WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2012/2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/92498

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business "social entrepreneurs think differently" Business School and Social Entrepreneurship Ideas drawn forth through The UnCommon Table™gatherings can be prototyped, evaluated, and proved in real-world contexts in Babson's Social Innovation Lab. Action projects that are currently being harvested in the lab include how to better manufacture, grow, and distribute food; how to incorporate principles of affordability into the product design process; and how to create mobile applications for managing micro supply chains for artisans in developing countries. Most leading business schools have made a commitment to social entrepreneurship. "Social innovation at Babson is not a sidebar, it is essential to who we are at our very core," Cheryl Yaffee Kiser, head of the Lewis Institute for Social Innovation and the Social Innovation Lab at Babson College, explains. "Increasingly individuals and organizations are being held accountable for the social, environmental, and economic out- comes of their actions. At Babson, we develop leaders with a worldview focused on simultaneously manag- ing social, environmental, and economic value creation rather than the traditional sequential model." Harvard recognized the potential of social entrepreneurship as early as 1993 when it launched The Social Enterprise Initiative. Since then more than 750 related cases and books have been published by Harvard Business School (HBS) faculty. Research forums and conferences sponsored by the Initiative have examined a wide range of topics, including Nonprofit Strategy, Business Leadership in the Social Sector, Consumer-Driven Healthcare, Global Poverty, and Public Education. Four social enterprise- focused immersion programs have taken place in Haiti, India, New Orleans, and Rwanda. Today, stu- dents at HBS and the Kennedy School co-organize an annual Social Enterprise Conference and, over the past 12 years, more than 700 participants from half a dozen Harvard–affiliated graduate schools entered the Social Venture Track of the annual HBS Business Plan Contest. to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry." To do so, social entrepre- neurs think differently, identifying, develop- ing, and implementing new approaches to address challenges in education, health care, poverty alleviation, economic development, energy, sustainability, and more. Ignoring the traditionally defined roles of nonprofits, businesses, and governments, social entrepre- neurs often collaborate with multiple entities across sectors in pursuit of their goals and establish social enterprises, like Village Forward, that blur the line between business and philanthropy. "The idea of the social enterprise is to build capacity in the social sector by apply- ing business practices and managerial disci- plines to drive sustained, high-impact social change," says Weston resident Laura Moon, Director of the Social Enterprise Initiative at Harvard Business School (HBS). Traditionally, philanthropy has operated quite differently from business; motivated by compassion and filled with good intentions, it has placed limited emphasis on quantifying outcomes. Business, on the other hand, has focused primarily on economic value cre- ation; "doing good" has taken place largely through corporate social responsibility efforts and by having employees serve on nonprofit boards. But in recent years, there has been a shake-up in these delineations. Donors have been demanding more accountability, trans- 128 WellesleyWeston Magazine | winter 2012/2013

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