The Network Effect

The citizen sector is learning how to collaborate beyond individual practices and fields of work. In powerful and strategic partnership, social innovators across sectors spread ideas broadly to ultimately change whole systems. This is collaborative entrepreneurship.

Ashoka Founder & CEO Bill Drayton poses this question, promoting the concept: “What distinguishes entrepreneurs from everyone else is that their job is to change the overall patterns and systems of society. Can there be anything more impactful than a global team of the world’s best entrepreneurs who develop a strategy to tip the world toward a better future?”

Here’s a relevant example that surfaced this week:

Along with hearing impaired colleagues, Ashoka Brazil Fellow Howard Weinstein invented (though did not patent)  the Solar Ear, an affordable, solar powered hearing aid. Recently, Howard PARTNERED with Ashoka Guatamala Fellow Greg Van Kirk, who developed micro-consignment—a sustainable, replicable means of delivering health-related goods and services to remote Latin American regions using ENTREPRENEURSHIP; empowering the villagers to help themselves. Then – get this - Ashoka Global Academy member Muhammad Yunus, famous for bringing micro-lending to the world, has been presented with the Solar Ear project and is considering its replication in Bangladesh. There’s more. Ashoka Canada Fellow Arnold Noyek devoted his life to identifying high-priority health issues common to Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians and fostering cross-border cooperation to build lasting solutions to them. As you might have guessed, Howard Weinstein is SCALING to the Middle East THROUGH Arnold Noyek’s initiative. “Community multiplies strength and impact.” (Bill Drayton, Tipping the world: The power of collaborative entrepreneurship)

 

This article was originally published on November 10, 2010
Related TopicsBusiness & Social Enterprise, Civic Engagement, Citizen / community participation, Citizen sector, Development & Prosperity, Health & Fitness

Author

Abby Chroman
Abby Chroman is with Ashoka US Venture and Fellowship

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