Innovation is known as a way to succeed inside the technology startup space. This connection to tech companies, though, means that whenever we consider innovation, we regularly think about some new gadget or getting a patent. This mindset makes creative breakthroughs seem predicated on having a top engineering team plus 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 can come in the form of a whole new machine or microchip, innovation can be a new approach to a problem, a change in behavior, or even a new way of using existing resources. Innovation can happen at any organization in almost any sector.
Among the most successful and celebrated innovations of history decade center primarily over a new approach or even a new means of using resources. Organizations from the for-profit and nonprofit sector have used existing methods and technology differently to be able to revolutionize their space. Use their breakthroughs to inspire your team to create game-changing creative leaps inside your mission.
Finances are power. That is definitely the status quo. Not only will the wealthy choose what products or services to buy with regard to their own enjoyment, backing from large investors often determines which products and projects become offered to the wider public. Even if this method is still prevalent, the arrival of crowdfunding has opened investing to a much wider population.
In 2003, the platform ArtistShare was launched to assist musicians fund projects with direct contributions by fans, rather than from record labels. Crowdfunding platforms for all kinds of campaigns, projects, and products quickly followed. Sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter have created a fresh avenue for entrepreneurs and inventors to get funding. Similar to a social media profile, users can produce a page introducing their project and attract friends and relations for support.
Crowdfunding allows regular people to contribute a compact investment to films, clothing designers, food products, and more. Because the cost of admission is so low, nearly everyone can become an investor, and the risk of funding a task 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 also can draw on existing connections and social sharing to fund their ideas.
Crowdfunding has even spread towards the nonprofit sector, where organizations utilize these platforms as well as others to fundraise for projects.
Landmines would be the weapons that keep on taking. Simply because they are created to be hard to detect, they consistently kill and maim civilians years following a war. What’s worse, landmines are often put into developing countries with few resources to locate and neutralize them.
While new technology often seems at the core of solving problems, APOPO took benefit from an indigenous creature and standard animal training methods to mitigate the danger. African Giant Pouched Rats can be really smart animals having a superior experience of smell. APOPO conditioned these to identify landmines. By training the animals to utilize their powerful feeling 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 they also didn’t genetically engineer a brand new rat. They took benefit from existing resources and methods and used them to generate a new means to fix a longstanding problem.
Facebook and twitter may be most widely known for allowing us to discuss the minute specifics of our everyday life online, but social organizers have unlocked its power like a tool for mobilizing people and spreading information.
Starting in December 2010, a wave of political protests and demonstrations called the Arab Spring spread with the Middle East and North Africa. “People who shared interest in democracy built extensive social networks and organized political action. Social websites was a critical section 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 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 around the globe, including #BlackLivesMatter and #YesAllWomen. Of course, a tweet won’t solve a social issue by itself. But smart use of social platforms might help a movement reach a wider audience and compel traditional media outlets to analyze and publicize the trouble.
While ridesharing platforms like Lyft and Uber appear like a very high-tech answer to transportation problems, their power lies more within their social model than their apps. Ridesharing took existing GPS technology, patent your idea, and survey systems to improve how 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 and a lot more traffic. This concern, along with unreliable taxis and poor public transit, made commuting an expensive, frustrating problem. Lyft and Uber took the technology people were already using every single 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, and much more fun. “Our vision is to fundamentally change car culture,” says Wampler. To achieve this, ridesharing companies aren’t designing new vehicles as well as building new devices. They can be mobilizing individuals to take advantage of the tools they have better.
Even with the success that lots of cancer of the breast organizations had in spreading awareness, the ailment was still being seen as a problem just for the elderly. This resulted in a massive area of the population wasn’t being in contact with the detection methods and preventive change in lifestyle that can save lives.
Keep-A-Breast, whose mission is “to empower young people worldwide with breast health education and support,” has begun to bridge the gap by reaching teenagers in a new way. Teens are understanding cancers of the breast risks at one among their preferred summer events.
The Vans Warped Tour is a music festival which includes traveled all over the United States each summer in the past 21 years. Over 500,000 kids attend, spending the day watching performances and visiting booths. For fifteen years, one of several attractions is Keep-A-Breast’s Traveling Education Booth, where volunteers speak 19dexhpky youth and present details about breast cancer and preventive tips. KAB says, “The ideas for inventions brings cancer of the breast education to young people by themselves turf.” By changing how they reach people, Keep-A-Breast has brought life-saving information to your population which was being left out of your conversation.
When we work to solve the world’s most pressing social problems, it’s vital that you understand that innovation is just not restricted to tech startups and wealthy corporations. What all of these organizations share is a new idea, a fresh strategy for doing things. They investigated conditions and resources they had and asked, “How will we do more?”
For older nonprofits, it may be especially tempting to stick with the well-trodden path, but a brand new approach can lead to huge progress. You don’t ought to make a new road to be able to “take the street less traveled.” You simply need 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. Hopefully you’ll join us with the Collaborative and stylish Awards in Boston in June to showcase and share innovations such as these.