No challenge in society can be or should be undertaken by the efforts of a single person with a single perspective. Therefore, social innovation and entrepreneurship often involves collaborative efforts and the creation of interpersonal relationships. A great starting point in social innovation is to attack a problem with empathy: the ability to understand and share other people’s feelings. In order to solve a problem, one needs to understand the perspective of those being affected by the problem. It is imperative to respect and acknowledge the ability of a client to express their own problems and potential solutions to those problems. Then, social entrepreneurs can build upon such perspectives in order to produce a solution that incorporates the point of view of the addressed community itself. This sense of collaboration and empathy is what I consider the most crucial aspect of generating an effective solution as social innovators.
Social innovation has become more important now than ever as social problems continue to pile on. Even when considering solely the location of Detroit, there are a multitude of issues that require the input of creative minds to tackle, whether it is the city’s poverty rates, pervasive crime, subpar education system, and so on. Lastly, it is important to keep in mind that the process of social entrepreneurship is not one that follows an upward linear trend. One will face many obstacles and setbacks, and it is important to be open to learning and adapting the initial game plan.