Truth be told, am new to this wh*** idea and concept of Social Innovation but after reading here and there about the concept, I am glad to report that I now have the wh*** concept at my fingertips. What I carry in my head tells me that Social Innovation is all about coming up with new ideas, strategies, and concepts that meet social needs and strengthen civil society.
When I read through Alchemy’s link that he named “Exhibit A” which is about the 33 secrets of Social Innovation, I picked more interest in “what you have matters more than what you lack”. I think this is what people who want to see change in our society need to know! I have seen a number of “social innovators” bring in totally new resources as they implement their initiatives though these have usually been not utilized. On the other hand, the “social innovators” that come in with initiatives that utilize the available resources have ended up working at cheaper costs yet with big returns.
I usually want to base my arguments on real-life situations; am a Ugandan, and we in Uganda do have favourable climatic conditions for farming activities – and we also have a lot of abandoned land in the countryside that could be used for the farming. Unfortunately, we have a number of people abandon the land in the countryside to come and try living in the capital where there are actually no jobs, shelter, and activities to accommodate them. This is how our useful and potential labour gets to waste. I think this explains why Uganda is so poor yet so rich. It’s a shame to say that we have people dying of hunger and that we need food to be imported into the country for our survival.
The World Food Programme has done a lot to fight hunger in the nation though what they provide are temporary solutions to the problem. If we could pick a leaf from Alchemy and his team’s move of saving Tokyo from famine by getting a few plants in the ground, then we would have permanent solutions to the problem. How about if we embarked on programmes sending back the underemployed labour back to the countryside to do farming? Wouldn’t this move in the end provide enough food to push the country through the tough times?
I believe besides being a mind-wake-up challenge, this would also be a move that will help us appreciate what we already have and utilize it to the maximum to create solutions to our problem other than sitting back and waiting in pain for the World Food Programme to bring in food.
“What you already have matters more than what you lack.”