Happiness only increases by being shared. Researches have shown, that by our very nature, giving makes us far happier than receiving. Social innovation is a brilliant way to use one’s creativity and strategic thinking to tackle the most challenging world’s problems.
Social innovation is the creation of new ideas that address social problems by reconceiving the status quo to create more sustainable and just systems that benefit marginalized groups and society as a whole. To meet this definition, these ideas should be able to demonstrate their impact and consider pathways to financial sustainability and scale.* Social innovation is not only about helping the others, but it also has an impact on self-realization as a form of recognizing the impact one person can make; social innovation is a tool to build communities around the same purpose. It can affect a certain small group of people, a region or the entire world by bringing awareness of a social challenge.
Top 10 Social Innovations were gathered around the effort to re-build people’s lives (e.g. The attempt of Alberta Local Government to reach zero homelessness), to reach greater life standard (e.g. clean water by 33 buckets and Ash Bricks by Green Cake), managing crisis (Tent Jackets by ADIFF and Emergency Response by Team Rubicon) and finally, enabling people to handle their own lives (Patrimonio Hoy by CEMEX and Waste-pickers for Dignity by I Got Garbage).
Scroll down to find out what are these Top 10 Social Innovations. May it be your inspiration for good deeds.
Ash Bricks. Green Cake
A civil engineer, Mashharawi and her business partner Rawan Abdul Lateef from Gaza Strip, found a way how to turn ash into a brick. These bricks are eco-friendly, affordable and need less cement compared to the regular bricks (it is an important factor, since cement delivery is restricted to this area). Furthermore, these bricks are made without sand and gravel. After three wars in only 10 years and thousands of people losing their homes, this social innovation will help in rebuilding the region.
Emergency Response. Team Rubicon
Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Veterans after leaving the military via Team Rubicon Project attain purpose through disaster relief. Besides they create a community, built by serving with others; and gain self-worth, from recognizing the impact one individual can make. Team Rubicon's primary mission is providing disaster relief to those affected by natural disasters, either domestic or international. By pairing the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders, medical professionals, and technology solutions, Team Rubicon aims to provide the greatest service and impact possible.
Housing First. Alberta Government, Canada
Alberta Government in Canada achieved impossible: zero homelessness in the region. The local government applied constructive and innovative approach in solving poverty and homelessness in their region. They came across the fact that paying for the negative effects of the poverty costs much more than dealing with it directly. Negative effects of poverty include problems with physical and mental health, education outcomes, trust and community life, homicide rates, children’s health and wellbeing, drug abuse, and more. Prevention to these problems is cheaper than dealing with the outcome. The solution is that after 10 days of recognition that the person has no place to live, the government provides the living space. It was started by acquiring 50 units of living space for homeless people, who after getting all needed support would be able to live on their own. Further more, this project brought people together; part of the project was covered by various kinds of donations (such as land).
Jacket Tent. ADIFF
This ADIFF jacket that transforms into tent was made specifically to help refugees. ADIFF idea is built on a foundation of giving. With any purchase from the brand, a portion of the proceeds will go towards donating the most needed products to refugees. Before introducing any product to the market, ADIFF filters its ideas through 3 level questions: 1) Is it a solution? 2) Is it innovative? 3) Will it help? Besides the jacket2tent, ADIFF offers jackets that turn into sleeping bags, that can also float, and the other refugee crisis focused items.
Magic Bus. Hult Prize
Magic Bus is a winning concept of social innovation at Hult Prize competition, an annual contest that challenges students to tackle a pressing global problem. The Magic Bus team focused on Nairobi, 4th highest commuter pain point in the world. 2.5 million people in Nairobi live in slums, 70% of whom rely on the city's ad-hoc bus system. The bus system has 20,000 private buses, called Matatus, which seat between 33 to 45 people. Commuters sometimes have to wait up to two hours for a bus. The solution-social innovation was tech based: Magic Bus lets riders pre-book their bus tickets using basic mobile phones - it's SMS based, so doesn't even require an internet connection. It uses existing bus networks and integrates mobile payments through the country's popular system called M-PESA. It also tackled the problem of long waiting times: platform users can track where the bus is and how long it takes until the bus arrives. This efficient way of travelling allow people plan better their working/leisure times and increase their daily income by at least $1 a day.
