It is a very promising and interesting trend to invest into single social enterprises and into technology. If both “pieces”come together, it is even better and it does not take too long until everyone talks about it. Many conferences highlight these trends, especially when it comes to social enterprises and technical solutions – both are attractive to visitors.
But there is a but.
I firmly believe that innovative technolgy can be amazing. The concrete, clear and understandable idea and the solution behind leads us often to this “WOW, that’s great effect”. But there is the other site of this effect – we easily forget that technology or a single solution cannot really bring change if it is not embedded in the daily life circumstances. I also believe that social entrepreneurs with business models behind can make a huge difference – if these ideas and activities are not stand alone solutions.
We have to make sure that individual solution makers (whether from social enterprises, traditional NGOs and/or public health organizations) have to collaborate and co-create much more. We still think too much in silos and believe that single solutions/players are sustainable and make a difference long-term wise – if so, after all these years and spendings in healthcare , environment, technology we should be much more advanced in terms of a better world , don’t you think?
So, why co-creation?
For achieving a healthier life we have to co-create, to build together and in parallel “holistic solutions for people where they live and based on what is really needed in their surrounding”.
What does early disease detection help via an app or a nice device if people can not pay for the Internet access? What if they can pay the Internet and get the technical result, but know that a treatment of e.g. a chronic disease will lead the entire family to extreme poverty?
How can we believe in a single solution if there is not an environment that supports to make real change happen?
Why should I care about stroke if I do not have enough education/money to buy nutrious food for my children? What should I do with a solution if I do not even know the problem?What about awareness, accessibility, affordability? What does it help to get a treatment if tomorrow I do no not have a job and cannot afford the basics for me and my family?
Health is more than “body health”. Being and living healthy means also a basic level of education, the opportunity to have a decent income, mobility, trust in public offers, an open-minded culture to think things differently.
No organization or company/industry can achieve the really needed change alone
We should develop holistic solution plans for villages, towns, regions and add stakeholders from different backgrounds and social entrepeneurs who can contribute and invest in these solutions rather than in individual ones.
To make this happen we have to start pilots in defined areas so that it becomes not too “big” , that it can start soon and is manageable, but let’s builld to start these “hubs” and then scale it. let’s think differently, let’s understand where the needs are, prioritzing them and matching solutions to the most pressing one – but at the same time. in the same place. Social enterprises are like puzzle pieces. I really believe that some solutions are great. But let’s build the big picture and not stop with too much enthusiam at single puzzle pieces. Connecting, creating networks – we need the social innovation and different processes on how we build more helath, not just the single solutions or players.
What do you think?