Maybe you’re thinking TOMS or Warby Parker, social enterprises that focus on a double bottom line.
That’s what we were thinking, but we knew there was more to it. So, we attended the UN Foundation’s Social Good Summit in New York last September and definitely gained a broader perspective.
Brooke shook hands with Muhammad Yunus (she still hasn’t washed her hand). We got to know brilliant, young entrepreneurs like Mazin Mohammed Khalil. We learned of many people doing amazing work, yet we left with a nagging sense that for all the good, something wasn’t being discussed.
A 6-hour plane trip home provided ample opportunity to identify the elephant in the room: the assumption that scaled technology is itself a solution.
When people discuss entrepreneurship, more often than not, innovation is synonymous with technology. In the realm of social innovation the conventional wisdom is similar: innovative technologies achieve outcomes. This mindset leads to trickle-down techonomics and reinforces the vestiges of imperialism.
In his October 2014 TED talk, Jon Gosier, introduces the concept of trickle-down techonomics and notes that real innovation isn’t technology, it’s finding ways to include everyone.
Is this just pie in the sky or can it be done? Can you really create participatory systems? Can you scale social good? We are exploring these questions. Stay tuned…UP NEXT: A new way to think about profits, Red Bay Coffee.