Social innovation

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Fr. Gregory Boyle gathers with former gang members whose lives have been transformed by the nonprofit he founded and leads, Homeboy Industries. Photos courtesy of Homeboy Industries

Gregory Boyle: Homeboy Industries is a belonging place where ex-gang members' lives are transformed

LA’s Homeboy Industries is the world’s largest gang intervention, rehab and re-entry program. But at the core of its work and ministry are notions of blessing, gift and miracle, says the organization’s founder and executive director.

Someone refinishing a piece of furniture

Jeff Kaplan saw a problem with the toxins in the stuff in our homes, so he and his partners began selling toxin-free home furnishings. His vision is to transform the industry.

Photo courtesy of New Living

Dave Odom: Chasing problems is a key to social innovation

Innovation begins with carefully listening to a community and defining the problems it’s facing. Then social innovators act, learning from failure and building on success, writes the executive director of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.

Two boys eat lunch at the Cy Hope Center

The nonprofit Cy-Hope has opened two Hope Centers, where 50-80 kids stop by after school each week to have a safe, fun place to hang out and get help with their homework.
Images courtesy of Cy-Hope

A Houston church supports its community by helping schoolchildren

Members of Foundry UMC discovered deep needs in the seemingly prosperous suburb where the church is located. They responded by creating a nonprofit that has helped thousands of economically disadvantaged children.

Detail from a graphic record of a facilitated discussion in Vancouver, B.C., in which participants talked about what belonging and community mean. The artists included examples of local community development in the drawing.

Detail from a graphic record of a facilitated discussion in Vancouver, B.C., in which participants talked about what belonging and community mean. The artists included examples of local community development in the drawing. Illustration by Liz Etmanski and Aaron Johannes/Spectrum Consulting
 

John McKnight: Low-income communities are not needy -- they have assets

People who want to help low-income communities should see them as “half-full glasses” -- places with strengths and capacities that can be built upon, says the co-developer of the asset-based community development strategy.

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