TL;DR – Social innovations are changing the world in its own way. Key ideas picked up at GEC from social innovation labs is something fresh!
Social innovations may not be focused on the area of making new technology that transforms businesses, but it’s undeniable that the changes made can shape the society to one that welcomes fragmented and discriminated individuals and societies.
In terms of creating a more united people, social innovations exist to create this very impact. GEC Summit welcomed and celebrated social innovators – Here are three that focused on existing social problems and presented ways to curb them.
Shahab Shabibi, co-founder of MyKuya based in Philippines, held a mini think tank on the topic of creating jobs in untapped markets and pockets of poverty-ridden areas. It’s interesting to note what MyKuya has done here in relation to the think tank. As a means to combat poverty, MyKuya is a platform that connects the mass public with micro-job MyKuya partners; People who are looking for a helper with small tasks such as house-cleaning or buying groceries can use the platform to find those helpers. “However, the bigger challenge is accessing those areas where literacy rates are very low and technology is sparsely available,” noted Shahab. “Maybe we can work on something big here.”
Oscar Kneppers, serial entrepreneur and founder of Rockstart, focused on the potential of the startup industry to influence and change local economies startups via means of idea development, crowdfunding, and expert advice. Much of his GEC Lab was spent talking about what Rockstart has done; pretty remarkable things. For one, Rockstart was responsible for the uprising of 3D Hubs, an AirBnB-like service for 3D printers. Another is Rockstart’s signature programme, the Rockstart Accelerator, where Kneppers, along with other industry experts, run a 5-6 months long bootcamp for startups to propel into the global market.
Adrienna Zsakay discussed the concept of circular economy. “MNCs are brilliant and all,” Zsakay noted after a participant pitched his startup that partners with H&M, “But the thing that can create more jobs and create more business in your region is if you take MNCs out of the picture, and partner with local entrepreneurs instead.” A circular economy is an economy that relies totally on itself; An economy that is sustainable, reuses the products it created and part of an infrastructure that keeps the circular rotation of jobs going.
In a world where there are pockets of society left behind in the midst of rapid progress and growth, social innovations are what keeps them from sinking and being abandoned. These innovators are part of many that propel these fragmented people to greater heights.