Innovation is recognized as a secret weapon to success within the technology startup space. This connection to tech companies, though, means that once we think of innovation, we frequently think of newer gadget or ideas inventions. This mindset makes creative breakthroughs seem predicated on having a top engineering team along with a big research and development budget. Fortunately for nonprofits and social enterprises, this is simply not the situation.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines innovation as “a new idea, device, or method.” Even though it will come in the form of a brand new machine or microchip, innovation can even be a whole new procedure for a problem, a change in behavior, or even a new strategy for using existing resources. Innovation can occur at any organization in every sector.
Among the most successful and celebrated innovations of the past decade center primarily on a new approach or even a new strategy for using resources. Organizations from the for-profit and nonprofit sector have used existing methods and technology differently as a way to revolutionize their space. Use their breakthroughs to inspire your team to create game-changing creative leaps inside your mission.
Finances are power. That happens to be the status quo. Not only will the wealthy choose what goods and services to acquire for their own enjoyment, backing from large investors often determines which products and projects become available to the wider public. Although this product is still prevalent, the advent of crowdfunding has opened investing as much as a much wider population.
In 2003, the platform ArtistShare was introduced to help you musicians fund projects with direct contributions by fans, rather than from record labels. Crowdfunding platforms for a myriad of campaigns, projects, and merchandise quickly followed. Sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter have created a brand new avenue for entrepreneurs and inventors to acquire funding. Very much like a social websites profile, users can produce a page introducing their project and appeal to friends and family for support.
Crowdfunding allows regular people to contribute a compact investment to films, clothing designers, food products, and much more. Because the price of admission is indeed low, nearly everyone can become a venture capitalist, and the danger of funding a project is spread widely across its backers. By channeling existing payment and social media systems, crowdfunding sites allow regular customers to support projects within their infancy with minimal risk. The entrepreneurs may also take advantage of existing connections and social sharing to finance their ideas.
Crowdfunding has even spread to the nonprofit sector, where organizations start using these platforms among others to fundraise for projects.
Landmines are the weapons that keep on taking. Because they are made to be difficult to detect, they still kill and maim civilians years following a war. What’s worse, landmines are usually put into developing countries with few resources to discover and neutralize them.
While new technology often seems at the middle of solving problems, APOPO took benefit of an indigenous creature and standard animal training methods to mitigate the danger. African Giant Pouched Rats are extremely smart animals having a superior experience of smell. APOPO conditioned these to identify landmines. By training the animals to use their powerful feeling 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 and so they didn’t genetically engineer a fresh rat. They took benefit from existing resources and techniques and used them to produce a new solution to a longstanding problem.
Facebook and twitter can be best known for allowing us to share the moment details of our everyday life online, but social organizers have unlocked its power as a tool for mobilizing people and spreading information.
Starting in December 2010, a wave of political protests and demonstrations referred to as 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 media marketing was a critical part of the toolkit for greater freedom,” said Philip Howard, who led a study of how social networking shaped the movement’s activity.
While these political actors weren’t the first one to spread content and news of demonstrations on Twitter along with other platforms, the Arab Spring represents a modification of how people viewed and used social platforms. This shift in the procedure for organizing people has rippled to causes around the globe, including #BlackLivesMatter and #YesAllWomen. Of course, a tweet won’t solve a social issue on its own. But smart utilization of social platforms will help a movement reach a wider audience and compel traditional media outlets to research and publicize the issue.
While ridesharing platforms like Lyft and Uber appear to be a very high-tech means to fix transportation problems, their power lies more within their social model than their apps. Ridesharing took existing GPS technology, how do i patent an idea, and survey systems to modify the way 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 and a lot more traffic. This problem, along with unreliable taxis and poor public transportation, made commuting a costly, frustrating problem. Lyft and Uber took the technology individuals 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 more fun. “Our vision is always to fundamentally change car culture,” says Wampler. To achieve this, ridesharing companies aren’t designing new vehicles and even building new devices. They are mobilizing customers to take advantage of the tools they have got more efficiently.
Even with the success that lots of breast cancers organizations had in spreading awareness, the ailment was still being viewed as a problem exclusively for the elderly. This meant an enormous section of the population wasn’t being in contact with the detection methods and preventive changes in lifestyle that may save lives.
Keep-A-Breast, whose mission is “to empower young people around the world with breast health education and support,” has started to bridge the gap by reaching young adults in a new way. Teens are now studying breast cancer risk factors at among their preferred summer events.
The Vans Warped Tour is a music festival which includes traveled throughout the Usa each summer over the past 21 years. Over 500,000 kids attend, spending the day watching performances and visiting booths. For 20 years, one of many attractions is Keep-A-Breast’s Traveling Education Booth, where volunteers speak 19dexhpky youth and provide details about breast cancer and preventive tips. KAB says, “The new invention ideas brings cancers of the breast education to younger people on their own turf.” By changing the way that they reach people, Keep-A-Breast has brought life-saving information into a population that had been being left from the conversation.
Since we work to solve the world’s most pressing social problems, it’s crucial that you know that innovation is not limited by tech startups and wealthy corporations. What every one of these organizations share is a new idea, a whole new means of doing things. They investigated instances and resources that they had and asked, “How can we do more?”
For older nonprofits, it may be especially tempting to adhere together with the well-trodden path, but a whole new approach can cause huge progress. You don’t need to create a new road as a way to “take the road less traveled.” You just have 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 with the Collaborative and stylish Awards in Boston in June to showcase and share innovations such as these.