Innovation is recognized as a way to succeed within the technology startup space. This connection to tech companies, though, means that once we imagine innovation, we quite often think of newer gadget or invention ideas. This mindset makes creative breakthroughs seem predicated on developing a top engineering team plus a big research and development budget. Fortunately for nonprofits and social enterprises, this is not the truth.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines innovation as “a new idea, device, or method.” Even though it comes such as a new machine or microchip, innovation can even be a new strategy to a challenge, a change in behavior, or even a new way of using existing resources. Innovation can happen at any organization in any sector.
Among the most successful and celebrated innovations of the past decade center primarily on a new approach or possibly a new way of using resources. Organizations through the for-profit and nonprofit sector have tried existing methods and technology differently so that you can revolutionize their space. Use their breakthroughs to inspire your team to produce game-changing creative leaps in your mission.
Cash is power. That has always been the status quo. Not only can the wealthy choose what products or services to acquire for their own enjoyment, backing from large investors often determines which products and projects become available to the wider public. Even though this technique is still prevalent, the arrival of crowdfunding has opened investing up to and including much wider population.
In 2003, the platform ArtistShare was introduced to aid 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 created a new avenue for entrepreneurs and inventors to acquire funding. Much like a social media profile, users can produce a page introducing their project and interest friends and family for support.
Crowdfunding allows regular men and women to contribute a compact investment to films, clothing designers, food products, plus more. Because the price tag on admission is really low, nearly everyone can become an investor, and the danger of funding a task is spread widely across its backers. By channeling existing payment and social media systems, crowdfunding sites allow regular people to support projects with their infancy with minimal risk. The entrepreneurs could also tap into existing connections and social sharing to finance their ideas.
Crowdfunding has even spread towards the nonprofit sector, where organizations begin using these platforms and others to fundraise for projects.
Landmines are the weapons that carry on taking. Mainly because they are made to be hard to detect, they consistently kill and maim civilians years right after a war. What’s worse, landmines are often placed in developing countries with few resources to get and neutralize them.
While new technology often seems at the centre of solving problems, APOPO took good thing about an indigenous creature and standard animal training techniques to mitigate the danger. African Giant Pouched Rats are extremely smart animals using a superior sense 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, as well as other countries.
APOPO didn’t invent animal training and they didn’t genetically engineer a whole new rat. They took good thing about existing resources and methods and used them to make a new answer to a longstanding problem.
Twitter and Facebook may be well known for allowing us to share the minute information of our way of life on the web, but social organizers have unlocked its power as being a tool for mobilizing people and spreading information.
Beginning 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 desire for democracy built extensive social networking sites and organized political action. Social networking became a critical part of the toolkit for greater freedom,” said Philip Howard, who led research of methods social websites shaped the movement’s activity.
While these political actors weren’t the first to spread content and news of demonstrations on Twitter and other platforms, the Arab Spring represents a modification of how people viewed and used social platforms. This shift in the strategy to organizing people has rippled to causes around the world, including #BlackLivesMatter and #YesAllWomen. Naturally, a tweet won’t solve a social issue by itself. But smart consumption of social platforms may help a movement reach a wider audience and compel traditional media outlets to analyze and publicize the problem.
While ridesharing platforms like Lyft and Uber look like a high-tech solution to transportation problems, their power lies more in their social model than their apps. Ridesharing took existing GPS technology, how do i patent an idea, and survey systems to change how 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 problem, as well as unreliable taxis and poor public transportation, made commuting a pricey, frustrating problem. Lyft and Uber took the technology people were already using each day to create 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 more fun. “Our vision is to fundamentally change car culture,” says Wampler. To do this, ridesharing companies aren’t designing new vehicles or even building new devices. They are mobilizing individuals to utilize the tools they already have more effectively.
In spite of the success that a great many cancers of the breast organizations had in spreading awareness, the condition was still being viewed as a problem just for seniors. This meant that a massive portion of the population wasn’t being open to the detection methods and preventive lifestyle changes that will save lives.
Keep-A-Breast, whose mission is “to empower teenagers around the globe with breast health education and support,” has begun to bridge the gap by reaching younger people in a new way. Teens are actually studying breast cancer risk factors at one among their favorite summer events.
The Vans Warped Tour is really a music festival containing traveled all around the United States each summer in the past 21 years. Over 500,000 kids attend, spending the time watching performances and visiting booths. For 20 years, one of many attractions continues to be Keep-A-Breast’s Traveling Education Booth, where volunteers speak 19dexhpky youth and present information about breast cancer and preventive tips. KAB says, “The invention ideas brings breast cancers education to younger people alone turf.” By changing the way that they reach people, Keep-A-Breast has taken life-saving information to a population which was being left from the conversation.
While we try to solve the world’s most pressing social problems, it’s important to recognize that innovation is just not limited by tech startups and wealthy corporations. What many of these organizations have in common is actually a new idea, a fresh strategy for doing things. They checked out instances and resources that they had and asked, “How can we do more?”
For older nonprofits, it can be especially tempting to adhere together with the well-trodden path, but a new approach can result in huge progress. You don’t must make a new road to be able to “take the street less traveled.” You just need to notice the path and pursue it.
Daily, social impact organizations are creating and scaling new answers to the world’s toughest challenges. We hope you’ll join us on the Collaborative and fashionable Awards in Boston in June to showcase and share innovations such as these.