I am so happy to be moderating a great panel on Social Innovation tonight at 6PM at Parsons. Finalists for the New Challenge contest will get their awards and I will have a great conversation with Cheryl Dorsey, President of Echoing Green, Sasha Dichter, Chief Innovation Officer of the Acumen Fund and Jeremy Heimans, co-founder of Purpose.
Social Innovation has moved from the periphery to the core of our conversations about economics, capitalism, social justice, design and doing good. Social Innovation is hot on the campuses of design and art schools as well as business schools. Now, how crazy is that? Something deep is happening.
I have two great examples of Social Innovation in Creative Intelligence, both in India. One story is about Paul Polak and his drive to bring clean drinking water to Orissa villages. He used what I call Donut Thinking–see what is NOT there– to solve the problem (hint, its not the scarcity of water but of “clean.”
Paul worked with IDIOM, the top innovation consultancy in India, to design the project and Acumen invested in the new company, Spring Health. Paul hopes it will grow to a $1 billion company, employing thousands of people in India, most of them in their own villages.