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Check Your Privilege

Check Your Privilege | Social Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it

"To pull from British philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, it’s one thing to be ignorant, but it’s another thing to be ignorant of ignorance. In other words, what’s the difference between choosing to distract yourself and being distracted without even realizing it?"

Lexy von Keszycki's insight:
I identify very strongly with many of the ideas and feelings expressed in this post. As much as I have a passion for social entrepreneurship and drive to combat social inequalities, I can't change my own background. I constantly fear that my unfamiliarity with the essential daily struggle of the poor, to gain an education, to feed themselves and their family healthily, makes me unqualified to work in this field. But a good friend and this piece by Sarah Santos remind me that I can find something to contribute to make change, but I have to work to break down the distractions in my privileged life and be humble in my pursuit of empathy. 
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4 lessons I learned from taking a stand against drugs and gun violence

4 lessons I learned from taking a stand against drugs and gun violence | Social Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it

Civil society diplomats do three things: They voice the concerns of the people, are not pinned down by national interests, and influence change through citizen networks, not only state ones. And if you want to change the world, we need more of them.

Lexy von Keszycki's insight:

National scale systems change of historically entrenched societal issues can seem utopian and impossible, but with leaders like Ilona Szabó de Carvalho, change is attainable. A self-described civil society diplomat, she uses efforts against gun violence and the drug trade to explain 4 brilliant strategies for social change that can be applied to issues and contexts everywhere. 

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How to Leave a Mark

How to Leave a Mark | Social Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it

"Impact investors seek out companies that are intentionally designed both to make a profit and provide a measurable and accountable social good."

Lexy von Keszycki's insight:

The amazing thing about a revolutionary idea is that once a few smart, powerful people catch on, the opportunities grow exponentially. Exactly as Brooks says, the failures of our two largest systems (the state and the market) have created an environment of innovation, and spawned ideas like impact investing and social entrepreneurship. These ideas certainly have the potential to completely change our world, and with bright minds like David Brooks and big players like Meryl Lynch catching on, there is a lot of hope for the new sector.

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Want To 'Scale' Social Impact? Then Give Away Your Trade Secrets

Want To 'Scale' Social Impact? Then Give Away Your Trade Secrets | Social Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it

"When you give away your work, you’re facilitating the idea’s spread and replication, and that means more rapid social impact. By contrast, “when you monetize your idea,” he told us, “by the laws of economics, demand goes down. Something that is free is easier to sell than when it must be paid for."

Lexy von Keszycki's insight:

While the idea of a business openly sharing their ideas, strategies, and technologies may be appalling to the traditional business world, wise social entrepreneurs understand that as much as they believe in the potential of their own organization, many enterprises working to the same end goal would be vastly more impactful. Given the choice between protecting the organization, and sharing the practices and strategies that make it successful, a traditional business mindset would clearly favor the former. But social entrepreneurs must turn that idea on its head, and consider which is better for the social mission? 

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A Pragmatic Playbook for Aspiring Social Entrepreneurs

A Pragmatic Playbook for Aspiring Social Entrepreneurs | Social Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it

"One of the sections in the book is called the ‘Tough Love Test’ which helps entrepreneurs review their ideas and redirect them if they don’t have a high enough probability of success"

Lexy von Keszycki's insight:

Since I am primarily a student of social entrepreneurship still at this point in my career, this book was an incredible teacher on how these ventures really are carried out. While the book assumes that you have a fairly well formed idea, each of the chapters discuss a different and important pragmatic aspect of launching a venture. Short of investing in a social entrepreneurship MBA, this is probably the best tool for anyone in this space.

 

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Bart Weetjens' Hero rats put noses to work on Mozambique's landmines

Bart Weetjens' Hero rats put noses to work on Mozambique's landmines | Social Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it

"Apopo has discovered and safely destroyed nearly 2,500 landmines in the country as well as more than 14,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance, small arms and ammunition, and returned approximately 2,001 acres to local communities."


Via The Ashoka Community
Lexy von Keszycki's insight:

There are some ideas that are so unique, some solutions so inspired, that perfectly define what it means to be a social entrepreneur. Bart Weetjen's discovered a way to train rats indigenous to Africa to smell out landmines so that they could be safely destroyed. His enterprise is locally staffed and takes advantage of an unexpected natural resource to benefit communities.

