Creating Social Value Blog / Social Innovation

StartingBloc: Incubating Social Innovators

Every year I’m reminded about the power of Entrepreneurial Thought & Action when I come to StartingBloc. I’ve been involved with the organization in a variety of capacities since its founding in 2005. Now as a member of the Board of Directors I have the pleasure of presenting at their Institute for Social Innovation each year in NYC.

The Institute brings together emerging global leaders for an immersive experience designed to “increase their impact, exponentially.” It’s a very targeted group. StartingBloc describes:  “accepted candidates enter the Institute with a common set of values. They believe that economic value creation and social value creation are complementary. They believe in making money and doing good.”

When you put 100 young people with this common interest together in a room for 5 days, everyone walks away with a greater sense of the possibilities of what they can create. They also cultivate the personal and social resources to create their vision. In my mind, social innovation is all about relationships – in helping to cultivate those relationships I believe StartingBloc is a true catalyst for change.


As I spoke to the room of aspiring social innovators about the basics of ET&A, I began where I always begin, where I think everyone should begin: with the desire. Start from that internal drive or passion, and build goals from there. It’s desire that will fuel the energy to take that next step when you’re most afraid to try.

After desire comes a commitment to not being afraid to fail. In fact seeing the benefits and insights that can come from failure (or as we like to call it at Babson, intentional iteration). From this foundation, you take the next first step.  Don’t worry about having steps 1-10 all mapped out before you begin. Take that first step and keep an eye toward the future. In entrepreneurship, it’s never about what you’re doing now, it’s always about what you’re going to do next. It’s about what you’re going to do when you have an intention that’s aligned with your desires.

This is a group with tremendous resources and a positive outlook. Immersed in the palpable energy of people that are oriented in the same way about the world, you start to see our reality is much more about abundance than scarcity. You start to see the power of human potential activated in community. My desire? To empower to the next generation of social entrepreneurs and innovators; give them the tools they need to build the solutions for tomorrow. StartingBloc offers a tremendous platform to serve this mission.