How do you solve the world's problems? With creativity, passion, and the savvy to turn scarce resources into big impact. Competitions also help win mindshare, which may be why they're all the rage these days. Check out the latest winners of the 2005 Fast Company /Monitor Group Social Capitalist Awards.
Just after a quick scan, the winners look mostly US-focused, albeit some have a global mission. This is to be expected given the location of the funding organizations (discloser: one of which is my old employer), not to mention the high search and evaluation costs of the projects. Yet my hunch is that the most interesting, out-of-the-box, and unique prospective "social capitalist" ideas are being born well beyond the shores of America. Clearly, it's sometimes easier to do truly worldchanging stuff away from the dominant power structures, sunk infrastructure, and legacy thinking and within environments where the imperative to innovate is often life-saving. The problem we have at Worldchanging is surfacing and accessing these stories. So if we were to run our own competition for outside of the US, what would be your picks for a "social captiallist" award? See the Social Capitalist Resource Center to get a sense of their criteria, which may or may not be the right ones, but I'll let you decide this for yourselves.