middle East and North Africa. “People who shared curiosity about democracy built extensive social networks and organized political action. Social media became a critical area of the toolkit for greater freedom,” said Philip Howard, who led research of methods social media shaped the movement’s activity.
While these political actors weren’t the first to spread content and news of demonstrations on Twitter and also other platforms, the Arab Spring represents a change in how people viewed and used social platforms. This shift in the procedure for organizing people has rippled to causes worldwide, including #BlackLivesMatter and #YesAllWomen. Of course, a tweet won’t solve a social issue itself. But smart utilization of social platforms will help a movement reach a wider audience and compel traditional media outlets to investigate and publicize the trouble.
While ridesharing platforms like Lyft and Uber look like an increased-tech means to fix transportation problems, their power lies more with their social model than their apps. Ridesharing took existing GPS technology, how to get a patent for an idea, and survey systems to improve how people use cars.
As Lyft CMO Kira Scherer Wampler explains, 87 percent of commuter trips are people traveling alone. This implies more cars on the streets and much more traffic. This problem, along with unreliable taxis and poor public transportation, made commuting an expensive, frustrating problem. Lyft and Uber took the technology people were already using daily to produce a new solution.
By synthesizing mapping data with driver profiles, ridesharing makes the whole process of getting from point A to point B faster, cheaper, and a lot more fun. “Our vision is always to fundamentally change car culture,” says Wampler. To accomplish this, ridesharing companies aren’t designing new vehicles or perhaps building new devices. They can be mobilizing people to utilize the tools they have got more effectively.
Despite having the success that many breast cancers organizations had in spreading awareness, the condition was still being viewed as a problem just for the elderly. This meant an enormous 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 teenagers around the globe with breast health education and support,” has started to bridge the gap by reaching younger people in a whole new way. Teens have become learning about cancers of the breast risks at certainly one of their preferred summer events.
The Vans Warped Tour is a music festival which has traveled everywhere in the Usa each summer for the past 21 years. Over half a million kids attend, spending the day watching performances and visiting booths. For 15 years, one of several attractions has become Keep-A-Breast’s Traveling Education Booth, where volunteers speak 19dexhpky youth and give information about cancers of the breast and preventive tips. KAB says, “The how do you get a patent brings breast cancers education to younger people on their own turf.” By changing the direction they reach people, Keep-A-Breast has taken life-saving information to a population that had been being left from the conversation.
When we try to solve the world’s most pressing social problems, it’s important to realize that innovation is not really limited to tech startups and wealthy corporations. What every one of these organizations have in common is actually a new idea, a whole new means of doing things. They looked at instances and resources they had and asked, “How can we do more?”
For older nonprofits, it could be especially tempting to stay using the well-trodden path, but a brand new approach can lead to huge progress. You don’t need to develop a new road in order to “take the road less traveled.” You just have to notice the path and pursue it.
Daily, social impact organizations are coming up with and scaling new solutions to the world’s toughest challenges. Hopefully you’ll join us with the Collaborative and Classy Awards in Boston in June to showcase and share innovations such as these.