Social Innovation: Breaking Barriers and Social Solutions

In this article, we are exploring changemakers; people who are active in the changing of lives of communities around them. During GEC Summit 2017, we was proud to host figures who, among many, built bridges to connect remote peoples and provide them with a new chance at life. These inspiring individuals shared their knowledge and expertise in the area of social innovation.

To kick things off, we have Tsechu Dolma, who was featured in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list for her Mountain Resiliency Project that bettered the lives of mountain communities. Hailing from Tibet, Dolma recognised climate change as being a monumental challenge to secure sustenance in her rural community.

Founding Mountain Resiliency Project, Dolma’s work is largely focused on providing economic opportunities to Tibetans. In Dolma’s GEC Lab, she helped participants identify the problems that are happening in rural communities, and brainstormed with them for ways to alleviate those issues.

Sara Minkara, legally blind since 7 years old, founded the Empowerment Through Integration (ETI) organisation. Much of ETI’s work has been on giving a sense of belonging and empowerment to visually impaired communities in the Middle East and African regions.

Minkara holds a principle at heart that you should not be discounted from opportunities and chances only because you are visually impaired. Her GEC Lab was much on ETI, but the grander mission was to prove to the participants that it’s possible to both empower visually-impaired youth without labeling them as “other” community. In that, we believe that Sara Minkara’s achieved a paradigm shift among the participants; there is a world where people can act more inclusive towards visually-impaired individuals.

Who said technology progress should only have men setting its course? Judith Owigar, a social activist fighting for the reformation of the working force to be more inclusive towards women. Having an interest in youth, women and technology, Owigar’s GEC Lab focus was very much on the development of the workforce and how it can do so much better by having more women on board.

Besides asking participants as to whether women should be less stigmatised in the workforce, Owigar pursued to plant a thought in them that there is major discrimination against professional women, and in the light of recent sexual harrassment cases in Hollywood, this problem must be tackled immediately.

The argument is simple; the world can be a much better place when we eradicate social prejudices and treat everyone on an equal level. That said, the change must start with leaders.


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