AIM2Flourish Sharing Stories of Positive Action
By Claire Sommer, Communications Director for AIM2Flourish, a movement to change business education for the better by helping students discover, report on, and be inspired by world-benefiting business solutions.
Last September, the entire world voted on the 17 biggest challenges facing humanity and pledged to solve them by 2030. These are the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as The Global Goals. Today, the world’s business leaders are starting to be aware of the SDGs, but in large part they still don’t know how to profitably take action to end poverty, mainstream clean energy, champion universal education, and more. What’s needed is a powerful mindset shift: from solving ongoing problems to innovating solutions that end them forever. This gap presents an incredible opportunity for social innovation and entrepreneurship students worldwide to make action — not awareness — about the UN SDGs real and relevant in their studies, universities, workplaces, and the marketplace. And it must all happen fast enough to meet the world’s 2030 deadline.
At AIM2Flourish, we believe the world’s young social innovators are not only up for the job, but in fact are the perfect leaders for it. As the first global experiential curriculum for the SDGs and Business for Good story platform, the AIM2Flourish assignment accelerates the jump from awareness to action by connecting students with leaders who are already addressing SDG-related challenges.
Here’s how AIM2Flourish works: Using the SDGs as their lens, students identify a world-benefitting business innovation and interview a business leader about it. The students’ stories live on AIM2Flourish.com as sources of inspiration for others, breaking down an overwhelming challenge into small steps of positive change. Students tell us that writing an AIM2Flourish story about a business innovation is transformational—it changes how they think about business’ potential for good, and how they see their own potential to be positive social innovators. The business leaders who are interviewed tell us that they see their accomplishments in a new light, feel recommitted to business practices that do good, and appreciate meeting rising talent. These new relationships have led to jobs, internships, and even a board seat offer.
In June 2017 at the next Global Forum, we’ll celebrate the best of the best with 17 Flourish Prizes aligned to each of the 17 Global Goals.
Since AIM2Flourish’s June 2015 launch at the UN, business students worldwide have published over 250 untold business innovation stories for good. Many students are writing about business leaders in service to big environmental challenges, such as the Indonesian company creating plastic bags made of tapioca that bio-degrade in just 2 weeks instead of 500 years. Other students are writing about positive health innovations like Lucky Iron Fish, a social enterprise started by University of Guelph business student Gavin Armstrong (a 2016 Lewis Institute Social Innovator Award winner). Armstrong’s innovation helps combat iron deficiency in Cambodia with a small fish-shaped iron ingot that, when boiled with a meal for 10 minutes, releases a significant portion of a person’s daily iron intake requirements. Browse more AIM2Flourish stories here.
As of November 2016, we have just over 5,000 days to meet the September 25, 2030 goal. In that time, we need new business solutions to be discovered, implemented, improved, and deployed at speeds and scale never before attempted. It all adds up to trillions of dollars of business opportunity (see “Global Goals that work: For business, government and people” report) that can be won by innovative, collaborative, entrepreneurial leaders.
Join AIM2Flourish at AIM2Flourish.com/signup to be part of the conversation about stories that inspire you and businesses you admire. If you’d like to have the AIM2Flourish assignment in your class, either as a student or professor, please send a note to Claire Sommer at Claire@AIM2Flourish.com.
AIM2Flourish is an initiative of the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit at the Weatherhead School of Management – Case Western Reserve University, and founding co-sponsors UN Global Compact PRME and the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI).