Sunday, November 21, 2004


Thanks for the encouragement, Nicholas!

The next dilemma to tackle: how can one person make the most significant positive impact on society? Should one aim at changing the system or by influencing small groups of specific constituents?

The first option - changing the system - can likely be accomplished either through the mechanisms of media or politics. The impact that an individual can have through either medium is questionable, although we can all recall singularities - Mahatma Ghandi being perhaps the most cited example in this particular category (check out M.K. Ghandi's Insitute for Nonviolence).

On the other hand, initiating change by influencing small groups and then scaling the project can also be quite successful - and perhaps a more feasible, if more lengthy and tedious, path to change. I have always been fascinated by the story of the Grameen Bank, which grew out of a small project created by a professor of Economics in Bangladesh. Professor Muhammad Yunus is an exemplary social innovator and entrepreneur.

Perhaps in the case of beginning with a grass-roots project, the key is to keep in mind scalability?

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Social Huh?

What is a social entrepreneur?

1. Not an oxymoron.
2. Someone who recognizes that making the world a better place and making a profit are not mutually exclusive.
3. An entrepreneur who takes into consideration the triple bottom line - the social, environmental, and economic aspects of the operations of an enterprise.

What is a social innovator?

In my humble opinion, a social innovator is an individual who creates a novel approach and offers a new solution to societal problems. According to this definition, a social entrepreneur might be a social innovator, but a social innovator does not have to be a social entrepreneur.