Patrimonio Hoy. Cemex
Patrimonio Hoy is Cemex program of the progressive housing for low income families. It is meant to improve quality of life for low-income families by providing them with comprehensive solutions to their construction needs. Over 2.3 million people in Latin America have benefited from this program, which sets out solutions tailored to users, in accordance with their construction needs and ability to repay. As long as they have a lot on which to build, those interested in participating in Patrimonio Hoy receive comprehensive advice from an architect who works directly with them to design a custom plan. It is business model innovation, where CEMEX as global building materials company has created a well-planned savings and credit scheme. Its innovative approach reduces significantly the cost and time needed by the poor to improve their housing.
Solar Inflatable Lights. LuminAID
LuminAID enters with the statement, that 1.6 billion people around the world lack proper access to electricity. Through the Give Light, Get Light program, LuminAID partners with NGOs and non-profits from all over the world to distribute LuminAID lights to individuals who will greatly benefit from a safe, rechargeable light source. Up to this day, more 25,000 lights were distributed to charities in more than 60 countries.
Sourcing employment. Samasource
Samasource was born out of the belief that talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. The social innovation is the attempt to create a credible platform that would enable low-income people get an opportunity to work for international companies. It was achieved by sourcing data projects from some of the world's largest companies through 5 step program: identifying talents, training, employment, work experience and, finally, long term careers. Samasource is a pioneer in the field of impact sourcing, the practice of hiring people from the bottom of the pyramid to complete digital work.
Waste-pickers for Dignity. I Got Garbage
I Got Garbage is a Mindtree initiative in the area of ragpicker livelihood and solid waste management. Its primary goal is to improve the livelihood and working conditions of ragpickers, and to help them integrate into mainstream economy. An equally important goal is to involve citizens and communities in solving the problem of managing solid waste, such that we collectively create jobs for hard working ragpickers, and also make our cities cleaner. I Got Garbage achieves this goal through the following activities: (1) Help ragpickers offer waste management service by organizing themselves into franchises; (2) Build online marketplaces where waste generators (households, apartments, offices) can buy waste management services from ragpicker franchises, (3) Engage urban communities in solving the solid waste problem, (4) Facilitate access to social security schemes for the ragpickers
33 buckets. Arizona State University
33 Buckets is a social innovation project to tackle the problem of global clean water crisis. 33 Buckets helps communities in underdeveloped countries gain access to clean drinking water. About 1.8 billion people globally do not have access to safe, potable water, and each year millions die by drinking from contaminated sources. The 33 buckets team engineered water filters that were delivered to various global areas in need. Broad network of non-profits were helping in spreading the word of this social innovation.
A decade ago the construction industry was behind when it came to adopting new technologies and innovation strategies. However within the past few years, construction industry encountered countless instances of advancements that have the major impacts today.
The construction sector is one of the world’s largest industrial employer, a major source of revenue from exports and an evident contributor to the quality of life for all the people. The list of the Top 10 Innovations in Construction showcases innovation at a few levels and types; obviously technology innovations are stepping in enabling people to 3D print their houses on the ground and in the space; advancements in biotechnology allows houses to fix themselves and, finally, new houses can produce their own energy without any additional special installations. Furthermore, there are business model innovations that bridge financing and construction industries, as well as takes a step forward in making the world more beautiful place to live by introducing social innovations.
Scroll down to find out what are the Top 10 Innovations in Construction.
Argos. CO2-capturing concrete
Argos has landed a technology that is a way of turning CO2 into an input for production, at the same time helping to reduce greenhouse gas emission and creating a better-performing and higher-quality product. The CO2 is collected, stored and taken to the plant by the Canadian company CarbonCure, which developed the batching technology. The gas chemically reacts with the calcium hydroxide and the water of the concrete, making insoluble calcium carbonate, a nanomaterial. Thus, the gas that would otherwise have been released into the atmosphere, can now be chemically captured and become part of a product. On top of the evident environmental benefit, the chemical process also creates concretes with improved compressive strength and handling properties.
The list of the Top 10 Innovations in Construction