Last week I traveled to Shanghai to speak at the Business4Better China Summit, sponsored by UBM and chaired by my dear new friend and inimitable connector, Richard Hsu. The gathering, called “100x100”, was a convening of one hundred for profit and one hundred nonprofit businesses that share a common intention, as the mission of Business4Better states, to “help create successful corporate and nonprofit partnerships that have a positive impact on our communities and expand the meaning of being a better business.”
Cheryl Heller, Founding Chair of Design for the Social Innovation Department at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and founder of CommonWise, reminded us of the ongoing importance of being around people and fostering relationships. She also explains why creative entrepreneurs are excited for every new day.
One of the memorable moments from my time mentoring at the Unreasonable Institute was in a room filled with fellows and mentors. A social innovation fellow began to trash big business as the enemy of good — blaming the corporate world as the cause of all the ills we’re working to rectify.
The most pressing challenge businesses face isn’t finding new opportunities for growth and market share; it’s changing the way they approach their challenges in the first place. And there’s no better way to change that approach than through design for social innovation.