Leadership and collaboration for a just and creative society

“Making decisions together with people, listening to them, that’s fascinating,” summarized Robert Skinner of the United Nations Foundation, as he introduced the initiatives of Reinhold Steinbeck (IntoActions/Stanford University) and Dayna Cunningham (MIT Colab) during the final panel of the first day of the SGB Seminar.

Reinhold Steinbeck, entrepreneur, researcher and educator in the areas of innovation and design thinking, shared the example of fear and creativity, which he likened to Siamese twins, invariably joint together. Fear stifles creativity, always making us pull back, but what we need is to exactly face it in order to get all the advantages from this open attitude. According to him, there is a huge creative potential in Brazil, “we only need to give people permission to be creative. We focus in our work on building empathy to create innovative solutions to complex problems. Empathy is crucial in order to understand the needs and the context of all stakeholders, so is the concept of co-creation.”

The MIT Colab works with socially marginalized communities, for example in the Bronx in New York City, or with women in Nicaragua who work in recycling and generating energy from waste. “There is something wrong with our morality when we look at other people’s suffering as something normal. For us, collaborative innovation is a way to create significant changes for people living on the margins, in all areas, “said Dayna Cunningham, executive director of the research center.

The organization listens to the public with which it works and co-creates solutions together with them. “Black kids with hoodies in the Bronx have a lot of insights and suggestions for institutional change and opportunities for wealth creation at the margins. There, students get together to map assets and sources of income of people living in the neighborhood, creating an appropriation of the inhabitants of local wealth. The only thing that was missing was a space for discussion and for creating solutions, “ she said.

The question of fear versus creativity came up again at the end of the conversation, as the panelists talked about the urgent and necessary changes in our model of society: “There has to be an engagement at a deeper level with humanity in order to overcome fear and do a better job of collaboration. The world is in a very bad shape, and we need every single person on deck. You need to find the piece of the solution that each person is bringing, and how valuable it is,“ said Dayna.

The post Protagonismo e colaboração para uma sociedade justa e criativa appeared first on Social Good Brasil. Text by Barbara Pettres, Portal Voluntários Online, Florianópolis

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