Innovation is a brilliant part of social entrepreneurship and a great way to create good business ideas. It’s a fantastic part of entrepreneurship overall.
What happens when you mix new media technological innovation with social innovations?
You get social media fused with social enterprise. You get social media for social change!
Social media for a social cause!
I call it “Social Fusion!”
Development of Social Fusion
Social Enterprise itself involved the fusion of business ideas to social or environmental objectives. It grew from the frustration of many non-profit and public sector practitioners, as well as businesspeople, with the inadequacy of traditional and distinct separation of the private and public sectors. It found innovative ways to bring the two together and challenged traditional organizational models of social change. The significance of social enterprise was demonstrated when, in 2006, Muhummad Yunus of the Grameen Bank was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his idea of combining traditional financial services to solving the social issue of global poverty via microcredit.
Social media, on the other hand, evolved within the Web 2.0 era of the internet from about 2004 until today. Whereas Web 1.0 (pre-2004) involved a kind of internet that was 1-dimensional and dull, Web 2.0 and social media introduced the notion that the internet can be a dialogue between people. It made the internet interactive, and as a forum to connect people from all over the globe.
With these two recent developments, the importance of “people” and community in any social enterprise is very aligned to the technological uses of new social media. (Both social enterprise and social media even have the word “social” in front of them to emphasize the importance of socialization in both!) Hence, social fusion (that is, the use of social media for social change) is a very real, useful and contemporary innovation for all social entrepreneurs.
Case Study: Social Fusion in Action
Irina Skaya has written an article entitled “Social Media for Social Change” over at Examiner.
In it, she highlights the work of the New York-based start-up, Catchafire.org.
It is surely one of the newer enterprises with social fusion in action. Irina describes it as:
an online platform that offers a win/win opportunity for professionals who wish to give back to the community by utilizing their valuable skills and for non-profit organizations seeking these specific skills sets to complete a project. Founded by Rachael Chong, a former investment banker who helped start the US chapter of BRAC, one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the world, Catchafire.org shakes things up and changes the way people in America volunteer.
Future of Social Fusion?
As both concepts of social enterprise and social media are relatively new, there are lots of scope of innovation and change. That is exciting, my friends because this means you have more spark of good business ideas!
Therefore, we have alot to do in the way of developing social fusion. Comment below and tell me what you think. How do you see ‘social media for social change’ developing in the future?