We have high expectations of social business. We want it to combine economic profitability, social impact and innovation, at scales large enough to make a true difference. As this video by Ashoka (the leading global network of social entrepreneurs) highlights, there is only one way to achieve this – by bringing together the expertise and competencies of different actors: social entrepreneurs, businesses and public authorities. Only together can they efficiently tackle challenges that they could not have solved alone – and co-creation is also a healthy way to ensure that the final result benefits everyone.
This is why Ashoka, the Zermatt Summit Foundation (the Zermatt Summit supports the development of a vision for a better society and models for a more human and sustainable world), Fondation Guilé (a Swiss foundation promoting Corporate Social Responsibility to address societal challenges), DPD (a leading international provider of parcel and express services) and Boehringer Ingelheim (one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies) are launching “an unprecedented online collaborative competition, Social & Business Co-Creation: collaboration for impact to source, highlight and catalyse innovative co-creation projects in Europe led by social-mission organisations, traditional businesses and public institutions.”
The competition opened on 29 January; the deadline for entries is 20 April and the winners will be announced at the Zermatt Summit on 27 June.
Co-creation at the Danone Ecosystem Fund and danone.communities
Danone, as a historic partner of Ashoka, will be participating in the competition through the Danone Ecosystem Fund, which will present several projects. Co-creation is in fact at the core of the Fund’s approach, since all of the projects it supports are carried out jointly by a Danone subsidiary and a local NGO (read our article on co-invention at Ecosystem here). This philosophy and mode of governance match the competition’s goal to highlight “projects that illustrate new forms of interaction between social and business to create shared social and economic value at scale, contributing to the common good.” The co-creation state of mind is also part of the DNA of danone.communities, Danone’s platform for social business.
You should apply too!
“At the core of each project should be the potential to create a more inclusive and human economy, change organisational structures and enable professionals at all levels to become engaged changemakers who turn problems into opportunities. A true change in hearts and minds,” say the organisers. If you are working on a project that matches this description and brings together social-mission organisations and businesses to create greater social impact, or know of someone who is, apply online to enter the competition at www.changemakers.com/co-creation.
It is open to all social-mission organisations, businesses and public institutions who work together to create change in Europe, and competition entries can cover a wide range of solutions, from innovative job creation schemes to the development of new products and services to address essential needs of underserved populations or “last mile” solutions to make these accessible to all. The winners will receive coaching and €40,000 in prizes, and will be featured in prominent media. And even if you do not enter, stay tuned for news of the winner on 27 June!