Empowering Micro Communities To Solve Community Problems
- play the role of change agents in the social sector
S-H-A-R-I-N-G stands for “Sending Hope And Rebuilding Into National Goals”, a 508 (c)(1)(a) Spiritual And Humanitarian Organization dedicated to empowering micro communities with global connectivity. Their goal is to level the playing field and raise the standard of human experience for all nations by eliminating poverty and sickness. Their education is focused on micro learning; specializing in businesses that solve community problems and address pandemic health issues.
A micro community should reflect the need to include micro learning that educates and equips their community. We cannot assume that micro learning will automatically weed out social ventures that are not effectively and efficiently utilizing resources. The following emphasis on micro learning and accountability can be stated as follows:
Adopting a mission to create and sustain social value (not just private value),
Recognizing and relentlessly pursuing new opportunities to serve that mission,
Engaging in a process of continuous innovation, adaptation, and learning,
Acting boldly without being limited by resources currently in hand,
Exhibiting heightened accountability to the constituencies served and for the outcomes created.
Micro communities exemplify these characteristics in different ways and to different degrees. The closer a community gets to satisfying all these conditions, the more that community fits the model of an ideal micro community. Micro communities are innovative in their work and create significant social improvements to revolutionize their communities. Lets further elaborate and consider each point below.
Click Here To Listen To SU's Q & A and Testimony Call Recorded on 12/15/19.
1) Change agents in the social sector: Micro communities reform and revolutionize with a social mission. They make fundamental changes in the way things are done in the social sector. Their visions are bold. They attack the underlying causes of problems, rather than simply treating symptoms. They often reduce needs rather than just meeting them. They seek to create systemic changes and sustainable improvements. Though they may act locally, their actions have the potential to stimulate global improvements in their chosen arenas, whether that is education, health care, economic development, the environment, the arts, or any other social field.
2) Adopting a mission to create and sustain social value: This is the core of what distinguishes micro communities from regular business entrepreneurs even from socially responsible businesses. For micro communities, the social mission is fundamental. This is a mission of social improvement that cannot be reduced to creating private benefits (financial returns or consumption benefits) for individuals. Making a profit, creating wealth, or serving the desires of customers may be part of the model, but these are means to a social end, not the end in itself. Profit is not the gauge of value creation; nor is customer satisfaction; social impact is the gauge. Micro communities look for a long-term social return on investment. Micro communities want more than a quick hit; they want to create lasting improvements. They think about sustaining the impact.
3) Recognizing and relentlessly pursuing new opportunities: Where others see problems, micro communities see opportunity. They are not simply driven by the perception of a social need or by their compassion, rather they have a vision of how to achieve improvement and they are determined to make their vision work. They are persistent. The models they develop and the approaches they take can, and often do, changes, as the micro communities learn about what works and what does not work. The key element is persistence combined with a willingness to make adjustments as one goes. Rather than giving up when an obstacle is encountered, micro communities ask, “How can we surmount this obstacle? How can we make this work?”
4) Engaging in a process of continuous innovation, adaptation, and learning: Micro communities are innovative. They break new ground, develop new models, and pioneer new approaches. However innovation can take many forms. It does not require inventing something wholly new; it can simply involve applying an existing idea in a new way or to a new situation. Micro communities need not be inventors. They simply need to be creative in applying what others have invented. Their innovations may appear in how they structure their core programs or in how they assemble the resources and fund their work. On the funding side, micro communities look for innovative ways to assure that their ventures will have access to resources as long as they are creating social value. This willingness to innovate is part of the modus operandi of a micro community. It is not just a one-time burst of creativity. It is a continuous process of exploring, learning, and improving. Of course, with innovation comes uncertainty and risk of failure. Micro communities tend to have a high tolerance for ambiguity and learn how to manage risks for themselves and others. They treat failure of a project as a learning experience to fail forward.
5) Acting boldly without being limited by resources currently in hand: Micro communities do not let their own limited resources keep them from pursuing their visions. They are skilled at doing more with less and at attracting resources from others. They use scarce resources efficiently, and they leverage their limited resources by drawing in partners and collaborating with others. They explore all resource options, from pure philanthropy to the commercial methods of the business sector. They are not bound by sector norms or traditions. They develop resource strategies that are likely to support and reinforce their social missions. They take calculated risks and manage the downside, so as to reduce the harm that will result from failure. They understand the risk tolerances of their stakeholders and use this to spread the risk to those who are better prepared to accept it.
6) Exhibiting a heightened sense of accountability to the constituencies served and for the outcomes created: Because market discipline does not automatically weed out inefficient or ineffective social ventures, social entrepreneurs take steps to assure they are creating value. This means that micro communities seek a sound understanding of the constituencies they are serving. They make sure they have correctly assessed the needs and values of the people they intend to serve and the communities in which they operate. In some cases, this requires close connections with those communities. Micro communities understand the expectations and values of their “investors,” including anyone who invests money, time, and/or expertise to help them. Micro communities seek to provide real social improvements to their beneficiaries and their communities, as well as attractive (social and/or financial) return to their investors. Creating a fit between investor values and community needs is an important part of the challenge. When feasible, micro communities create market feedback mechanisms to reinforce this accountability. Micro communities assess their progress in terms of social, financial, and managerial outcomes, not simply in terms of their size, outputs, or processes. Micro communities use this information to make course corrections as needed.