Humanitarian Innovation Roll-Up: Harnessing Altruism, Innovation for Nonprofits, and Crowdsourcing for Health Care

Filed Under Innovation

humanitarian lightbulb recycle
Arwen Heredia

July 31, 2014

In the rush to use innovation management processes to drive financial returns and improve products, organizations can sometimes forget that building smarter software and developing superior services isn’t just about increasing profits. Rather, creating a brand new or improved offering quite often results in something more: making work, travel, time management, health care, banking — life in general — easier and more fulfilling for your customers. In short, making the world a better place, whether that was the intention or not.

This last month, we focused on what it means to implement humanitarian innovation practices in a variety of industries, both tangibly and philosophically. Here are our favorite themed posts from the month of July.

Harnessing Humanitarian Innovation: Bettering the World One Idea at a Time

“Obvious as it sounds, every technological advancement, medical breakthrough, or creative masterpiece that exists in the world began with one very simple thing: an idea.

To be fair, having ideas isn’t always all that simple. Particularly in business settings, generating truly unique or innovative solutions is often an acute struggle; a battle of wit against resources, deadlines, and data. This is especially true for organizations focused on humanitarian innovation — they’re not only restricted by their own assets, but by the many regional, political, financial, geographical, and cultural aspects affecting the oppressed group or location they’re trying to service. Even the most brilliant concepts must be subjected to intense scrutiny and adaptation. Having a great idea is only the very, very beginning.”

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INQ Magazine: Innovation for the Enterprise – Issue #3 Now Available!

“Over the last six months, we’ve witnessed more transformative, collaborative innovation taking place than ever before. We’re not only excited to be a part of this huge influx of communal ideation, but can’t wait to see how it continues to shape various industries, cultures, and breakthrough technologies. Mindjet’s INQ Magazine: Innovation for the Enterprise, is a great way for us to curate and highlight key innovations and ideators in the global community.

In our Q3 2014 edition, we’ve featured a selection of rich, insightful content focused on humanitarian innovation that drives positive change and returns that go far beyond the financial. Issue #3 highlights UNHCR’s global crowdsourcing initiatives to support refugees, teachers who bring innovation straight to students, Cambia Health’s advancements in palliative care, socially-driven examples of human ROI, and much more.

We’re honored and proud to be able to showcase these top examples of humanitarian innovation at work, and we hope they inspire even more acts of innovation for the greater good.”

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How Nonprofits Can Benefit from Innovation Software

“Nonprofits sometimes think that innovation is not for them: it’s too cutting-edge, too complicated, or too expensive. But the fact is, nonprofits are engaged in doing business like anyone else — and they can also benefit from innovation and innovation technologies.

The number of nonprofits is actually on the rise. Between 2001 and 2011, they increased by 25%, and this growth means that the competition for donations and funding is also growing. Organizations need to show donors that their programs are effective and have a wide reach. By thinking and doing things differently, they have a better chance at gaining access to more funds and a wider audience.”

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3 Keys to Crowdsourcing That Drive Innovation in the Healthcare Industry

“Like all industries, the healthcare sector is highly competitive; success depends not only on reducing costs and improving efficiency, but also on delivering a remarkable patient experience. Healthcare professionals are now relying increasingly on innovation to offer differentiated services. Innovation done right depends largely on mechanized crowdsourcing, or tapping into ideas from the wider professional community. That includes experienced professionals within the industry, as well as an organization’s internal “crowd” (employees).”

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How Nonprofits are Leveraging Innovation Management Platforms

“At the core, all problems are a failure to identify a solution or apply the right fix. Innovation management platforms, when implemented correctly, consistently prove to be one of the best problem solving tools businesses can employ; they help organizations uncover hidden challenges and overcome existing roadblocks with new, out-of-the-box solutions.

As with every business, nonprofits and humanitarian agencies are increasingly adopting innovation management programs in order to discover new solutions to deal with operational and other business challenges.”

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