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Driving 
SUBSTANTIAL SOCIAL CHANGE 
through 
Entrepreneurship
1. Entrepreneurship? 
2. Social and Business 
Entrepreneurship 
3. A reality check! 
4. What is substantive social change?...
Entrepreneurship?
How do you understand 
entrepreneurship? 
“Entrepreneurship is the 
pursuit of opportunity 
beyond resources controlled.” ...
What are the risks of 
entrepreneurship?
Social and Business Entrepreneurship
How are social and business 
entrepreneurship similar? 
How are they different? 
Social and Business 
Entrepreneurship
A successful market solution: 
• Meets a current need. 
• Is cost effective to produce 
and sell. 
• Has satisfied users/ ...
A Social Solution 
• Creates shifts in the system. 
• When systems changes, the 
problems change. 
• Most change is uninte...
Traditional response: 
“Do no harm” 
More useful response: 
“ Do Help, but with both eyes 
open” 
Social change and 
Marke...
How do you understand safety 
nets? 
What are the pros and cons of a 
safety net? 
Has anyone ever created change 
without...
So why don’t we do it? 
• A growing softness 
• We take ‘calculated’ 
Risks only 
• We are dependent upon 
external source...
A reality check!
Most of us have never had it so 
good! 
We have been beneficiaries of: 
• Rising wages and costs in the 
West – and our sk...
- Possible economic collapse 
- Retreating GDP and job losses 
- Inter-Religious conflict 
- Global warming 
- Floods, fam...
What is Substantive Social Change?
What do you consider a 
substantive social change?
What is YOUR motivation? 
Create a kick-ass solution that can: 
ü Make a splash 
ü Make other solutions obsolete 
ü Attrac...
What is YOUR motivation for 
creating social change? 
This is no ordinary question! 
It requires: 
1. Knowing yourself 
2....
What is the substantial change 
you wish to create? 
1. Why? 
2. How do you define the 
problem? 
3. How invested are you ...
What is the substantial change 
you wish to create? 
• Is it going to make a 
difference to 1 person, a 
village, a city n...
More questions for the curious! 
• What is the environment that 
gives rise to this problem? 
• Who does this problem affe...
What do you bring to the table? 
• Why you? 
• Why not you? 
You are not alone 
• What is your genius? 
• How can you disc...
Beyond the “game changing widget”
• Collapse of Family 
• Anarchy and Autocracy 
• Youth unrest 
• Uncontrollable internal and 
external migration 
• Increa...
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Driving Social Change Through Entrepreneurship - Ashok Panikkar, Director Meta-Culture

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“Driving Social Change Through Entrepreneurship” was an intense session that made the following key points: 1. Social entrepreneurs must evolve to the point where they understand themselves better in terms of their true motivations – that is when they can be responsible to the people whose lives they impact 2. Just good intentions are not enough, and “conscious risks” rather than “calculated risks” lead to more powerful solutions 3. Understanding deep context of the problem area is important in order to
avoid solutions that create other or bigger problems 4. A mindset is required that tools, skills and expertise be acquired through collaboration and learning, rather than by relying on expertise gained earlier 5. Entrepreneurship could solve social problems faster than governments or organizations, and the time is right in India today. In summary, find your “inner genius” and act, rather than just be another expert in the
landscape..

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Driving Social Change Through Entrepreneurship - Ashok Panikkar, Director Meta-Culture

