Last week, Ms Ahsiya Mencin, PULSE Director, drew my attention to Mohammad Yunus who pioneered microfinance to provide financial tools and power to the poor. I followed up to read a little bit on his approach and the impact he had on people. I was very encouraged. But I began to reflect on something I saw in Ghana during my PULSE assignment. Microfinance institutions are mushrooming all over the place. While some are helping people in several ways, many have become the downfall of families and whole communities, creating every kind of problem you can think of.
What do I make of this? It means, social innovation is just a tool. Its impact on society depends on the integrity of the heart and business acumen of the people who use it. Some like, Mohammad Yunus have used it to bring financial tools and opportunities to millions; others have it to rip people of their livelihood.
Social innovation by itself will not change or save the world; the people who use it will.