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The Ashoka Community's curator insight, March 3, 2014 12:30 PM

Bart Weetjens was in the DC office on Feb 28, and shared one easy way you can get involved in changemaking: MyAPOPO.org. You can help find and disarm land mines, or detect tuberculosis, when you adopt one of APOPO's @HeroRATs: http://youtu.be/NM6mtrJUjT8 #socEnt

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Overcoming The Last Mile Challenge: Distributing Value To Billions

"You can buy a Coca-Cola anywhere in the world, but affordable products that provide essential value like water treatment or lighting often do not reach billions of poor populations around the globe. However, in what is commonly known as the “last mile distribution challenge,“ some social entrepreneurs are providing innovative solutions to make the last mile a first opportunity."

Lexy von Keszycki's insight:

While the developed world seems to have reached a level of interconnectedness that exceeds our wildest dreams, in places like rural Mongolia, and even our own towns, many individuals live beyond the reach of basic goods. The questions this article raised for me were, not only how can we bring adequate (and affordable) medicine to children in Zimbabwe and the elderly in Alabama, but how can we create a global culture of sharing solutions? This article on the last mile highlights how for-profit, non-profit, developed and developing, must work together and share their ideas. We should never have lived in a world where one company had an idea that could alter the existing system and hold it hostage for a profit. In order to tackle the problems we face on a global level, we need to share innovations and best practices, for the benefit of millions.

 

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Light-Bulb Moments for a Nonprofit - NYTimes.com

Light-Bulb Moments for a Nonprofit - NYTimes.com | Social Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
"We thought if you design a good product, it will scale on its own,” Ms. Donaldson said. “That works in efficient markets, but most developing communities don’t have efficient markets.”
Lexy von Keszycki's insight:
What I find fascinating about working in emerging markets is that there are all kinda of assumptions we (the developed world) make about how to do business and sell a product. Developing countries challenge those assumptions and force is to come up with new systems and processes that creatively eliminate hurdles.
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Helping Brazil's Poor Heal at Home

Helping Brazil's Poor Heal at Home | Social Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Children would arrive in the pediatric unit with respiratory diseases, parasites, blood diseases, serious congenital illnesses, cancer, sickle cell anemia — and, after receiving treatment, they would be discharged back into the same dismal conditions that triggered or worsened the illnesses. Predictably, the kids would return, each time sicker.
Lexy von Keszycki's insight:

What does it take to break the cycles that perpetuate poverty? In my opinion, a holistic view of the situation is critical. Not just "why is this child sick in the first place?" but "how can we improve their food, shelter, and hygiene to keep them from becoming sick again?". In Brazil, Vera Cordeiro is using this way of thinking to make a system wide impact.

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How Brazil is rethinking governance to clean up slums

How Brazil is rethinking governance to clean up slums | Social Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it

"The project failed in the long term due to one single governance problem: monitoring. As Jorge Jauregui explained during my field research in Brazil, local governments often develop infrastructure in favelas without preparing the community to operate and use it as intended. For example, many community buildings are no longer used for their original purpose and constant maintenance is required."

Lexy von Keszycki's insight:

While embarrassingly unsuccessful so far, the municipal government across Brazil must find ways to reach, improve, and include favelas into the fabric of cities. This introduction posses some interesting ideas as to what municipal governments can adopt in terms of their own structure and roles, rather than one off and temporary projects.  

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Don't Grow For Growth's Sake: Smart Growth For Social Enterprises

Don't Grow For Growth's Sake: Smart Growth For Social Enterprises | Social Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it

"Organizations--and their leaders--are faced daily with choices about how to use their time and energy, and experience real trade-offs between focusing those assets on the direct growth of their service or program or on strategies for wide-spread change, like driving shifts in public policy or building partnerships with established large institutions that can serve as distributors"

 


Via Social Enterprise Review
Lexy von Keszycki's insight:

For every innovative business model that social enterprises create and use, there must be an equally pioneering growth strategy. The field is still so new, there can't be a one-size-fits-all plan for scaling in size and impact, but this FastCo piece highlights a couple organizations that are doing it right. Understanding the implications and influences on a social enterprise as it grows is key to ensuring that social impact growth or the original mission aren't sacrificed for profit growth.

