Innovation is known as a way to succeed in the technology startup space. This association with tech companies, though, signifies that whenever we imagine innovation, we frequently think of newer and more effective gadget or how to file a patent. This mindset makes creative breakthroughs seem predicated on having a top engineering team as well as 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.” Although it comes as a whole new machine or microchip, innovation may also be a whole new approach to an issue, a change in behavior, or a new means of using existing resources. Innovation can occur at any organization in every sector.
Probably the most successful and celebrated innovations of the past decade center primarily over a new approach or even a new way of using resources. Organizations from your for-profit and nonprofit sector used existing methods and technology differently in order to revolutionize their space. Use their breakthroughs to inspire your team to help make game-changing creative leaps in your mission.
Finances are power. That is definitely the status quo. Not only can the wealthy choose what products to get with regard to their own enjoyment, backing from large investors often determines which products and projects become available to the wider public. While this system is still prevalent, the arrival of crowdfunding has opened investing to a much wider population.
In 2003, the platform ArtistShare was introduced to help musicians fund projects with direct contributions by fans, instead of from record labels. Crowdfunding platforms for a myriad of campaigns, projects, and merchandise quickly followed. Sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter have formulated a new avenue for entrepreneurs and inventors to achieve funding. Much like a social media marketing profile, users can produce a page introducing their project and attract family and friends for support.
Crowdfunding allows regular individuals to contribute a little investment to films, clothing designers, food products, and a lot more. Because the price of admission is really low, nearly anybody can become a trader, and the potential risk of funding a task is spread widely across its backers. By channeling existing payment and social network systems, crowdfunding sites allow regular consumers to support projects within their infancy with minimal risk. The entrepreneurs could also take advantage of existing connections and social sharing to fund their ideas.
Crowdfunding has even spread on the nonprofit sector, where organizations use these platforms and others to fundraise for projects.
Landmines are definitely the weapons that continue taking. Since they are created to be difficult to detect, they still kill and maim civilians years after having a war. What’s worse, landmines tend to be put into developing countries with few resources to discover 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 methods to mitigate the danger. African Giant Pouched Rats are incredibly smart animals by using a superior feeling of smell. APOPO conditioned these to identify landmines. By training the animals to make use of their powerful sensation 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 and they also didn’t genetically engineer a brand new rat. They took benefit from existing resources and methods and used them to make a new solution to a longstanding problem.
Twitter and Facebook can be best known for allowing us to share the minute information on our way of life on the net, but social organizers have unlocked its power being a tool for mobilizing people and spreading information.
Starting in December 2010, a wave of political protests and demonstrations referred to as the Arab Spring spread through the Middle East and North Africa. “People who shared curiosity about democracy built extensive social networks and organized political action. Social networking was a critical section of the toolkit for greater freedom,” said Philip Howard, who led a study of how social websites 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 change in the approach to organizing people has rippled to causes around the world, including #BlackLivesMatter and #YesAllWomen. Obviously, a tweet won’t solve a social issue itself. But smart utilization of social platforms might help a movement reach a wider audience and compel traditional media outlets to look into and publicize the situation.
While ridesharing platforms like Lyft and Uber look like an increased-tech strategy to transportation problems, their power lies more with their social model than their apps. Ridesharing took existing GPS technology, patent your idea, 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 your way plus more traffic. This matter, as well as unreliable taxis and poor public transit, made commuting a high priced, frustrating problem. Lyft and Uber took the technology people were already using every single day to make a new solution.
By synthesizing mapping data with driver profiles, ridesharing makes the entire process of getting from point A to point B faster, cheaper, plus more fun. “Our vision is always to fundamentally change car culture,” says Wampler. To achieve this, ridesharing companies aren’t designing new vehicles or even building new devices. These are mobilizing individuals to make use of the tools they have got more proficiently.
Even with the success that many breast cancers organizations had in spreading awareness, the disease was still being viewed as a problem just for elderly people. This resulted in a huge area of the population wasn’t being subjected to the detection methods and preventive changes in lifestyle that will save lives.
Keep-A-Breast, whose mission is “to empower young adults around the world with breast health education and support,” has begun to bridge the gap by reaching teenagers in another way. Teens have become researching cancers of the breast risks at one among their most favorite summer events.
The Vans Warped Tour can be a music festival which includes traveled everywhere in the U . S . each summer for the past 21 years. Over 500,000 kids attend, spending your day watching performances and visiting booths. For fifteen years, one of the attractions continues to be Keep-A-Breast’s Traveling Education Booth, where volunteers speak 19dexhpky youth and provide details about cancer of the breast and preventive tips. KAB says, “The invention patent brings breast cancer education to younger people alone turf.” By changing the way that they reach people, Keep-A-Breast has brought life-saving information to some population that had been being left from the conversation.
Since we work to solve the world’s most pressing social problems, it’s important to realize that innovation is just not confined to tech startups and wealthy corporations. What every one of these organizations share is actually a new idea, a new method of doing things. They checked out conditions and resources that they had and asked, “How are we able to do more?”
For older nonprofits, it could be especially tempting to stick together with the well-trodden path, but a new approach can cause huge progress. You don’t need to build a new road in order to “take the highway less traveled.” You simply need to spot the path and pursue it.
Every day, social impact organizations are creating and scaling new solutions to the world’s toughest challenges. Hopefully you’ll join us in the Collaborative and fashionable Awards in Boston in June to showcase and share innovations such as these.