"Strategic storytelling" is a new notion: In order to help leaders achieve their goals, stories must be strategically designed to motivate and mobilize people. And the content of strategic stories must be compelling, in order to capture people's attention and imagination.
This is not your everyday classroom. And these are not your everyday students. This is The Barefoot College, an NGO which aims to empower rural communities to become sustainable and self-sufficient by creating Rural Solar Engineers.
For those who know me, it's not a secret that I am very interested in the cross section between entrepreneurship and social missions. I had the privilege of meeting Laura Zax, Social Impact Manager at Harry's.
As the founder of a marketing consultancy that focuses on social change, I work with my fair share of nonprofits. My team builds awareness around issues like lack of access to healthcare and clean water.
Do you ever stop to wonder how the words you say to other people impact them? How about the words you say to yourself? Words can create doubt and negativity, or be the seeds of change and the start of something great.
Regardless of your feelings about this so-called "Me Generation," there are irrefutable statistics that show if you want your business to be successful in the next decade, or even to stay in business, you better not only take notice, but take action.
The question is: how can you determine which causes and social strategies will actually move the business needle? It is a particularly challenging issue given so many CSR programs and cause marketing campaigns don't.
While the definition of impact investing isn't completely settled, it typically refers to the placement of capital -- primarily private -- in enterprises with the explicit expectation of achieving both financial and social returns.
I am a true believer in the power of boards. I have seen strong and courageous boards pull organizations away from the brink, and I have seen weak and disengaged boards allow an organization to languish.
The health care systems in the countries most affected by the virus -- Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea -- have collapsed. Even before the Ebola outbreak, these countries had very low doctor-to-patient ratios; Liberia had one doctor for every 100,000 people prior to the outbreak.
What would you do if I told you that by sharing only one tweet, you could help be the solution to ending child hunger in the U.S.A.? Would that make you more than simply interested? Would you dare to take action and join a movement of people who want to see our children's dreams come true?
It's a question that any "blue chip" company has to be ready to respond "yes" to in order to ensure continued growth. So if being innovative is viewed as being critical to a for-profit company's success, why wouldn't such a standard also apply to nonprofits?
Inspiration comes from many places. To me, there is perhaps no greater source of inspiration than the youth of the world. Being involved with No Kid Hungry brings me in contact with many who feel the same way.
When the mission of a nonprofit is well-aligned with the social impact goals of a for-profit partner, together they can help to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to the most pressing social and economic problems.
Why is it that some truly amazing social entrepreneurship ventures never get off the ground? Or why do some concepts and programs with every reason to succeed and thrive only achieve a modicum of success, and then die?