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Social Enterprise Review's curator insight, September 23, 2014 9:43 PM

Draft FB: Along with many of social enterprise's innovative business models come pioneering growth strategies. This Fast Co article highlights a couple successful social enterprises, such as Boston based Health Leads, as examples of how to successfully scale social impact. 

 

Draft Tweet: How do #socents scale their business and impact strategically? @FastCoExist shares how @HealthLeadsNatl is growing smart

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Daniel Izzo on Brazil's First Impact Investing Venture Capital Firm

Daniel Izzo on Brazil's First Impact Investing Venture Capital Firm | Social Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it

"We need the engagement of the private sector, especially companies delivering solutions in housing, health, education and financial services to truly include millions of people in the market economy and guarantee that Brazil will take advantage of the moment we are going through right now. This is the role of social entrepreneurs"

Lexy von Keszycki's insight:

When looking specifically at social entrepreneurship in Brazil, Vox Capital is one of the most dominant players in the space, and becoming increasingly more influential as its resources and portfolio grow. This interview with one of its co-founders, Daniel Izzo, is full of great arguments for the appeal and need for businesses with social impact to lead the world economy.

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So you want to be an Ashoka Fellow?

So you want to be an Ashoka Fellow? | Social Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it

"Many contemporary issues like malnutrition, climate change, and poverty are considered symptoms of bad systems that exploit, neglect, and marginalize people and resources... to permanently solve them and create substantial change in society means to think like an Ashoka Fellow and understand the system and structure that produce such symptoms—whether that be access to jobs and financial tools, political exclusion, lack of education, or beyond."

Lexy von Keszycki's insight:

Thirty years of searching for and selecting the top social entrepreneurs has culminated in just five required criteria to become an Ashoka Fellow. What I particularly like about this piece is 1. how easy it is to read and understand, and 2. the emphasis placed how Ashoka elects and supports individuals, rather than one of their specific projects. Ultimately, a serial entrepreneur is significantly more create a greater impact over the course of their lifetime than any one project or organization.

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10 numbers that explain why income inequality is a hot topic

10 numbers that explain why income inequality is a hot topic | Social Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
The numbers aren't pretty, which is why the country is finally talking about them.
Lexy von Keszycki's insight:

One perspective you could take on this blog is just to look at the numbers (which do say plenty in and of themselves). But ultimately, if we as a country take a close enough look at these numbers, we should be looking for the root causes of inequality and cycles of poverty. Philanthropy 1.0 would have given more money to states in the Southeast or subsidized SAT prep courses for lower income high schoolers. Social entrepreneurs, such as Alexandra Bernadotte (http://usa.ashoka.org/fellow/alexandra-bernadotte) need support in order to change the patterns which harm our society.

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The Case for Dividing the World Into 'Fat' and 'Lean' Countries

The Case for Dividing the World Into 'Fat' and 'Lean' Countries | Social Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
When resource scarcity is a blessing, not a curse
Lexy von Keszycki's insight:

Conversations about international development and even social entrepreneurship tend to revolve around definitions such as "north and south" or "developed and developing", but can "lean and fat" be a new frame of reference?

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40 more maps that explain the world

40 more maps that explain the world | Social Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it

"Maps can be a remarkably powerful tool for understanding the world and how it works, but they show only what you ask them to. You might consider this, then, a collection of maps meant to inspire your inner map nerd."

 

Lexy von Keszycki's insight:

As someone who loves maps, infographics, and big picture trends, this might be the most fascinating web page on the internet. I could spend hours pouring over these, espeically the ones depicting religious lines in the Middle East and the one "if Africa had never been colonized".

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Mapping Poverty in America

Mapping Poverty in America | Social Entrepreneurship | Scoop.it

"Data from the Census Bureau show where the poor live"

 

Lexy von Keszycki's insight:

This interactive map depicts concentrations of poverty (both in people/geographic area and in percentage of population) down to the neighborhood level. Some areas I expected (reservations in the Dakotas and Arizona, or rural Mississippi), but I didn't expect to see so many in my own neighborhood. Take a look, you might discover some surprises too.

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