"I know that it can feel incredibly depressing to learn that helping vulnerable children and overcoming poverty is not as simple as we've all been led to believe it should be. But thankfully, there is a solution. These problems are reversible and preventable, and when we know better, we can do better."
Consider your 13 minutes well spent as Tara Winkler illustrated how and why "disruption" is more than just a fancy trendy word on our news feed today. Sharing her own experience at TEDxSyndey last year, she expressed how entrenched problems in society urge us to search deeper and look beyond the surface, textbook answers.
In her case, she fought to end of the era for orphanages by standing for family-based care instead of traditional forms of institutionalisation for children. Disrupting original ideas of foreign aid and goodwill, she pushed for her audience to reach deeper and think about the actual impact that their communities have.
International research has highlighted that children who grow up in institutions run a serious risk of "developing mental illnesses, attachment disorders, growth and speech delays". As if this was not alarming enough, we still have to think about the likelihood of poor management practices like corruption, abuse and exploitation.
This is where old answers need to be flipped over; disruption needs to happen.
Rather than the solutions we already know, we are tasked with a higher purpose to come up with new ones. New solutions because hey, old problems would not have stayed if the old solutions work.
Of course, that does not mean that we should abandon the whole course of history altogether. Tara's story only developed after having took the lengthy journey of setting up an orphanage and understanding local communities. We have so much gold to glean from the amazing people who have gone before us. Similar to SMILE Village, she shifted her focus to family-based care, where the most basic unit of society returns to its rightful place.
More than ever, there is space for a massive earthquake of disruption everywhere. Innovative ideas from social enterprises can question existing alternatives and let us stretch way beyond our comfort zones. Be it in communication, technology or culture, disruption should be called to stay and slain.
Make The Change believes in disruption. This is why we sow seeds into our younger generation through secondary and post-secondary social entrepreneurship workshops and annual design competitions in Singapore. We see ability > disability and offer design courses to persons with disabilities, and craft out the user experience for our corporate clients to eventually run CSR events for themselves.
Often, to make the change is empathetic innovation.
Useful links and references