Problem - Observation of a Systemic Gap

We are all aware that society is by no means perfect, and that it leaves many behind. All social entrepreneurs have identified a particular problem that they feel needs to be fixed in order for society to work better for all. It could be within their field of expertise - such as a farmer who sees that society’s relationship with food is broken; it could be an observation within their community, perhaps that the needs of working-class children are being forgotten. Or it could be just a simple observation whilst going about your everyday life: one Ashoka Fellow, Simon Berry, realised that Coca-Cola was reaching remote communities while essential life-saving medicines were not.

What turns a person who has noticed a problem into a social entrepreneur? An idea. An idea that, when implemented, will fix that problem within a community. An idea that, when implemented with a systems change mindset, has the potential to fix that problem nationally or even internationally. 

Today we will be posting video clips of three of our Fellows talking about the problem they identified and that they dedicate their lives to solving. Karen Mattison noticed that many people who simply could not commit to full-time employment, such as single parents or those caring for loved ones, were being undervalued in the marketplace thanks to a lack of part-time roles, forcing them into unfulfilling work that did not use their skills. Michael Sani became concerned that young people were being excluded from the democratic process - and thereby not having their voices heard, while Mark Swift realised that an over reliance on medication for mental health issues in his community was leading to isolation and depression.