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WATCH | Turning plastic waste into buildings

Plastic litters the streets of the coastal city of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast. UNICEF says that more than 280 tonnes of plastic waste (approximately the weight of 150 cars) is produced each day in the capital, with only about 5 percent recycled. An innovative project now seems to give a new life to the enormous amount

Inequality matters — but not in the way you think

In recent weeks a hotly contested debate was reignited among academics and policy wonks over income inequality and tax progressivity. The issues have been discussed frequently in the news for much of the Democratic primary season. But the current academic debate has been reignited by economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, who recently released a book and

What Today’s C-Suite Executives Can Learn From Social Enterprises

Since the Business Roundtable announced that they were redefining the “purpose of a corporation,” some skepticism has permeated the surrounding public dialog. In August, more than 180 global industry leaders, from the heads of Apple to PepsiCo to Amazon, issued a joint statement asserting that companies should no longer focus exclusively on shareholder profits, but also invest in their

The new impact modeling approach that will change the way you think about social impact

The social impact space has come a long way since its founding. Academics and practitioners alike have fought for position on the for-profit -to- nonprofit spectrum, and distinction within the charitable -to- concessionary-returns -to- market-rate-returns spectrum. We’ve seen an evolution of its popularity as distinctions between doing well and doing good have dissolved. However, to

Younger Leaders Are Saving The Planet (And Us) As They Profit

Leader: Renee Pindus is an entrepreneur and co-founder of Arrive Well, a company that provides ‘clean’ and sustainable travel goods and accessories. She is also a reader, writer, macaroni & cheese aficionado, and cat-lover. Leadership lesson: Persistence is key. Building a business takes an extraordinary amount of work, and it most definitely doesn’t come easy. Life lesson: Always surround

Become Local Change Makers Through Social Entrepreneurship

Ikigai is a Japanese concept meaning ‘a reason for being’, which is roughly translated to ‘thing that you live for’ in English. Each individual’s Ikigai is personal and specific to their lives, values and beliefs. A social entrepreneur’s Ikigai is to bring systems change and/or mindset change with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social,

Why a Social Enterprise Is Much More Than a ‘For-Profit’ Venture

Great enterprises begin with a simple idea. These are ideas born out of a need identified in our environment, a problem whose solution will bring relief to individuals or groups or communities at large. Considering the challenges facing India on food, clothing or shelter, with over 1.3 billion people, it is clear that India needs ideas that can alleviate

The highs and lows of creating the world’s first social stock exchange

The world is coming around to social stock exchanges (SSEs). In just the past few months, Scotland, Jamaica, and now India have thrown their hat in the ring to launch their own platforms, all with the hope of solving one of the greatest challenges to social capital markets: the need to connect capital to socially-minded

The Multibillion-Dollar Potential Of Social Innovation

Societies worldwide are facing changes on a monumental scale. We are already experiencing the consequences of aging populations, digitization and climate change. The emergence of artificial intelligence and advanced automation technologies, as well as the ability to manipulate the human genome will have a comparable impact. Will we be able to rise to the challenges

Treat Social Risk Like Any Other Risk to Avoid Business Disruptions

The ramp speed of business-disrupting social issues has accelerated in 2019. Mother’s Day triggered a backlash for Nike’s policy of reducing pay for some sponsored female athletes while pregnant, extending the criticisms and litigation on its gender equity issues. And, in Silicon Valley the modus operandi for many has been to build scale and worry later about social impact. This has

Meet the social enterprise fighting child labour through fashion

As the countdown to the 2019 Social Enterprise World Forum continues, one Ethiopian social enterprise is taking a lead in ending child labour through fashion. Established in 2009, Yefikir Design is a fashion design house with a much bigger vision than just fashion design. Yefikir Design is founded and managed by the internationally recognized award winning, Ethiopian

Greenwashing Is Out, Let’s ‘Out’ the Greenwashers

Business leaders are shifting their priorities, embracing the idea of the “double bottom line”, supplanting shareholder primacy with stakeholder primacy, and committing – at least notionally – to environmental sustainability. That’s good news, said Caroline Anstey, Senior Advisor to Sustainable Markets at the World Economic Forum. But not all of this environmental commitment is genuine.

Meet the green entrepreneurs taking the world by storm

The planet is changing and it is becoming more obvious by the day that the responsibility can be shared between a handful of companies. After Greta Thunberg’s poignant speech at the UN Climate Summit, it seems the environmental conscience has been elevated significantly overnight, with unconvinced individuals globally starting to realise how serious the climate crisis

Today’s Social Entrepreneur: Inspired By Gandhi, Taught By Prahalad, Leading Like Yunus

Somewhere in the world today, a person is dedicating his or her life to a pressing social or political injustice that they believe must be corrected.  They will fight discrimination, create solutions for clean drinking water, or push for legislation to provide quality education to young people.   They will be inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, but

The Ghost Workers Powering The AI Economy

Rightly or wrongly, the AI-driven world has come to typify the woes of modern economic life, as tech giants such as Facebook and Alphabet amass vast fortunes, due in large part to the huge quantities of data that users often freely provide them. Accusations of economic imbalance tend to be multi-faceted. Not only do these companies

How This Woman Successfully Launched An Ethical Shoe Brand With Zero Fashion Experience

Ten years ago, Bethany Tran went to Guatemala and had a transformative week that would ultimately change the trajectory of her career. Her friends had started a nonprofit that was working to break the cycle of poverty in the largest urban slum in Central America. It was her first time abroad and her first real

Solar-powered railway could reduce fossil fuel reliance

The world's first solar farm to directly power a railway line has been plugged in -- a development that could lay the foundations for the world's first solar-powered trains. Social enterprise Riding Sunbeams has installed about 100 solar panels near a train station in Aldershot, southeast England. Energy captured by the 30kWp solar panels will directly supply signaling

Do Ethics Really Matter To Today’s Consumers?

Unlike any other time in history, consumers are truly demanding more from the companies with which they do business. Today’s shoppers are looking for ethical, eco-friendly brands that put people and the planet ahead of profits. Led by the estimated 83 million millennials in the world, this change shows the need for companies to lead with compassion and

When will the first social enterprise have a huge IPO?

In a year where we have already seen Uber, Lyft, and Zoom go public, as well as African e-commerce platform Jumia, it’s clear that 2019 is shaping up to be the year of the tech IPO. These tech IPOs are going to mint hundreds of new millionaires and the occasional billionaire. Many of these newly

Social innovation in emerging Europe

Social innovation is now widely recognised as having the ability to enhance society’s capacity to act by turning social and economic challenges into opportunities. The global map of social innovation initiatives reveals countless approaches and successful stories which show the strength and potential of social innovation in many areas, not least education and poverty reduction,