myNiagaraOnline welcomes Guest Blogger, Vanessa Faloye as a new #myNiagara voice sharing insights about Social Enterprise.
"There is much debate as to how social impact education can up the ante in building social innovators. (For an expert and very insightful cross-examination of this ongoing debate, check out The Stanford Social Innovation Review: The Future of Social Impact Education in Business Schools and Beyond). But for the sake of bringing something new to this discussion, first let’s reverse engineer this question of how to build innovators for social impact? What exactly does it actually mean to be an innovator? What does an innovator look like, think like, and feel like? Perhaps you instantly imagine the typically young, white founding fathers of some trendy startup named Airbnb, Uber, or Bla Bla Car? In fact, you probably don’t think of Dr Martin Luther King Jr and the civil rights movement who created one of the earliest carpooling systems during the Montgomery Bus Boycott (where black people refused to ride on segregated buses and therefore had to find other forms of transport).
Innovation always seems so shiny and new but to be an innovator is to be a rule breaker; someone who seeks new opportunities to push the boundaries and has the guts to not take no for an answer. An innovator is a risk-taker who disrupts the status quo despite a wall of resistance or a lack of readiness to think outside that box we are so often reminded of. Not everyone is an innovator but for those who are, it can be a long lonely road full of doubt, frustration, and rejection."