Innovation is regarded as a way to succeed inside the technology startup space. This connection to tech companies, though, ensures that when we think of innovation, we regularly think about newer gadget or how to obtain a patent. This mindset makes creative breakthroughs seem predicated on using a top engineering team along with a big research and development budget. Fortunately for nonprofits and social enterprises, this may not be the way it is.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines innovation as “a new idea, device, or method.” Even though it may come in the form of a brand new machine or microchip, innovation can be a new method of an issue, a modification of behavior, or even a new means of using existing resources. Innovation can happen at any organization in any sector.
Many of the most successful and celebrated innovations of the past decade center primarily over a new approach or perhaps a new method of using resources. Organizations from the 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 make game-changing creative leaps in your mission.
Money is power. That happens to be the status quo. Not only will the wealthy choose what goods and services to buy for their own enjoyment, backing from large investors often determines which products and projects become offered to the wider public. Although this product is still prevalent, the arrival of crowdfunding has opened investing as much as a much wider population.
In 2003, the platform ArtistShare was launched to aid musicians fund projects with direct contributions by fans, instead of 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. Much like a social media profile, users can create a page introducing their project and appeal to friends and relations for support.
Crowdfunding allows regular individuals to contribute a tiny investment to films, clothing designers, food products, plus more. Because the cost of admission is very low, nearly anyone can become a trader, and the chance of funding a project is spread widely across its backers. By channeling existing payment and social networking systems, crowdfunding sites allow regular consumers to support projects within their infancy with minimal risk. The entrepreneurs may also draw on existing connections and social sharing to finance their ideas.
Crowdfunding has even spread on the nonprofit sector, where organizations begin using these platforms among others to fundraise for projects.
Landmines are the weapons that continue 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 usually put into developing countries with few resources to get and neutralize them.
While new technology often seems at the center of solving problems, APOPO took benefit of an indigenous creature and standard animal training methods to mitigate the danger. African Giant Pouched Rats can be extremely smart animals with a superior sensation of smell. APOPO conditioned them to identify landmines. By training the animals to utilize their powerful sensation of smell to detect the deadly weapons, APOPO has disabled over 68,000 landmines in Tanzania, Mozambique, Cambodia, along with other countries.
APOPO didn’t invent animal training plus they didn’t genetically engineer a whole new rat. They took good thing about existing resources and methods and used them to generate a new solution to a longstanding problem.
Facebook and twitter could be best known for allowing us to discuss the moment specifics of our everyday lives on the Internet, 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 referred to as Arab Spring spread from the Middle East and North Africa. “People who shared interest in 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 a study of methods social media shaped the movement’s activity.
While these political actors weren’t the first one 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 all over the world, including #BlackLivesMatter and #YesAllWomen. Of course, a tweet won’t solve a social issue itself. But smart utilization of social platforms can help a movement reach a wider audience and compel traditional media outlets to look into and publicize the problem.
While ridesharing platforms like Lyft and Uber look like a high-tech means to fix transportation problems, their power lies more within their social model than their apps. Ridesharing took existing GPS technology, market an invention idea, and survey systems to alter just 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 highway plus more traffic. This problem, as well as unreliable taxis and poor public transportation, made commuting a costly, frustrating problem. Lyft and Uber took the technology individuals were already using each day 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 much more fun. “Our vision is always to fundamentally change car culture,” says Wampler. To get this done, ridesharing companies aren’t designing new vehicles as well as building new devices. They may be mobilizing men and women to use the tools they have got more proficiently.
In spite of the success that many cancers of the breast organizations had in spreading awareness, the ailment was still being seen as a problem simply for seniors. This meant that a tremendous part of the population wasn’t being in contact with the detection methods and preventive lifestyle changes that will 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 a completely new way. Teens have become researching cancer of the breast risk factors at one of their preferred summer events.
The Vans Warped Tour is actually a music festival which has traveled all around the United States Of America each summer in the past 21 years. Over half a million kids attend, spending your day watching performances and visiting booths. For 15 years, one of the attractions has been Keep-A-Breast’s Traveling Education Booth, where volunteers speak 19dexhpky youth and present information regarding cancers of the breast and preventive tips. KAB says, “The patent your idea brings breast cancers education to young adults alone turf.” By changing the way they reach people, Keep-A-Breast has brought life-saving information to a population which had been being left out of the conversation.
While we work to solve the world’s most pressing social problems, it’s essential to understand that innovation is not confined to tech startups and wealthy corporations. What many of these organizations have in common can be a new idea, a brand new strategy for doing things. They looked at conditions and resources that they had and asked, “How can we do more?”
For older nonprofits, it might be especially tempting to stick using the well-trodden path, but a fresh approach can lead to huge progress. You don’t ought to develop a new road as a way to “take the highway less traveled.” You simply need to spot the path and pursue it.
Daily, social impact organizations are creating and scaling new strategies to the world’s toughest challenges. Hopefully you’ll join us on the Collaborative and stylish Awards in Boston in June to showcase and share innovations such as these.