Advice From Great Minds At The SocialGOOD Masters Program

By Zein Odeh, @ZeinOdeh
posted on September 23, 2013 in Other

On Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m I made my way to The Hotel Wales in the Upper East Side for an intimate gathering with some of the speakers presenting at the 2013 Social Good Summit. Great minds had entered the room, journalist, bloggers, corporate, government and non for profit professionals questioned and exchanged ideas with world leaders such as the HRH Crown Princess of Norway, Peter Sims, Alvin Rohrs, Daniel Foster, Mary Anne, Beverly Schwartz, Susan McPherson and Aaron Sherinian to name a few.

As with any conference there were some main big ideas and concepts that were discussed and repeated in our conversations. However, one that was at the forefront of our discussions was the idea of how we can create “social changers.” Can we create social agents of change and what skills do they such people have? How do we foster such minds? 

As an educator I was eager to learn how in fact we can truly change and mold minds.  “Taking action” is at the forefront of any 21st best teaching practices in curriculum, the idea being that when a student is passionate about learning they will be inspired to use their learnt knowledge and take action in their community in their own unique way.

Below I have highlighted some advice from a few of the guests who made an appearance at the SocialGOOD Masters Program.

Question: Can you teach someone to become an innovator? If so how do you become an agent of change?

“You need patience, and you need to know from the start there is no direct path. Creativity will spark the innovation, but you need a group of people a “village” to support an idea and make something happen” Daniela Foster, US Department of State

 “You need a team. You need collaboration, partnerships. Do not let the “perfect idea” get in the way of big success! Never underestimate the power of a pilot project. Know that you need to take risk.” Mary Anne Petrillo, Marketing and Media Partnerships for Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility

 “Everyone can be a change maker” entrepreneurship is important, but intrapreneurship is key! You need to change patterns and systems. You can work for any organization or corporation and build on innovation and intraperneurship. Employers MUST find ways to find supportive environments for employees to work on intrepreneurship” Beverly Schwartz author  of Rippling: How Social Entrepreneurs Spread Innovation Throughout the World

“ You need to think of the following three things: 1) What are the obstacles for getting my idea to the public? 2) Think of your idea as a solution and not just YOUR idea!  Take your dream and share it. 3) Understand and know how to share resources” Alvin Rohrs, Enactus.

“Keep in mind that where you start is very different to where you will end up! You need to make a lot of mistakes” Peter Sims entrepreneur and award-winning author.

There is no doubt, if we want to see change in the world we live in, we need to help cultivate environment that foster a certain way of thinking. Next time I step into a school I will certainly keep the above quotations and nuggets in mind!