  1. 1. Driving SUBSTANTIAL SOCIAL CHANGE through Entrepreneurship
  2. 2. 1. Entrepreneurship? 2. Social and Business Entrepreneurship 3. A reality check! 4. What is substantive social change? 5. Beyond the “Game Changing Widget”
  3. 3. Entrepreneurship?
  4. 4. How do you understand entrepreneurship? “Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled.” Dynamics of Entrepreneurship Prof. Howard Stevenson, HBS
  5. 5. What are the risks of entrepreneurship?
  6. 6. Social and Business Entrepreneurship
  7. 7. How are social and business entrepreneurship similar? How are they different? Social and Business Entrepreneurship
  8. 8. A successful market solution: • Meets a current need. • Is cost effective to produce and sell. • Has satisfied users/ customers. However: • All market interventions affect/ influence the society in which it exists. • The impact of the solution on the larger system is not factored in. Social change and Market change.
  9. 9. A Social Solution • Creates shifts in the system. • When systems changes, the problems change. • Most change is unintended. • These have can create new/ larger problems. • A social problem is not like an engineering or marketing problem. Social change and Market change.
  10. 10. Traditional response: “Do no harm” More useful response: “ Do Help, but with both eyes open” Social change and Market change.
  11. 11. How do you understand safety nets? What are the pros and cons of a safety net? Has anyone ever created change without a safety net? Safety Nets
  12. 12. So why don’t we do it? • A growing softness • We take ‘calculated’ Risks only • We are dependent upon external sources of inspiration
  13. 13. A reality check!
  14. 14. Most of us have never had it so good! We have been beneficiaries of: • Rising wages and costs in the West – and our skilled/ semi-skilled workforce • Opening up of our economy since 1991 • Our ‘demographic dividend’ • Large domestic market • A recently liberated entrepreneurial class India’s ‘prosperity’ and ‘stability’ in context:
  15. 15. - Possible economic collapse - Retreating GDP and job losses - Inter-Religious conflict - Global warming - Floods, famines, earthquakes - Mass migration - Collapse of nation states - National and International conflicts - Chauvinism, Parochialism, Xenophobia - Breakdown of family & other institutions - Retreat of moderates and peace makers Things are worse than we’d like to believe:
  16. 16. What is Substantive Social Change?
  17. 17. What do you consider a substantive social change?
  18. 18. What is YOUR motivation? Create a kick-ass solution that can: ü Make a splash ü Make other solutions obsolete ü Attract tons of VC funding ü Take your company public ü Impress classmates at IIT/IIM ü Rock the world ü Solve your boredom problem ü Get you laid ü Make a difference to the world ü Address a substantial and timely problem Creating substantive Change (in you)
  19. 19. What is YOUR motivation for creating social change? This is no ordinary question! It requires: 1. Knowing yourself 2. Challenging assumptions about your self 3. Questioning your assumptions about the world 4. Reordering your priorities 5. Taking conscious, but ‘uncalculated’ risks 6. Giving up your security And this is merely the self-reflection part of the exercise  Creating Substantive Change (in you)
  20. 20. What is the substantial change you wish to create? 1. Why? 2. How do you define the problem? 3. How invested are you in your potential solution? 4. How willing are you to learn more about the context? Creating Substantive Change (in society)
  21. 21. What is the substantial change you wish to create? • Is it going to make a difference to 1 person, a village, a city neighbourhood, state, country or the world? • Is the life time of the solution a week, a month, a year, five years or more? Creating Substantive Change (in society)
  22. 22. More questions for the curious! • What is the environment that gives rise to this problem? • Who does this problem affect most? • Who will benefit most by it being solved? • How will the solution affect the social/ political relations. • What is the worst that can happen if you solve it? • What is the worst that can happen if you don’t? Creating Substantive Change (in society)
  23. 23. What do you bring to the table? • Why you? • Why not you? You are not alone • What is your genius? • How can you discover and develop your genius? • Where can you and your genius make the greatest impact? • How can you connect with others who are sympatico? Creating Substantive Change (in society)
  24. 24. Beyond the “game changing widget”
  25. 25. • Collapse of Family • Anarchy and Autocracy • Youth unrest • Uncontrollable internal and external migration • Increased racial, religious and ethnic conflict • Militias control cities • Retreat of moderates and peace makers • Maoists and other insurgencies • Deteriorating law and order • Human rights violations • Judicial backlog • Corruption in key institutions • Collapse of Pakistan, Bangladesh • Exodus of NRIs from Gulf states TAKE YOUR PICK! • Possible economic collapse • Retreating GDP and job losses • Inter-Religious conflict • Global warning • Floods, famines, earthquakes • Mass migration • Collapse of societies and nation states • National and International conflicts • Chauvinism, Parochialism, Xeophobia • Retreat of moderates and peace makers

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