Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Santa Clara Social Innovators (SCSI)

As social entrepreneurs may have great ideas, ideas need resources, ideas need support, and ideas need direction. I have many ideas that are focused on lifting the poor out of poverty. But it is not important this early in my journey to begin to discuss with you about these ideas. What is important is to explain the steps necessary in making these solutions reality. Although I will be graduating, and becoming alumni of SCU in two months, I do not intend to leave the opportunities and resources that are within the classrooms and currently at my fingertips.

I have recently founded an on-campus organization titled Santa Clara Social Innovators (SCSI). The organization’s mission is “to find, support, and encourage social entrepreneurship within the Santa Clara community through an environment that fosters ideas of social justice.” SCSI will encourage students to use their educational abilities and resources “to create a more humane and just world”. I put the phrase of this sentence in quotes because of a realization I had the other day. I was drinking a water bottle in class that I had purchased from the cafeteria. As I looked on the back of the water bottle I found a message: “…this Jesuit University is dedicated to academic excellence and strives to foster among its students, faculty, staff AND ALUMNI a commitment to service and leadership in promoting a more humane and just world.”

I have spoken with many students from many different majors who are very interested in getting involved with SCSI. The goal that Ryan Amante, my right hand man, and I set out for SCSI is to use my business model built for artisan fair trade as a case study for the club in better seeing how students may use the resources of the University. Being said, as I am creating my organization for artisan fair trade, it is my objective to build two headquarters, one in Central America, and the other in the United States at Santa Clara University (I will go into this more in later posts).

Finally, I want to touch on the fact that although this club operates on the participation of students and their ideas, the club however, would not exist without the resources. This is why before our first informational meeting in finding student members, Ryan and I are creating an Advisory Board (AB). The AB that we are in the process of securing will be composed of faculty, social entrepreneurs from Google and Kiva, and some of the brightest minds on campus with experience I areas ranging across the board including Management, Development Economics, Anthropology, Latin American Studies, Entrepreneurship, Engineering, Modern Languages, International Business, Food and Agribusiness, Sustainability and the Environment (just to cover some of our Advisors that have expressed interest).

I want to leave you with a fact I read today. It is inevitable that the world population (currently at 6.7 billion) will continue its historical trend and reach 9 billion by the year 2050. The fact is that 90% of this population increase will occur in the developing countries. We must begin to prepare solutions for the problems that these 3 billion people will be born into.

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