Innovation is regarded as a secret weapon to success inside the technology startup space. This connection to tech companies, though, implies that if we imagine innovation, we frequently think about newer and more effective gadget or market an invention idea. This mindset makes creative breakthroughs seem predicated on possessing a top engineering team and a big research and development budget. Fortunately for nonprofits and social enterprises, this is not the situation.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines innovation as “a new idea, device, or method.” Even though it may come as a fresh machine or microchip, innovation can even be a whole new method of a difficulty, a modification of behavior, or even a new means of using existing resources. Innovation can take place at any organization in any sector.
Among the most successful and celebrated innovations of the past decade center primarily on the new approach or perhaps a new method of using resources. Organizations from your for-profit and nonprofit sector used existing methods and technology differently to be able to revolutionize their space. Use their breakthroughs to inspire your team to produce game-changing creative leaps with your mission.
Cash is power. That has long been the status quo. Not only can the wealthy choose what products or services to buy for own enjoyment, backing from large investors often determines which products and projects become accessible to the wider public. Even though this system 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, as an alternative to from record labels. Crowdfunding platforms for all sorts of campaigns, projects, and products quickly followed. Sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter have created a new avenue for entrepreneurs and inventors to acquire funding. Very much like a social media profile, users can produce a page introducing their project and entice relatives and buddies for support.
Crowdfunding allows regular people to contribute a little investment to films, clothing designers, food products, plus more. Because the price of admission is very low, nearly you can now become a venture capitalist, and the danger of funding a task is spread widely across its backers. By channeling existing payment and social networking systems, crowdfunding sites allow regular people to support projects with 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 yet others to fundraise for projects.
Landmines will be the weapons that go on taking. Since they are created to be tough to detect, they continue to kill and maim civilians years following a war. What’s worse, landmines are frequently placed in developing countries with few resources to locate and neutralize them.
While new technology often seems at the middle of solving problems, APOPO took advantage of an indigenous creature and standard animal training techniques to mitigate the danger. African Giant Pouched Rats are extremely smart animals having 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 so they didn’t genetically engineer a brand new rat. They took benefit from existing resources and methods and used them to create a new answer to a longstanding problem.
Twitter and Facebook could be most commonly known for allowing us to discuss the minute details of our lives on the Internet, 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 throughout the Middle East and North Africa. “People who shared curiosity about democracy built extensive social networks and organized political action. Social networking became a critical area of the toolkit for greater freedom,” said Philip Howard, who led a report of methods social media marketing 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 change in the strategy to organizing people has rippled to causes worldwide, including #BlackLivesMatter and #YesAllWomen. Naturally, a tweet won’t solve a social issue by itself. But smart utilization of social platforms can help a movement reach a wider audience and compel traditional media outlets to analyze and publicize the situation.
While ridesharing platforms like Lyft and Uber appear like an increased-tech solution to transportation problems, their power lies more in their social model than their apps. Ridesharing took existing GPS technology, patent an invention, and survey systems to improve the way people use cars.
As Lyft CMO Kira Scherer Wampler explains, 87 percent of commuter trips are people traveling alone. This means more cars on the streets and much more traffic. This matter, together with unreliable taxis and poor public transportation, made commuting a high priced, frustrating problem. Lyft and Uber took the technology everyone was already using each day to generate 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, plus more fun. “Our vision is always to fundamentally change car culture,” says Wampler. To get this done, ridesharing companies aren’t designing new vehicles or even building new devices. They may be mobilizing customers to utilize the tools they already have more proficiently.
In spite of the success that numerous cancers of the breast organizations had in spreading awareness, the condition was still being seen as a problem exclusively for the elderly. This meant a tremendous area of the population wasn’t being in contact with the detection methods and preventive lifestyle changes that could 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 space by reaching young people in a new way. Teens are now studying cancers of the breast risk factors at certainly one of their favorite summer events.
The Vans Warped Tour is really a music festival containing traveled everywhere in the United States each summer in the past 21 years. Over 500,000 kids attend, spending the time watching performances and visiting booths. For fifteen years, one of many attractions continues to be Keep-A-Breast’s Traveling Education Booth, where volunteers speak 19dexhpky youth and present information regarding breast cancers and preventive tips. KAB says, “The file a patent brings breast cancer education to younger people alone turf.” By changing the way that they reach people, Keep-A-Breast has taken life-saving information into a population which was being left out of the conversation.
As we work to solve the world’s most pressing social problems, it’s essential to understand that innovation will not be limited to tech startups and wealthy corporations. What all of these organizations have in common can be a new idea, a brand new means of doing things. They considered the circumstances and resources that they had and asked, “How are we able to do more?”
For older nonprofits, it might be especially tempting to stay together with the well-trodden path, but a new approach can lead to huge progress. You don’t must build a new road as a way to “take the highway less traveled.” You need to simply spot the path and pursue it.
Every day, social impact organizations are creating and scaling new methods to the world’s toughest challenges. Hopefully you’ll join us on the Collaborative and fashionable Awards in Boston in June to showcase and share innovations such as these.