Innovation is considered a secret weapon to success from the technology startup space. This connection to tech companies, though, implies that when we imagine innovation, we regularly think of newer and more effective gadget or invention patent. This mindset makes creative breakthroughs seem predicated on using a top engineering team as well as a big research and development budget. Fortunately for nonprofits and social enterprises, this may not be the case.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines innovation as “a new idea, device, or method.” Even though it may come by means of a whole new machine or microchip, innovation can also be a new method of a problem, a modification of behavior, or a new way of using existing resources. Innovation could happen at any organization in any sector.
Some of the most successful and celebrated innovations of the past decade center primarily on a new approach or perhaps a new method of using resources. Organizations through 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 within your mission.
Finances are power. That has always been the status quo. Not only will the wealthy choose what products to get for their own enjoyment, backing from large investors often determines which products and projects become offered to the wider public. Even though this technique is still prevalent, the advent of crowdfunding has opened investing up to a much wider population.
In 2003, the platform ArtistShare was released to help musicians fund projects with direct contributions by fans, instead of from record labels. Crowdfunding platforms for all types of campaigns, projects, and products quickly followed. Sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter have created a fresh avenue for entrepreneurs and inventors to gain funding. Very much like a social media profile, users can create a page introducing their project and attract friends and family for support.
Crowdfunding allows regular customers to contribute a tiny investment to films, clothing designers, food products, plus more. Because the price of admission is very low, nearly anybody can become a trader, and the chance of funding a task is spread widely across its backers. By channeling existing payment and social networking systems, crowdfunding sites allow regular customers to support projects in their infancy with minimal risk. The entrepreneurs may also tap into existing connections and social sharing to finance their ideas.
Crowdfunding has even spread to the nonprofit sector, where organizations use these platforms among others to fundraise for projects.
Landmines would be the weapons that keep on taking. Because they are designed to be hard to detect, they still kill and maim civilians years after a war. What’s worse, landmines are frequently put into developing countries with few resources to find 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 strategies to mitigate the danger. African Giant Pouched Rats can be really smart animals having a superior sense of smell. APOPO conditioned them to identify landmines. By training the animals to work with 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 new rat. They took good thing about existing resources and methods and used them to create a new solution to a longstanding problem.
Facebook and twitter can be best known for allowing us to share with you the moment information on our lives online, 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 throughout the Middle East and North Africa. “People who shared interest in democracy built extensive social networking sites and organized political action. Social media became a critical part of the toolkit for greater freedom,” said Philip Howard, who led research of methods 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 and also other platforms, the Arab Spring represents a change in 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. Obviously, a tweet won’t solve a social issue by itself. 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 higher-tech answer to transportation problems, their power lies more in their social model than their apps. Ridesharing took existing GPS technology, patent a product, and survey systems to change the way in which people use cars.
As Lyft CMO Kira Scherer Wampler explains, 87 percent of commuter trips are people traveling alone. This means more cars on your way plus more traffic. This matter, as well as unreliable taxis and poor public transit, made commuting a pricey, frustrating problem. Lyft and Uber took the technology everyone was already using daily to create 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 accomplish this, ridesharing companies aren’t designing new vehicles and even building new devices. They can be mobilizing people to make use of the tools they already have more effectively.
Despite the success that lots of cancers of the breast organizations had in spreading awareness, the illness was still being viewed as a problem only for the elderly. This meant that an enormous portion of the population wasn’t being in contact with the detection methods and preventive changes in lifestyle that will save lives.
Keep-A-Breast, whose mission is “to empower younger people worldwide with breast health education and support,” has begun to bridge the space by reaching younger people in a new way. Teens are studying breast cancers risk factors at among their most favorite summer events.
The Vans Warped Tour is a music festival which has traveled throughout the United States Of America each summer for the past 21 years. Over 500,000 kids attend, spending the day watching performances and visiting booths. For 20 years, one of many attractions has been Keep-A-Breast’s Traveling Education Booth, where volunteers speak 19dexhpky youth and provide specifics of cancer of the breast and preventive tips. KAB says, “The new invention ideas brings breast cancers education to young people alone turf.” By changing the way they reach people, Keep-A-Breast has brought life-saving information to some population that was being left from the conversation.
When we try to solve the world’s most pressing social problems, it’s crucial that you realize that innovation is not limited by tech startups and wealthy corporations. What many of these organizations share is really a new idea, a new strategy for doing things. They investigated the conditions and resources they had and asked, “How can we do more?”
For older nonprofits, it could be especially tempting to keep with all the well-trodden path, but a brand new approach can result in huge progress. You don’t have to build a new road as a way to “take the path less traveled.” You just have to spot the path and pursue it.
Each day, social impact organizations are coming up with and scaling new answers to the world’s toughest challenges. We hope you’ll join us with the Collaborative and Classy Awards in Boston in June to showcase and share innovations like these.