As a Social Entrepreneur you thrive on finding new and better ways to do things; are single minded in your pursuit of social or environmental value; a risk taker; activist; disrupter. What can we learn from others that can be adapted, improved or copied for social innovation? Below are 13 ideas from around the world, and across sectors....
1. BuitenBeter app allows dutch citizens to report local issues by iPhone. After spotting something that needs to be fixed, residents can use the app to take a picture and send their complaint directly through to the city council. Brilliant!
2. Choose Change ATM has developed a brand of ATMs that lets users donate $1 of each $2 transaction fee to a non-profit organization of their choice.
3. GiveMeTap lets consumers in the UK refill their water bottles for free at participating cafés. Beginning in Manchester, GiveMeTap has signed up numerous restaurants and cafés willing to supply free access to clean tap water. Providers can be located via PC or smartphone using GiveMeTap's mapping service. Well done our own Edwin Broni-Mensah - you are an innovation trend!
4. Aiming to transform the slums of Rio de Janeiro through large, community-driven murals, the Favela Painting project also incorporates training and employment for local residents. In each project, Favela recruits local residents to do much of the painting, including training and paying them.
5. Oregon-based SoupCycle offers organic soup, made from locally grown produce. Consumers order their soup a week in advance. SoupCycle buys the necessary produce from local farmers and cooks the week’s soup, which is delivered by bicycle over the following days.
6. The Dutch motorists association, has launched a mobile store which stops at campgrounds selling tourists items they forgot to pack, from toothbrushes to sunblock. Motor care teams will check tire pressure, give traffic updates and clean car windows and mirrors. When drivers have finally reached their destination, the ANWB's 'Helping Hands' will pitch tents, fill jerry cans and even dry dishes!
7. AccidentSketch is a free online tool that allows users to graphically document car accidents using a drag and drop template system. Road 'pieces' are added to a grid to create an accurate depiction of the road, before vehicles are placed on the road map.
8. Shortomatic is a California-based company that invites consumers to upload their own art to create customized swim shorts. Customers indicate their waist size then upload, position and size the art, choose their colors and add text for use on the waistband. Shortomatic's Artist's Program curates designs, which are produced in limited editions of 200, with creators receiving USD 5 for every pair sold.
9. Dutch website TenPages has teamed up with three book publishers to choose material to be published. Aspiring writers can post the first 10 pages or more of their book, viewable to the site's shareholders. They can then buy up to 200 shares in any book for EUR 5 each, and the books that sell 2,000 shares over four months get put into production at one of TenPages' partner publishers. Authors get paid EUR 1,000 from the initial funds raised, and are given eight months to write the finished book with the help of a professional editor.
10. GoTryItOn lets users upload digital snapshots of themselves in various outfits in order to source advice from fellow users. They can decide whether to share the look with the whole community or share only with friends. Those allowed to see the outfit can then vote for or against it and leave comments for the person in the outfit.
11. The Life Box replaces the traditional cardboard box that is impregnated with seeds. Within the corrugations of the box are hundreds of tree seeds and thousands of spores of beneficial mycorrhizal fungi. The box can be planted after use and in about two months, tree seedlings will emerge, nurtured by the mycorrhizal fungi.
12. OfferMeaTrip (still in development) aims to provide a service in which consumers dictate what they want from a trip and agents bid for their business.
13. UK-based Yourshack offers leasing and house-share services with a focus on community socialization. Yourshack aims to help people in its community find the right property, give them the option to share, and offer the chance to join a vibrant social scene in and around Manchester.