Creating Social Value Blog / Social Innovation

Positive Disruption We Can Learn From

Just about a month out from our Social Innovator Awards on April 7th, we are still finding ourselves moved by the experience of gathering together to celebrate our three honorees and a different way of looking at the role and purpose of business. The world certainly doesn’t need another award, we have plenty of them and the people we’re honoring have been honored many times before. So why is this such an important part of our year?

We have this award to hold up these models of positive disruptors using Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® to change the world for the better. Our honorees live the concepts we talk about, reflect the values we seek to cultivate in our work, and provide social impact in ways that are sustainable throughout time. They exemplify the notion of “acting their way into a new way of thinking, not thinking their way into a new way of acting.”

While it’s critically important who they are, it’s even more important why they do what they do and what their work offers as insights to the community here at Babson. It holds up examples of amazing creators using the power of business to change the world for the better, and builds a community of social innovators and people that see the value in this new way of orienting themselves towards the purpose of business.

Each of our honorees has an entrepreneurial orientation towards addressing crucial societal dilemmas that energizes them to take action, and it is this orientation to the problem that makes all the difference. Those individuals who have been celebrated have a relationship to the problem that’s one of optimism, creativity, resilience, self-awareness and empathy – they get energized by the potential of not just solving a problem, but consistently managing dilemmas for better outcomes for society. They embody ET&A® in the face of incredible challenges and live the mantra “act, learn, build.” This is how change happens.

What we are witnessing is a paradigm shift in business embracing social innovation. But don’t take our word for it, hear what our honorees and guests had to say at the celebration:

When we bear witness to any situation, the right action, loving action, naturally emerges.” – Bernie Glassman

To make the kind of social change we all want to see in the world, we can’t be limited by the old ideas of business and philanthropy.” – Penny  McPhee

We’re committed to having a social impact in everything we do.” – Gavin Armstrong

Collaborative leadership helps us make more with less.” – Bill Bolling

Whether our social innovator was inventing the notion of “open hiring” to address social and community justice issues, or designing an elegant iron fish to put in every pot to eradicate iron deficiency around the world, or using developing the notion of food banking to transform communities, these positive disruptors have created huge ripples that create social impact at a global scale.