The Social Innovation Summit, a 2-day conference that took place for the first time in Washington DC, brought together storytellers, CEOs, activists, musicians, entrepreneurs, journalists, NGO founders, fashion models and inventors, to discuss how innovation can advance the future of our world. +SocialGood couldn’t miss the opportunity to share with this amazing crew.
From Megan Smith, the United States Chief Technology Officer, to Jack Andraka, a 15-year old inventor who created an affordable way to diagnose cancer, a common topic was heard loud and clear: PEOPLE.
Did you know that 4 billion have access to a toilet, whereas 6 billion have access to a mobile phone? Listen your surroundings and observe deeply was the advice of Adam Braun from Pencils of Promise. Technology is powerful, but context is even more.
“It is not about the money, it is not about the technology, it is about the people and finding the right talent” said Jennifer Anastasoff from the United States Digital Service at The White House. We need to understand where we are and what we can do about it.
How do we change the narrative on tech and innovation? Perhaps we should ask ourselves again who we consider an expert. Is it someone with a PhD? Or maybe a person from the grassroots, with no studies, that knows his or her community by heart? Diversity was a word in bold at this summit. Expertise comes in all shapes and sizes. Beauty as well, as we heard from Carrie Hammer, who empowers disabled people to become fashion models. It is a matter of empowering people at all levels, inside every social sphere, at the government and also at the core of our very own organizations or companies. We need to rethink and act. For example, unlocking women and girls’ potential to become inventors, engineers, and developers.
“Never eat alone”, was one of the books recommended by Matt McCall, from the Pritzker Group Venture Capital. The title speaks by itself and it resonated with many of the innovative projects and initiatives that took the stage. Every great story sparked from an encounter with “the other”, with necessity, with reality. “Don’t put a ceiling on who you should network with” and “Live with generosity” where two of the most echoing ideas at the Scale and Innovation panel.
What is the incentive to be part of the global conversation? You name it! There is a new set of global goals coming up in September at the United Nations, and the Social Innovation Summit was a living proof of an active and awakened world. Are you ready to lend your voice to a cause? To put your hands to work towards common solutions? 2015 is a year of action and there is a new way to call all of those willing to speak up. You can be the new #Globalista by engaging with your community to make a better world. 2030 is now.
*This post was also published in www.plussocialgood.org in English and Spanish.