This way of thinking is similar to how I define social entrepreneurship, or social innovation, in my head. With easily malleable definitions, they have numerous meanings to different people depending on the contexts. In general, I describe these terms as encompassing any mission in which there is the purposeful attempt to achieve some outcome other than monetary profit that benefits society. By applying this mindset to facets of society that are important to them, people are able to directly improve the conditions around them.
Detroit has long since been a city of innovation. From the Renaissance Center (left) to the automobile industry (right), The Motor City has historically thrived on originality and improvement. In light of recent events, people here are beginning to realize the importance of incorporating social outcomes into their decisions.
Here are a few examples:
Last Wednesday, my partner Liz and I had the chance to attend the Southwest Detroit Business Association (SWDBA) Community Investment Breakfast (below). Although the start time of 7:30am was a little disheartening, the people involved more than made up for it. The theme “Getting Detroit Back to Work” featured addresses and discussions from guest panelists (including former Chief of Police Isaiah McKinnon), as well as the recognition of standout small businesses in the area. With the most notable being a project that worked to fix up streetlights to make certain areas more accessible after daylight, this event provided much-deserved recognition to small business that are making positive impacts inside their community.