One of the undeniable themes of the Social Good Summit was innovation. But this was not always met with a technological advancement, a new vaccine or medicine or even a new research breakthrough (as the researcher in me would often think). Actually, much of the conference drew on innovation as a change in perspectives. Whether it was leaders of the #BlackLivesMatter movement calling for our White brothers and sisters to be “accomplices,” not just “allies;” Laura Walker (@lwalker) of New York Public Radio (@WNYC) calling for us to see social media for the creation of “dialogue not diatribe;” the first class of UN Young Leaders showing us that youth are not just advocates, but leaders on a truly global scale – the innovation was always paradigm shift in perspectives that would carry serious implications for how we approach solutions to global threats and crises.
As I took in all this information, I thought how I could change perspectives to maximize my outreach, coordinate advocacy, and champion global action. I began with what was immediately available – social media. I took to Twitter to tweet, Facebook to share posts and videos, and Snapchat to bring my audiences into the experience and promote education on these issues. The perspective became more of how can I use these tools not just as a means to share my experience, but make my experiences theirs as well. I paid critical attention to conversations I normally wouldn’t have been a part of, but that I knew would speak to others. I pushed myself to draw connections between agendas and goals, issues and solutions…I became an innovator.
Some of the factoids that I feel compelled to share that may change your perspectives and push you to be innovators in your own light are shown below. My challenge to many of you would be to allow yourself to change perspective; explore the ways in which this change in perspective creates linkages and partnerships; relish in the creativity it inspires; champion that notion that we can all be innovators; embrace these possibilities to realize the potential within what is already present to fully maximize the tools we currently have at our disposal. Many of these platforms and vehicles discussed at the Social Good Summit: social media, ways of organizing, research, policies are not entirely novel, yet a simply tweak in perspective has proven to yield exponential results.