If you’ve ever reflected on your life choices and wondered, “What am I doing this all for?” or “Is this my life’s purpose?”, you’re not alone. Though some may already be well on their way to achieving their life's purpose, many of us are still thinking about a gameplan for our future and how it can bring about a meaningful and impactful change in the world and our society.
So what could be the answer to finding your purpose? Two words — social innovation.
From cell phones and fibre optics shaping our communication infrastructure to non-invasive and robotic surgery in making procedures safer and more efficient, innovations have certainly played an important role in our society's progression by introducing a solution to a particular problem. Similarly, social innovation also aims at progressing our world through humanising the concept of innovation and focusing more on societal growth for the sake of the people.
Here’s how social innovation has already started changing the world and impacting communities.
With every solution, there needs to be a problem to be solved. Through research and a better understanding of different communities’ needs, social innovators not only become more aware of issues that need to be addressed but also work collaboratively to find the solution. Thus, creating more humane communities working together for the betterment of others.
An example of a social issue that came about during the COVID-19 pandemic is the quick move onto e-Learning platforms for many educational institutions. Why is it a social issue?
While many were able to quickly adapt to this change, many underprivileged children were unable to do so due to financial and technological restrictions. Understanding this, Taylor’s Me.Reka Makerspace, together with Taylor’s Makers Club, Taylor's Robotics Club, and Taylor's Agents of Tech, combined heads and came up with a solution for the students in the B40 community by building e-Learning devices suitable for their needs, proving that teamwork and cooperation can make a change in the world.
By focusing on social issues in different areas like health, water, education, and even human rights, social innovators are able to focus on solutions not only for the betterment of the communities but also address the different United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By marrying the SDGs framework with knowledge on social issues, many social innovators are able to piece together the connection between the two in greater detail.
What’s another key area to a sustainable future? Youths.
Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, also shared the need for young social innovators as an accelerator in realising the SDGs — emphasising the need for youths to be an active part in social innovation.
The COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly impacted different communities and youth unemployment didn’t escape its wrath. In 2020 alone, youth unemployment rose 0.42%!
In comes social innovation.
According to the World Economic Forum, many young innovators tend to hire like-minded peers, thus becoming a key solution to reducing unemployment among youth.
Focusing on social innovation not only helps the different communities and their social issues or even in impacting the world’s progress, it helps you build your character. By digging deeper into social issues, it allows you to become more empathetic in your thinking and opens your eyes to new visions of what the world could be. It even builds your connections with different stakeholders and groups of people as you start collaborative work towards finding a solution.
But would being a social innovator give me my purpose if I don’t know the solution to social issues?
Becoming a social innovator goes beyond just solving problems, it gives you the opportunity to become an action leader. Whether you feel like you’re ready to take on the world as a future leader or would rather have someone lead to that future, with the right tools, you can soon bring about the change you’d like to see in Malaysia through social innovations.
Want the right tools to be a social innovator? Find out how Taylor’s Bachelor of Social Sciences (Social Innovation & Change) will help unleash your potential or schedule an appointment with our counsellors to find out more.
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