Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” ― Seneca

Image Courtesy James Lee on Flickr Image Courtesy James Lee on Flickr As individuals we are all wired for survival. The things we would do if we need to survive are quite extraordinary and will be very far from our comfort zone and in the end we will surprise ourselves. Movies have always shown us these scenarios of human struggle. In the movie, The Eagle set in 120 AD, Channing Tatum stars as a young Roman ,Marcus Aquila, and with his slave Esca they go on a mission to restore the honour to Marcus’ family.  In one scene they are so desperate for food that they resort to eating rats. Just doing the scene with fake rate made the actors feel sick. In reality, people will do that if they have to survive. That is the nature of the human soul. As Seneca says in the quote, it requires courage. In the developing world we see it all the time. If you are poor and with very less opportunities then you will do anything to survive. Part of the reason the micro-finance and micro-enterprises work well in that space is because of this need to survive. It is not because they are more entrepreneurial but for the need to survive. Dan Mason Image Courtesy: Dan Mason on Flickr Organisations are no different. A few years back I would have had very few opportunities to talk about business models, strategy, using design and social sciences to understand your customer, even the word customer would have been met with a challenge. Now, its different. People want to talk about this. There is a new energy to the way people want to tackle this. Organisations are aware that they can’t rely on government all the time. Social enterprises are seen as an important way of doing business. This change creates an environment where people are ready to embrace the things they would not if things were normal”. Innovation, design, ethnography, using lean starts up in the social space. Anything goes as long as it creates change. Part of the reason is survival. The funding environment is changing. Organisations are interested to understand how they need to innovate to create value in this new context. The human instinct of survival will be one of the key drivers for innovation in the social and public sector in the coming years.


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