The power of consumers to drive social change


Published on

Presentation made at the CCSR2011 conference in Ottawa. The purpose of this presentation was to get participants thinking about new ways of looking at large complex social problems.

Published in: Health & Medicine
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Gena say welcome with a nod to the team (Steph to help if we need to create energy in room) Gena to give a brief of what is about to happen, Each of us say why we are here and how we going to help the processGena: Welcome to today’s interactive workshop. Over the next 90 minutes we are going to explore the complex space of poverty and come up with realistic solutions that will drive social change using market-based strategies. The iGenTribe website had a blog post about the new economy as being an Idea Economy. Our goal is to have you formulate ideas that can be put into this new economic model.Guiding you through this process are Pamela Divinsky, Stephanie Michele and myself. Before we get started, just a few housekeeping notes:Washrooms are located…We will be breaking you up into working groups and we have this room, and <state where the other spaces are to work>The conference has a blog site. We encourage you to post your thoughts on the blog and lets keep the dialogue and solution building growing
  • Each of us say why we are here and how we going to help the processGena: I am Gena Rotstein the CEO of Dexterity Ventures and My company is the e-Harmony of the charitbale sector; we profile donors and charities and find the best fit between the two. My company is a for-profit social venture that is built upon 15 years experience managing non-profit organizations across North America. Stephanie: I am Stephanie Michele. I am the CEO of SocialBling. We essentially teach business social skills and develop and manage strategy for long term success based on the long term relationships. I am advocate of relationship value. I am here today to challenge you to think about how personal and business behaviors effect successful collaberation. The best laid plans can fail without considering the “who.” I am also here as visible reminder of the variable of time. Less than 24 hours ago I thought I would be in the room with you today. Things can change quickly and sometimes all you can do is examine the variables quickly and move on with easiest solution for all…this practice will be key in today’s exercise of collaboration. Who I am? The company? And why I am here?
  • Pamela to talk about current state…how ineffective and slow development is when it is not collaborative (examples) Ask who is in the room?
  • Pamela to talk about current state…how ineffective and slow development is when it is not collaborative (examples)
  • So here is what is going to happen today…some of best collaborative efforts happen in response to current event. Look at how quickly non-profit, government and for profit business come together in crisis. In a moment we are going to give you an overview of current social issue that we have divided into four areas. We will also be dividing you into four groups, giving each group one area of focus. Your challenge will be coming up with an approach and solution that motivated individuals from different sectors of business, government and cause related communities to work together. You will have 30 minutes to do so. The goal is creating a solution that is cross platform and multi-dimensionial. We will be asking you to present your solution. We want to hear how it works and why it work. We also want to hear how you considered the behavior of individuals in decision making positions across these diverse sectors. What motivated people to lead their organizations to get involved? What motivates people who are not leaders to try to effect change? The individuals in your groups will represent real experience and knowledge from different sectors, we have all of the ingredients in this room today to impact real change and that is exactly what we plan to do.Now Gena is going to share with you what social issue we picked for today’s exercise. As you are listening to the components of today’s social issue…think about how different organizations and sectors of business would respond to create change.
  • Gena: Poverty is a very complex problem that has tentacles in many facets of our lives. It is for this very reason that we have chosen this topic as our case study for social change.If you think about the poverty issue – we have images of people sleeping on streets, flies on eyes marketing, stereotypes of drug addictions and alcoholism and many others. What we don’t necessarily focus on is the business side of poverty. The implications on the housing marketing, the implications on the education system, the implications on the healthcare system and the overall impact in the job market.We know that there is not one silver-bullet solution to such complexity. However by addressing multiple layers of the problem in concert with each other we can start to see meaningful change. Examples of how this is playing out in some Canadian cities are the various plans to end homelessness; or the food scarcity research that has lead to policy development and perhaps even an overall national food strategy.So let’s get started…
  • Pamela to cover
  • Gena:We have broken this presentation into 4 segments addressing what causes poverty, what effects poverty have in the marketplace, and the current solutions in the market. As Stephanie mentioned, in your working groups you will have the opportunity to look at the current market solutions and come up with new ways to tackle the problem, or other ways to reinforce some of the solutions that are currently at play.The four themes that keep re-appearing in the poverty conversation are:HousingFood & Fitness (which also includes health and wellness)EducationWorking LifeWithin these four categories are several sub categories that we will touch on. This is only a very high level picture and by no means comprehensive. I encourage to explore some of the things we missed and see where others may overlap.
