Archive for the ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ Tag

Gen Y leadership on social change is more crucial than ever

It has become blatantly clear that Millennials have a lot of responsibility at their feet for cleaning up the current mess that the world is in. It certainly is not everyday that you see almost daily failures of financial institutions that have been around for over 100 years. While these major headlines are shocking, it is the changes at the local level where the human impact is most apparent and greatest: the failure of small business and families’ decisions to cut back on medical care.

If you are looking at my hometown of Houston, the economic depression is compounded by the lingering effects of Hurricane Ike. You would think that we would have learned from the lessons of Hurricane Katrina: safer mandatory evacuations, rapid restoration of critical services, and faster disaster recovery to get affected families back to normal as soon as possible. Instead, many of the victims of Hurricane Ike have found themselves ignored by the very institutions that are supposed to assist them. Maybe Generation Y is right to be suspicious of institutions’ ability to effect social change.

Optimists may prefer to make social change the focus of their career, electing to work within established institutions to change them from the inside outward. Others try to find their own way to be the change they want to see in the world whether through digital media or the next great idea to help the most people.


Interesting Links of the Week – August 15, 2008

This week for me has been about returning to normalcy. The political crisis has ended and I have started a new project. These links below were great for re-inspiring me.

Social Change Links of the Week

Collective Lens stimulates social change through visual means by aggregating powerful photographs. In additional to the inspirational photos, the site also features a blog and information on related organizations.

Carnival for Change is hosted by So What Can I Do?, a blog featuring easy ways to make a positive difference in the world. I would highly recommend adding it to your feed reader. This week’s carnival focus on the numerous resources available for social entrepreneurship.

Nonprofit Link of the Week

Rosetta Thurman in Career Empowerment as Co-Creation reminds us that it takes two to make a career. We are responsible for seeking challenges and professional development as much as it is our employer’s responsible to provide both. It’s a great reminder of how much power we have to shape our careers.

Public Health Link of the Week

The Washington Post published an in-depth feature of Helene Gayle, the president of CARE. CARE is one of my most favorite organizations that work in international development. They have a wonderful campaign called I Am Powerful that focuses on empowering women in poverty-stricken regions.

Video of the Week

I know having ExxonMobil and the word responsibility in the same sentence might seem a bit strange. However, ExxonMobil debuted an advocacy commercial at the Olympics describing their corporate social responsibility initiative to raise awareness about fighting malaria. Unfortunately, I can’t embed the ad here, but you can view it on ExxonMobil’s site.

Update: I just found a YouTube link for the ExxonMobil malaria ad via Technology, Health and Development.

Water, water nowhere: Social marketing and the quest for access to clean water

It’s one of the most essential things to a healthy life and taken for granted by those who have it. Lack of access to clean water plagues affected people with completely preventable diseases.

Argentina is the first developing country that I have lived in that has had water that you can drink from the tap without a filter but I still meet patients who do not have steady access to water. 1.1 billion people do not have access to clean water to drink, cook, bathe, and cultivate crops. Safe water helps to prevent diarrhea and other waterbourne diseases common to high rates of childhood mortality. Americans have seen some of the possible effects of unclean water on the food supply with outbreaks of salmonella and E. coli in the food supply. Fortunately, Americans also have access to antibiotics to treat these diseases. Millions are not so fortunate where outbreaks of water bourne illnesses are the norm rather than the exception.

A cost-effective intervention, both in regard to prevention and sustained wellbeing, access to safe water continues continues to lag in most development programs. Here is what the Millennium Development Goals have to access to clean water:

“Goal 7, target 10 of the Millennium Development Goals aims at halving by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.”

Population Services International (PSI), a leader in social marketing campaigns, together with Proctor & Gamble has implemented a large social marketing effort to get safe water systems into homes. The systems allow the users to purify the water they do have access to with a powder that clears the water of pathogens and dangerous impurities leaving the water as clear as water from the tap. The powder is inexpensive to produce and can be produced locally. PSI leads educational campaigns to promote proper usage and hygiene.

World Vision UK has released a new viral video that targets the importance of clean water.

Hat tip: Osocio

Some innovative social entrepreneurship efforts are taking on the challenge as well. The LifeStraw filters water at the source, lasting for 700 liters of water purification. The newest campaign called the Coca Cola campaign that I have learned about comes from Simon Berry. Here’s is the idea of the campaign from the Facebook group:

Our idea is:
That Coca Cola use their distribution channels (which are amazing in developing countries) to distribute rehydration salts. Maybe by dedicating one compartment in every 10 crates as ‘the life saving’ compartment?

Check out the Coca Cola campaign or any of the other organizations listed below to learn how you can help.

Other organizations concerned with access to safe, clean water:

Water Aid
World Vision