4 Jun 2013

What would you like to know ? Social Entrepreneurship #1

William Bill Drayton
is a social entrepreneur guru, named by US News & World Report as one of America's 25 Best Leaders.

 in 2005. He is responsible for the rise of the phrase "social entrepreneur". Bill Drayton is the founder and current Chair of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding and fostering social entrepreneurs worldwide. Drayton's philosophy of social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society's most pressing social problems. To quote Drayton, "Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry."

Following are his quotes from his speeches that will give you better understanding of Social Entrepreneurship and how you can change the world for better.

"Once a young person has had a dream, built a team, and changed his or her world, he or she has the power to express love and respect in action — the heart of what brings health, longevity and happiness."

"Now we must ensure that all of this generation of young people are changemakers before they turn 21. That means that they master the core changemaking skills—empathy, teamwork, new leadership, and changemaking."

"We need to reverse three centuries of walling the for-profit and non-profit sectors off from one another. When you think for-profit and non-profit, you most often think of entities with either zero social return or zero return on capital and zero social return."

"Social entrepreneurship:
It's not to give people fish
It's not to teach them how to fish
It's to build a new and better fishing industry"

Here’s my advice: The first step to becoming a changemaker (the only secure job going forward) is to give oneself permission, i.e. to ignore — politely, of course — all those who say “Don’t do it.”

"What is your personal definition of “good”?
A world in which everyone is universally empathetic and exercises love and respect with full change-making power."

"The core psychology of a social entrepreneur is someone who cannot come to rest, in a very deep sense, until he or she has changed the pattern in an area of social concern all across society. "

"What is the most powerful lever you can imagine? A big idea, but only if it’s in the hands of a truly outstanding social entrepreneur. It starts with the person and the idea, and then grows to the institution. All three are intertwined."

"Anyone who cannot see problems around him or herself is utterly blind. All the problems sitting there are an invitation for you to be creative, make use of your skills and resources and find a solution."

"What is the most powerful force in the world? And I think you would agree that is a big idea if it is in the hands of a socail entrepreneur who is actually going to make the idea not only happen, but spread all across society. "

"It's the combination: big idea with a good social entrepreneur: there's nothing more powerful. "

"Social entrepreneurs are married to a vision of, for example, a better way of helping young people grow up or of delivering global healthcare. They simply will not stop because they cannot be happy until their vision becomes the new pattern. "

"A social entrepreneur plows the field and it weakens the idea that change isn't possible. He seeds with some very user-friendly idea. The next social entrepreneur comes, and there's more plowing, more seeding. Then hundreds."

"Most people don't want to see problems ... Once you see a problem and you keep looking at it you'll find an answer."

"Good social entrepreneurs can manage, but no one but an entrepreneur can entrepreneur, let alone help build and lead the world's community of leading social entrepreneurs and their top business entrepreneur allies."

"How could any entrepreneur, confronted by such amazing opportunities to help transform the world and to do so with such extraordinary colleagues, be tempted to lose focus? Especially since the work involves such breadth that the boredom of routine or specialization does not exist."

"Entrepreneurs cannot be happy people until they have seen their visions become the new reality across all of society. "

"Whenever society is stuck or has an opportunity to seize a new opportunity, it needs an entrepreneur to see the opportunity and then to turn that vision into a realistic idea and then a reality and then, indeed, the new pattern all across society. "

Innovators in Action: Bill Drayton on Effecting Social Change

Got a BIG Idea for change ?

Apply for Ashoka Fellowship to get support for your idea.

Niranjan Meegammana
Ashoka Fellow

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