  • Pamela
  • Pamela
  • Pamela
  • Pamela
  • Often when we think of poverty the first thing that comes to mind is people starving. In terms of food, lack of quantity and poor quality both are directly related to people experiencing poverty.Food is energy. Job opportunities do not come to people with no energy. Attention, Focus and problem solving all difficult when hunger is factor. Poor, high calorie, low nutritional foods are in inexpensive and might be the only options for some people yet these options comes at a high price of social and health challenges. There is a lack of access to healthy, affordable food in poor neighbourhoods these are the same neighbors that usually do not have safe public outdoor areas for fitness and sports. With no food or food with poor nutritional value it No energy, no job no solution you
  • Healthy solutions come from healthy collaborations. Large grocery chains like Whole Foods allocate a charitable budget per store and ask that each store support the needs of their local communities. Many food literacy programs start in school through education on healthy food groups and lunch option reform yet there is major opportunity to extend these programs to parent and adults. If a parent only has $40 a week to feed a family of four what should they buy and how should they prepare it? Businesses who employ a large portion of a community have benefited by sponsoring public parks and community centers where healthy activities are encouraged. Community organizers devote time to planning events that encourage family to get out and exercise together. Food subsidy programs have been around for years and are slowing evolving to look at rewards systems for healthy food choices and perhaps fitness program options. As more and more Community Supported Agriculture projects grow they have expanded into poor neighbors bring healthy produce to the areas. Perhaps the CSA’s of the future could be a viable and respectful “will work for food” program. In terms of food and fitness even the smallest focus creates an impactful solution. An Angus Reid poll commissioned by Quaker Canada surveyed 1000 teachers who said about 68% of their student come to school hungry. Over 70% of these children have memory and problem solving issues. The Breakfast Club of Canada knows how impactful a healthy breakfast can be for a child and so that is what they focus on. There is your food for thought on food for fitness.
  • stephanie
  • Pamela
  • Pamela
  • Pamela
  • Pamela
  • pamela
  • Gena: The disappearing middle class is going to have huge implications on how our job market defines itself.
  • Gena: Because 2/3 of those who live in poverty are considered the working poor we have created a system that ensures an ongoing cycle of poverty. Our welfare system prevents people from taking meaningful steps out of poverty because the cut-off for income benefits is set at such a level that if you get a minimum wage job you are cut off, but that same minimum wage does not allow for saving or moving up. So we are forcing people to choose whether to take multiple low-paying jobs or stay on government supports. Other employment policy challenges are being driven by the companies themselves. This is most noticeable in the hiring of new Canadians or ex-Cons. Typically these types of people are put in low earning positions that do not allow for advancement, if they are hired at all.
  • Gena: The effect of this decision means that individuals can not develop careers, they can only go from job to job. It also means that family life suffers. This in turn feeds back into other social dysfunctions.
  • Gena:Breaking the poverty cycle in the employment space requires industry and government to work together. Rewards for employers who pay living wages for their low-end jobs and hiring those who are higher risk might be something to consider. But more importantly, penalizing individuals who are taking the steps to move out of poverty seems absurd, but when you look at what happens when a single mother chooses to move off of gov’t assistance, her children no longer have access to the free counseling and food resources that were available to her when she was on gov’t support. But of course, her meager wage does not cover costs associated with providing for her family. So what is her choice, really?
  • Gena: Currently there are grassroots organizations that have partnered with credit unions to provide savings and loan support to individuals who are starting new companies, going back to school for job re-training and search firms that specialize in connecting businesses with new Canadians and other non-mainstream individuals. Governments on a provincial and municipal level are looking at how their employment policies are feeding into the poverty cycle in an effort to make access to resources more streamlined and effective.Companies are looking at their hiring practices and developing policies that look at the community as their network as opposed to just those individuals with certain skill sets. Examples of this can be seen in the client roster of The Higher Firm…  Need to get the exact name of this company in Toronto that specializes in placing high-risk people in jobs.
