Dr. Britt Yamamoto
第3回：社会イノベーションを起こし、抜本的な社会変革をもたらすには 【Part. 2】
米国NPO法人iLEAP（アイリープ）代表であり、米国ワシントン大学やアンティオック大学で教鞭をとる。専門は社会変革理論と実践で、日本の若い世代に社会起業の教育プログラムを開催。日系4世アメリカ人。ワシントン大学大学院人文地理学部博士課程終了（Ph D.）過去にフルブライトフェロー賞、ワシントン大学Excellence in Teaching賞などを受賞。
Hello again from Seattle! You may remember that last month. I introduced some principles addressing the seminal question: how does one create social innovation and inspire fundamental social change? As I said in my pervious post, these principles flow out of my years of experience creating, leading and teaching about social innovation and change; however, please keep in mind that these are not ranked and do not need to happen in this particular order. As a reminder, the first three were: the importance of collaboration, the power of community, and the ability to be dynamic, flexible and to thrive in states of uncertainty or ambiguity. Today I would like to introduce three additional principles.
The fourth principle is the importance of laughter and fun. One of my personal mantras is that, “we should live to be engaged in very serious work, but at the same time, not take ourselves so seriously.” This mantra is the result of being a part of far too many projects and initiatives where the “f-word” (fun!) was avoided or forgotten. As the result of this, iLEAP places a high priority on fun and playfulness in the design and delivery of our programs and this appears prominently in our Vision Statement. We have found that laughter is not the opposite of serious commitment, but in fact it is an essential ingredient to foster meaningful change.
The fifth principle is effective communication and the value of plain language. The ability to communicate across cultural norms in language that is clear and understandable is a vital component toward innovative practice. You can have brilliant ideas, but if you are unable to engage others in meaningful dialogue, the impact of these ideas can be limited. We see this regularly in academic circles where rich social theories fail to make their way into communities of practice. iLEAP recognizes this challenge to be significant, and thus it is a big part of our organizational purpose to translate these ideas about social change and innovation, service, volunteerism, and development, into language that can be understood by a greater number of people.
The sixth principle is the consistent application of reflective, critical thinking. All too often in our drive to do ‘good work’ for society, we abandon our reflective and critical thinking skills. What this means is that we forgo some of the most challenging questions such as, “what are my assumptions in choosing this particular approach to social innovation?”, “who’s interests are being served by this idea?”, and “what are the potential negative impacts of my innovation?” In my mind, social innovation without reflective, critical thinking is naive and often leads to failure and negative consequences. The drive to “do good” is important, but we should not assume that our interests are the same as everyone else’s, nor are they what is needed at the time.
In closing, I would like to repeat what I said in last month’s post, because I feel that it is so important: What makes these and other principles that I share with you so powerful is that ANYONE can do these things-this means you! The social innovator is not an elite class of select individuals. Rather, I see social innovators as a community of people who have made a choice to show up in the world in a different way. There is no reason why this cannot be you or those around you. Everyone can be a social innovator-indeed, our future hangs in the hope that everyone becomes one.
Thank you for reading-and please feel free to email or contact me with any questions.
【Facebook Fanpage】 iLEAP The Center for Critical Service
- What is Social Innovation in Seattle?
- How do you Create Social Innovation and Inspire Fundamental Social Change ?
- How do you Create Social Innovation and Inspire Fundamental Social Change ? Part.2
- How do you Create Social Innovation and Inspire Fundamental Social Change ? Part.3
- The Next Generation of Social Innovators in Japan and World
- A Great Trip シアトルから日本への旅
- Stepping In, Not Stepping Back 果敢に挑戦しよう
- Incubator (種蒔き) 〜 近藤 亮一