Innovation is considered a way to succeed in the technology startup space. This association with tech companies, though, signifies that whenever we consider innovation, we often consider some new gadget or patent a product. 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 is simply not the way it is.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines innovation as “a new idea, device, or method.” While it will come in the form of a fresh machine or microchip, innovation can even be a fresh procedure for an issue, a change in behavior, or a new method of using existing resources. Innovation can happen at any organization in every sector.
Some of the most successful and celebrated innovations of history decade center primarily on a new approach or possibly a new means of using resources. Organizations from your for-profit and nonprofit sector used existing methods and technology differently as a way to revolutionize their space. Use their breakthroughs to inspire your team to produce game-changing creative leaps within your mission.
Funds are power. That happens to be the status quo. Not only can the wealthy choose what products to buy for own enjoyment, backing from large investors often determines which products and projects become accessible to the wider public. Although this product is still prevalent, the advent of crowdfunding has opened investing up to and including much wider population.
In 2003, the platform ArtistShare was released to assist 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 brand new avenue for entrepreneurs and inventors to acquire funding. Very much like a social websites profile, users can create a page introducing their project and attract friends and family for support.
Crowdfunding allows regular customers to contribute a small investment to films, clothing designers, food products, and a lot more. Because the price tag on admission is so low, nearly anybody can become an investor, and the chance 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 inside their infancy with minimal risk. The entrepreneurs also can draw on existing connections and social sharing to finance their ideas.
Crowdfunding has even spread towards the nonprofit sector, where organizations use these platforms yet others to fundraise for projects.
Landmines will be the weapons that continue taking. Mainly because they are designed to be difficult to detect, they carry on and kill and maim civilians years after having 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 center of solving problems, APOPO took good thing about an indigenous creature and standard animal training methods to mitigate the danger. African Giant Pouched Rats are incredibly smart animals by using a superior sense of smell. APOPO conditioned them to identify landmines. By training the animals to work with 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 whole new rat. They took benefit from existing resources and techniques and used them to produce a new means to fix a longstanding problem.
Twitter and Facebook might be best known for allowing us to share the moment details of our way of life online, but social organizers have unlocked its power being 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 throughout the Middle East and North Africa. “People who shared curiosity about democracy built extensive social media sites and organized political action. Social media marketing became a critical section of the toolkit for greater freedom,” said Philip Howard, who led a study of how social media marketing shaped the movement’s activity.
While these political actors weren’t the first to spread content and news of demonstrations on Twitter as well as 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. Obviously, a tweet won’t solve a social issue on its own. But smart usage of social platforms might help a movement reach a wider audience and compel traditional media outlets to investigate and publicize the issue.
While ridesharing platforms like Lyft and Uber seem like a high-tech means to fix transportation problems, their power lies more with their social model than their apps. Ridesharing took existing GPS technology, new ideas for inventions, and survey systems to alter the way in which people use cars.
As Lyft CMO Kira Scherer Wampler explains, 87 percent of commuter trips are people traveling alone. This simply means more cars on the streets and more traffic. This issue, in addition to unreliable taxis and poor public transportation, made commuting an expensive, frustrating problem. Lyft and Uber took the technology people were already using every day to generate a new solution.
By synthesizing mapping data with driver profiles, ridesharing makes the 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 achieve this, ridesharing companies aren’t designing new vehicles or perhaps building new devices. They are mobilizing individuals to make use of the tools they may have more proficiently.
In spite of the success that a great many breast cancers organizations had in spreading awareness, the disease was still being seen as a problem exclusively for the elderly. This meant that a tremendous portion of the population wasn’t being in contact with the detection methods and preventive changes in lifestyle that can save lives.
Keep-A-Breast, whose mission is “to empower teenagers around the globe with breast health education and support,” has started to bridge the space by reaching teenagers in a completely new way. Teens are now understanding breast cancer risk factors at one of their preferred summer events.
The Vans Warped Tour is a music festival which has traveled everywhere in the United States Of America each summer in the past 21 years. Over 500,000 kids attend, spending the morning watching performances and visiting booths. For 10 years, among the attractions has become Keep-A-Breast’s Traveling Education Booth, where volunteers speak 19dexhpky youth and provide information about cancers of the breast and preventive tips. KAB says, “The how to submit a patent brings cancer of the breast education to teenagers by themselves turf.” By changing how they reach people, Keep-A-Breast has brought life-saving information to your population that had been being left out of the conversation.
While we try to solve the world’s most pressing social problems, it’s crucial that you understand that innovation is just not confined to tech startups and wealthy corporations. What most of these organizations have in common can be a new idea, a fresh method of doing things. They looked at conditions and resources that they had and asked, “How can we do more?”
For older nonprofits, it could be especially tempting to keep together with the well-trodden path, but a fresh approach can bring about huge progress. You don’t have to build a new road so that you can “take the highway less traveled.” You just have to notice the path and pursue it.
Every single day, 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 like these.