  • STEPH REMINDER OF Exercise: We know that individuals can effect changes and that is why we want you to focus the most on the individuals in your group. Here are a couple of tips to working quickly with your teams that will help you see the cross section of behavior, motivation and viable shared actions. In a two word introduction - each person share which sector you know the most about and give ONE word to what motivates you personally. Example: Mine would be For Profit Business and People.Do a resource round of introductions where each person state up to three types of resources they have that would help take your idea to reality. Example: Mine would be large network of Tech, Media, and Marketing professionals. I am asking you to consider this before you even start brainstorming your solution because working with known resources might just be the solution. Listen to how people communicate..Are they focused on the emotion behind the cause? Are they motivated by timely action? Are they concerned about costs and fundraising? Address each concern as they come up as quickly as possible. The more variables you consider, the more solid your solution will be. Gena and Pamela are there to help you. I can act as your “phone a friend” if you need me to research something on line I am here to do so for you.
  • The power of consumers to drive social change

    1. 1. The Power of Consumers to Drive Social Change: The Role of the individual at the intersection of business and social change
    2. 2. Contributors Gena Rotstein Dexterity Consulting Stephanie Michele SocialBling Pamela Divinsky The Divinsky Group
    3. 3. A New Model for Social Change Less Talk, More Action
    4. 4. Working TogetherTo Solve a ComplicatedSocial Issue THE PLAYERS NGO’s Business Government Issue Experts Social Enterprise Concerned Citizens
    5. 5. A Collaborative Experiment Ideas & Actions that can drive change
    6. 6. LIVE Collective Action 1. Social Issue Exploration 2. Break in to Groups 3. Finding Unity in Objection (30 min) 4. Share Solution (5 min presentation) 5. Exploration of real world execution (coaches vote) 6. Live Voting
    7. 7. Poverty Looking for solutions that engagepeople across multi-dimensional platforms
    8. 8. Poverty FactsAt a Glance 1. Qualifying income for family of four: $21,643 2. 10% of Canadians live in poverty; 20% of those are children; 2/3 are “working poor” 3. Too complex for one entity to tackle 4. Opportunity to marshal forces of public, private and NGO sectors
    9. 9. The ManySides of Poverty • Housing • Food and Fitness • Education • Working Life
    10. 10. HousingEnsuring housing is not a cause of poverty
    11. 11. CauseHousing costs create cycle of poverty
    12. 12. EffectUnaffordable housing reinforces poverty
    13. 13. SolutionHousing can be way out of poverty
    14. 14. Current State SubsidyOf Play Contributions that help break the cycle Affordability Availability of financial tools Social Housing Enterprise New market models
    15. 15. Food and FitnessWellbeing and Energy for Fighting Poverty
    16. 16. CauseFood and Fitness is Expensive
    17. 17. EffectCost and lack of access increases poverty
    18. 18. SolutionHealthy Food/Fitness improves the chances of evolving out poverty
    19. 19. Food andCurrent State Fitness ProgramsOf Play Program Partnerships and Sponsorship Credits and Rewards Programs Welfare Reform Grass Root Community Planning and Development Petitioning and Farming Advocacy
    20. 20. EducationAccess, performance, possibilities
    21. 21. CausePoor education is condition of poverty
    22. 22. EffectPoor neighborhoods have poor education
    23. 23. SolutionEducation is a way out of poverty
    24. 24. Current StateOf Play Scholarships Provide scholarships for performance Mentorship Partners for success Social Education Enterprise New market models
    25. 25. Working LifeNew Jobs, New Possibilities
    26. 26. CauseEmployment conditions and standards creates working poor conditions
    27. 27. EffectLack of opportunities for advancement
    28. 28. SolutionGainful Employment breaks Cycle
    29. 29. Current StateOf Play Government Policies, Community, and Employment Standards Grass Roots Community Action Corporate Sector New market models
    30. 30. LIVE Collective Action 1. Social Issue Exploration 2. Break in to Groups 3. Finding Unity in Objection (30 min) 4. Share Solution (5 min presentation) 5. Exploration of real world execution (coaches vote) 6. Live Voting
    31. 31. Gena gena@dexterityconsulting.caStephanie Pamela