The End of the Beginning
The Do Good Better class experience this semester has been invaluable and life shaping for me and even though it has come to an end I feel like it is really just the beginning, the scratch on the surface of the social innovation universe. As I reflect on the semester and the things I have learned in this class about social innovation I have realized that my opinions and perspectives have evolved and my understanding of the complexity of the social sector has deepened on so many levels.
I have always known that I wanted to do more with my life than just have a typical job making money to live my own life. In a conversation I had with Ben Gong a little over a year ago we defined this desire a little like this: “My biggest fear is to be driving to work one day in 10 years from now and realize that I’m not changing the world.”
Discovering social entrepreneurship helped me bridge that gap between business and social good and understand that I can find a career, make money and live my life while still effecting change in society and influencing people’s lives in a positive way. I don’t have to separate the two.
I have always loved taking on challenges and solving problems but studying the deeper issues that make up the world of social innovation has helped me to see that there is so much more to solving the world’s problems. I have learned that in order to be an effective player in this space I need to establish the patterns and habits in my own life that will be projected into the things that I do professionally. In other words, I need to innovate my own life. I need to break molds and find creative solutions to the challenges that I face in my own life as well as ways to meaningfully contribute to the lives of the people that I love around me. If I can succeed in being socially innovative in my own life and my local community then I can take the steps into the bigger picture of worldwide social innovation.
The discussions and readings have caused me to look inside myself and try to find what I am really motivated by, what I am passionate about and how I can use my talents to change the world. To continue this self-reflection and layered learning I will continue interacting with people who are involved in the field and also spend time on my own reading and learning about current social issues and the social entrepreneurs who are solving them. I will find ways to stay involved in the community no matter where I live. I am a firm believer that the best way to learn and internalize something is to teach it and share it with others so I will continue to be an evangelist for social innovation, talking about it with anyone and everyone. I would especially like to find opportunities to teach the rising generation of youth about social innovation early.
I will continue to scratch the insatiable social innovation itch with hands on learning while simultaneously spreading that itch to everyone I come in contact with.