01/23/2014 04:57 am ET Updated Mar 25, 2014

Social Entrepreneurship -- A Wealth of Experience

As I head in to the first day of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, I am reflecting on the wealth of talent that the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship assembled for two days of pre-WEF meetings.

As a relatively new concept, social entrepreneurship has attracted innovators and trailblazers and is becoming a career path of choice for today's graduating classes of tomorrow's leaders. As a lens on the future, it is remarkable to see the frequency of the term "social enterprise" in the programs of innovation hubs and incubators in developed and developing countries alike.

The social entrepreneur community represents an impressive depth of experience in innovating. These are business leaders who have both succeeded and failed, who, by the very nature of the field, have learned how to fail cheaply and gracefully - and innovate and rise again - as they deal with today's pressing socio-economic issues. The social entrepreneur community can offer valuable lessons in corporate agility, observing, pivoting and adjusting to the needs of society, nurturing and spreading a culture of innovation through their organizations.

Social entrepreneurs are by nature sharers, social knowledge engineers. They have valuable lessons and best practices to offer today's business leaders and tomorrow's business innovators.