Monday, November 15, 2010
We’ve just attended Entrepreneur Week (www.nyew.org), a semi-annual event that brings together both emerging and established entrepreneurs to share, learn and debate ways to turn economic adversity into opportunities for business. Sitting still in an auditorium was a challenging prospect for us, but the knowledge we gathered made it all incredibly worth while.
One of the speakers, Jeremy Heimans from Purpose (www.purpose.com) struck a chord with his presentation on Movement Entrepreneurship: helping solve major global issues and transforming companies by creating social movements. Purpose created GetUp! the internationally recognized online social movement phenomenon, which has reshaped policy and national debate on issues like climate change, refugee rights and civil liberties. They’ve also created other inspiring movements, and we’re fans of that.
Examples of some movements supported by Get up! which highlight various global social issues.
We’ve been writing about Healthy Participation, Collective Innovation and Cultural Connectivity recently (see previous blog postings) and so this similar minded topic made us sit up and listen. Jeremy also shared examples of other brands that are creating impactful social movements, which we’d like to share with you.
We’re particularly taken with TOMS shoes (www.toms.com) and their “One for One” movement. With every pair purchased, they give one pair of new shoes to a child in need. They use the purchasing power of individuals to give to those in need. Their ‘giving’ concept has attracted collaborations with other brands such as Ralph Lauren and Element Skateboards. They have a touching story, based on the founder, Blake Mycoskie, discovering the needs of children in Argentina during his travels back in 2006. They had no shoes. He wanted to help, so he created TOMS shoes. Blake then returned to Argentina with family, friends and staff and gave 10,000 pairs of shoes to the children, made possible by TOMS customers. To date, they have given over one million pairs of new shoes to children in need. Now that’s impressive.
Children who have benefited from TOMS ‘One for One’ movement and products from the collaboration with Element Skateboards.
People are looking to influence and change the way companies behave, for the better, now more than ever before. Companies can also help people change their behavior, by bringing us more meaningful goods and services. The end goal is the same, to bring people together to improve lives by being ‘more than’ responsible. Not just environmentally, but socially, culturally and economically. Being labelled ‘green’ or ‘natural’ or ‘responsible’ is no longer enough, it’s what goes on beneath the surface that really counts and then the outward action to create meaningful change.
We’re big fans of the charming British chef Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution (www.jamieoliver.com). You can see his 2010 talk at one of our favorite sites TED.com. Jamie has created a movement to save America’s health by changing the way people eat. He is educating schools, parents and children to raise awareness of fresh food so they can make better choices. IDEO (www.ideo.com) and Jamie Oliver have partnered to create a book titled “An Open Food Revolution” to capture the innovation challenge in this area and inspire others to make the change. When diet related disease is the biggest killer in the US, somebody needs to start a movement for social change. Good on you Jamie.
Jamie Oliver and some pages from the Open Food Revolution book created by IDEO to help inspire change in children’s eating habits.
Design thinking can create social change and if we continue to encourage the concept of more Meaningful Movements, there will be more possibilities for us to transform businesses and brands to improve the way we live. This mindset has to begin internally with organizations adapting their behavior towards more responsible change. To do this they need to be connected with the real issues and have a meaningful purpose built on making a difference.
Monday Collective is currently working with entrepreneurial thinkers to create brands that have a meaningful purpose and vision to create social movements that will change behaviors for the better. The entrepreneurial thinkers that make the leap will succeed by being better connected and more relevant to what’s going on in our world. They will lead the way to a ‘more than’ responsible future.
At Monday Collective we’re always looking to partner with entrepreneurial thinkers that want to make a difference, whether it’s with emerging or established companies. We use design thinking to help brands and businesses experience The Brilliance of Change™. If this strikes a chord with you, please do get in touch through email@example.com.
As for Entrepreneur Week, we thank you for entertaining us with some fantastic speakers and panel discussions. The 30 second speed networking was a blast too. Next year we hope that Monday Collective can be up on that stage!