Urgent Evoke

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Preventing Podoconiosis through social entrepreneurship

This is an example of how corporations can create profound impact by embedding a social mission into the "core" of their activities. Podoconiosis is a disease that affected a large section of people in Ethiopia in specific and Africa in general.

This video is relevant for inspiring us to see how "doing good by doing well" is a part of tomorrow's strategy when corporations will have to innovate their agenda and really create context for their acceptance and capturing the admiration of its customers.

This video is part of my learning mission of how social entrepreneurship that embeds "contextual innovation" can create positive impact in the health sector.

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Comment by Rahul Dewanjee on April 2, 2010 at 3:27pm
Social compact initiatives (or CSR) of corporations that succeed in creating the maximum impact are those that embed doing good for the society at the heart of the core competency of the organization. this is an universal truth.

This is a progressive way for business to reinvent its relevance.
Comment by Evo on April 2, 2010 at 6:14pm
Love TOMS SHOES! This is a great example of making more good by making good things to share. Thank you for sharing this video.
Comment by Reema on April 2, 2010 at 7:39pm
TOMS is fantastic :)
Comment by Reema on April 2, 2010 at 8:29pm
Endangered Species Chocolate and Newman's Own. Not to the same extent, but they still donate about 10% or more of their profits towards social good.
Comment by Yumna Moosa on April 2, 2010 at 9:57pm
Trevor Mulaudzi's Clean Shop - cleaning, repair and maintenance of toilets in under-resourced schools
Shona McDonald's Shonaquip - manufacture of affordable products for people with disabilities
Thorkil Sonne's Specialisternne - allowing people living with autism to contribute to the economy in highly valued and highly paid positions, using their tendency for great attention to detail

Social enterprises are popping up everywhere. This is the future.
Comment by Reema on April 2, 2010 at 10:03pm
Thanks for the list Yumna :)

I encourage everyone to take part in One Day without Shoes. See more at www.toms.com

Another great idea from Blake.
Comment by Yumna Moosa on April 3, 2010 at 3:36pm
Clean Shop's website is down.

www.shonaquip.co.za

http://specialisterne.com/
Comment by Sarah Shaw Tatoun on April 8, 2010 at 6:18am
Thanks, Rahul, for putting this up and Reema for calling my attention to it.
My favorite responsible corporation is something a little different-- Ricardo Semler's Semco in Brazil. In addition to about the most enlightened corporate structure ever (employees set their own salaries, choose their own co-workers and bosses, set their own hours and select their own computers and other tools) they also have a foundation with a school (in order to train the next generation in a non-authoritarian way so they're better able to cope with the freedom companies like Semco offer in the future) and a 'habitat' which combines regrowing the native forest and economic growth for the people in the area.
Comment by Rahul Dewanjee on April 9, 2010 at 1:06pm
Smart enterprises (both big and small) can create maximum impact for the longest duration by embedding a social mission into the "core" of their activities and not just adopting or endorsing corporate social responsibility initiatives as part of the expense budget.

What makes TOMS distinct is how the company that essentially continues to make trendy shoes (read: core competency) integrates a social mission (read: preventing Podoconiosis in Africa) and in doing so, it has created a brand recall for its "core" TOMS brand, established a deep connection with its core customers (those buying TOMS shoes) and created the least post-purchase dissonance among compulsive shoppers who buy TOMS shoes.

Through TOMS social missions (giving one pair of TOMS for free to a child in Africa for every pair of shoes a customer buys), the company has created an unique brand differentiation strategy, raised its enterprise profile to be one that cares for triple bottom-line, gives compelling reasons to everybody why they should "shop" by making shopping a lot more "guilt free" and given reasons for everyone from Carter Road ( in Mumbai), Darling Point (in Sydney), Chelsea (in London) to Beverly Hills (in US) to endorse TOMS core economic activity: "SHOES" that heal Podoconiosis.

That makes the business model of TOMS truly "transformative" as a social innovation as it has succeeded to create context & character for its own existence as a brand, as a shoe company and a corporate crusader for social good. The central theme here is of course the capacity to execute a social innovation. That is what Blake at the helm of TOMS should be applauded for.

Paul Newman vision of 'shameless exploitation in pursuit of common good' resonates a similar vision (and as Agent Reema has rightly pointed out) is manifested through a very distinctive brand called Newman's Own.

In this context, we need to be aware that the role of luxury has also undergone a silent transformation even though our awareness and appreciation for something truly beautiful and of genuine high quality will never dwindle. Having said that, TOMS shoes are genuinely beautiful, visually aesthetic and of very high quality. And so is everything that comes out of Newman's Own.

Thanks Agent Sarah & Agent Yumna for contributing your links and ideas. Hopefully, we will see more from you and other agents here at Evoke.

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