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Denielle Sachs

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Calling All Social Innovators!

Posted: 10/30/11 11:56 PM ET

With the world's population set to reach 7 billion by the end of this month, there has never been a greater need to find and scale solutions to the complex societal challenges we face -- from environmental sustainability to accessible health care and education to providing access to financial services to the more than 2 billion people living on less than $2 a day. At the same time, we're better equipped to overcome these challenges than at any point in history. Technology has radically increased our ability to connect people to lifesaving and life-enhancing innovations. Businesses are more global, with remarkable reach into distant communities and immediate access to resources. And a new generation of social entrepreneurs has emerged, catalyzing innovation across every area of need.

With this in mind, McKinsey's Social Innovation Practice has launched a multi-pronged initiative with the goal of collecting, highlighting and lending a platform to innovators around the world who are confronting these challenges with remarkable speed, commitment, and ingenuity. As part of this initiative, we have issued an open invitation to social entrepreneurs everywhere to add their voice to this important conversation by submitting one-minute videos that describe their innovative solutions to a complex societal challenge. Some of these videos will be showcased next month on McKinsey's flagship publication, What Matters, as part of a special report on Social Innovation that includes contributions from NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Livestrong CEO Doug Ulman, Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin, Executive Director of Ushahidi, Juliana Rotich, and many more.

Who Should Submit a Video?

If you or your organization has developed an innovative solution to a crushing social problem and you want to share your story with a large, elite and influential audience, we encourage you to submit a video.

Why Should You Participate?

The videos that demonstrate the most unique, inspiring and impactful innovations will be honored in a number of ways, including interviews that will be published on McKinsey on Society, prominent features right here on The Huffington Post, a networking reception we host to honor the finalists in NYC early next year, and much more.

How Will It Work?

If you would like to submit a video, simply upload your story to our website. Videos will be accepted and hosted on McKinsey on Society through Nov. 18, at which point 10 finalists will be chosen by the project's Selection Committee. Members of the Committee include relevant McKinsey experts, social innovation editors from our publishing partners, and contributors from the What Matters special report. The public will then have a chance to vote on their top three innovators, who will be announced on Dec. 5.

Why Are We Doing This?

We believe innovation is one of the critical elements in finding effective solutions to longstanding, vexing problems. Our goal is to create a hub where we will highlight inspiring innovations and where changemakers can share new ideas and best practices. From nonprofits and community groups, to social entrepreneurs, impact investors and individuals trying to make a difference, we want to create a platform that will draw attention to these innovators, so we can celebrate their success and have them take their place alongside the world's most recognized voices in social innovation.

Our invitation has already drawn contributions from organizations working across a spectrum of complex issues -- including a product that offers an alternative light source to the dangerous use of kerosene we see around the world, a clothing company that uses 100-percent recycled apparel to support the environment as well as create jobs in manufacturing, another organization that uses bow ties to raise awareness through partnerships with various cause-related groups, and a biomass cookstove that converts wasted heat into electrical power. These are just a few of the inventive ideas we've seen in the last few days, and we know this is just the tip of the iceberg.

We invite you to tell us how you are transforming the world by submitting your video here.

For updates, remember to follow us on Twitter @McKinseySociety.

McKinsey's Social Sector Office recently announced the formation of its Social Innovation Practice, which brings together our work in philanthropy, innovation, and social entrepreneurship. To learn more, please visit us at mckinseyonsociety.com/topics/social-innovation.