What’s the fuss about, anyway?
Welcome to b school. What sets you apart from your peers is the fact that you are here, on this webpage, reading these words. You’re here because you want do something good with your career. You want to create meaning, not just revenue. You want to change lives, not just corporate structures. You want to do business and do good simultaneously.
This blog is a way to keep you informed about all the opportunities at CMU (and beyond) for you to get involved with creating sustainable social change, no matter what “flavor” you prefer, whether it’s education, or health, or poverty, or justice, or something else entirely.
You’ve heard the buzzwords: social innovation, social enterprise, sustainability, greening, microfinance… and if you’re a first-year MBA student at Tepper, there’s a 25% chance you were at a meeting earlier this semester in which there was some heated debate over what, exactly, this whole thing is about.
Even within the field of social innovation, experts argue heatedly over particular meanings and categorizations. But for a start, it’s probably reasonable to say that “social innovation” simply means “new ways of thinking and doing things in ways that benefit the world.” Then there’s “social entrepreneurship,” which might be defined as “a business model that addresses and helps to solve a social problem.” (Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment and tell us what you think!)
One way to begin understanding this complex, growing field is to dive right into the world of social innovation and work on projects. We’ll talk about those in the coming posts. If you want to get some idea of the scope of projects, I recommend a visit to Ashoka’s website. This quick-t0-read e-book will give you a sense of the breadth of projects that people across the world are undertaking. Want to know more? Get yourself a copy of this book and read it over Thanksgiving or Winter Break.
(There are other organizations that do similar work–the Skoll Foundation, for example. Have other examples in mind? Leave a comment for the rest of us!)
In the mean time, if you have a definition for social innovation or social entrepreneurship that you want to share, leave a comment. Start a conversation.