Social innovation

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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.

The Nashville Food Project partners with Trinity United Methodist Church to offer a weekly meal which serves about 50 people. It provides an opportunity for people to get to know one another. Photo courtesy of the Nashville Food Project

More than a meal

The Nashville Food Project tackles hunger as a symptom of poverty, with a multifaceted approach that includes gardens, food trucks, community partners and a sense of respect for people in need.

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