Barriers to Global Scale

From the publication of Social Edge

News on The Edge
Welcome to the Social Edge update!

“In the business world, great ideas, driven by entrepreneurs, grow to serve customers around the world. But social entrepreneurs see no such market forces in their fields,” note this week’s hosts Konstanze Frischen, Jon McPhedran Waitzer and Roshan Paul, all three members of Ashoka’s Globalizer Initiative.

They note that breakthrough social innovations too often remain local: “Social entrepreneurs fail to bring innovations to where they matter – instead, they need to reinvent the wheel.”

How can we change that? Ashoka first brought social innovators together with business entrepreneurs to redefine and enhance their impact growth strategies. They agreed with our recent conversation on Impact Scaling, which holds for premise that scaling social innovation is primarily about scaling the impact.

But how do we get there? In addition to affiliates or franchising models, social entrepreneurs may want to look into emerging pathways to globalizing social impact, including Open Source Change-Making, Hybrid (social-to business) Value Chains, and Smart Networks.

Join our Ashoka friends in this important conversation, then read Jason Saul’s new post on the size of the Social Capital Market, as business may help social entrepreneurs export their change models: “Companies spend US$32 billion annually on environmental sustainability, governance, risk, compliance, social responsibility, and philanthropy.”

Off to Mongolia where Kiva Fellow Amber Barger describes how local traditions and seasonal variations affect the business cycle of a microfinance loan officer, while Untangled reflects on the end of barriers: “Borders, be they of markets or governments, are a relic of the past. Yes, it’s a small world after all.”

Jonathan C. Lewis compares the US fascination with plastic surgery with the daily life of a children’s hospital in Cambodia: “Our humanity, if not our common sense, tells us something is wrong when 4% of the world’s population consumes half the world’s healthcare.”

Join this Week’s Live Discussions

Barriers to Global Scale
Great business ideas grow to serve customers around the world. But social entrepreneurs see no such market forces and breakthrough social innovations too often remain local. Leaders of Ashoka’s Globalizer Initiative test a new approach.

Training the Next Generation of Social Entrepreneurs
Business school programs, social innovation challenges, business plan competitions… Will the next generation of social entrepreneurs really learn from formal training programs, or will they emerge from their own collaborative ecosystems? Join Paul Lamb in the conversation.

Social Enterprise and the Death of the Welfare State
As draconian budget cuts in 2010 have led to violent protests across Europe, Rod Schwartz thinks that social enterprises will become a viable alternative to the state and private sectors. What do you think?

Dictionary of Links
Now is the time to share the links that made a difference to you and to tell us why you find them so useful. Join Charles (hipbone) Cameron in this unique collaborative exercise.

The Voluntourism Debate
The work we do in the developing world for less than six months may amount to nothing more than poverty tourism. Saul Garlick, Executive Director of ThinkImpact, wonders how can we establish more effective cross-cultural understanding.

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Victor d’Allant
Executive Director, Social Edge
250 University Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301