The power of youth-led social innovation

What is social innovation?

Social innovation is the process of developing and making use of effective solutions to solve systemic social and environmental issues in support of social progress. These solutions often require collaboration across the government, business and nonprofit world. 

In general, social innovation focuses on ideas and solutions that creates social value, and aims to improve the welfare and wellbeing of individuals, communities and the environment, while contributing to economic development.

It is about solving our current social issues, such as poverty, financial instability and slow economic growth, with new and innovative ideas to produce improved social outcomes for our community.

The role of social innovation in society

The concept of social innovation can be abstract, but a close look around us will uncover that social innovation is applied all around us to improve the lives of the underserved.

The innovations themselves can be products, services or models that address a community’s unmet needs in an extremely effective way while improving the lives of the community. 

In Malaysia, social innovation is rising as a burgeoning gateway to tackle some of the most complex challenges that conventional business practices fall short of addressing. 

Led by inspiring social entrepreneurs and passionate changemakers who weave social innovation into business strategies, social entrepreneurship leads the way to growth, recovery and prosperity. 

As one of the pioneering social enterprises in Malaysia, we are honoured to be on this path that helps our communities stand on their own feet with our flagship initiatives (such as Beyond Bins) that address livelihood and environmental issues. 

The power of the youth in social innovation

Underneath a layer of strategic partnerships with businesses and policies to empower social innovation, the role played by youths can often go unnoticed; yet it is one of the most significant. 

The youth are the leaders of tomorrow. As passionate, aspiring changemakers, they have all the power to rise as social entrepreneurs with guidance and expertise, upholding social innovation and responsibility in creative ways to help underprivileged communities. 

For social innovation-related programmes, events and activities, check out Me.reka

According to the World Youth Report, the youth possess certain qualities that enable them to tackle challenges in creative and innovative ways.

Social Assets

Young people have first-hand knowledge about their communities, uniquely positioned to provide innovative solutions to social problems.

Divergent Thinking

There is physiological evidence that shows the adolescent brain recruiting core brain regions to be innovative/come up with alternative uses for items.

Experience with technology

Technological innovations mirror the rapidly growing and changing virtual landscapes.

Apprehensive of their future 

Concern for the future brings youths together to initiate change and build 21st-century competencies – what’s next vs what’s now.

Thriving over surviving

Besides generating employment, youth social entrepreneurship aims higher: initial job experience, building leadership skills and a sense of societal agency.

Adaptable and fast learners

More open to new modes of approaching problems, other sources of learning and initiating change.

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