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Innovation Cartoon

I’m on the Board of Trustees for the Kenan Institute for Private Entreprise at Carolina.  The Institute focuses on entrepreneurship, economic development, and global competitiveness.  Its mission is defined broadly to include social entrepreneurship and working in communities—there definitely is overlap with some of our work.  For example, Jim Johnson does much of his work through the Kenan Institute, and other faculty members and business students also are involved in helping North Carolina communities.

Ted Zoller made a presentation at the last Kenan Institute Board meeting—many of you will remember Ted as the person who preceded Brad Volk as our Associate Dean for Business and Finance.  He showed the following short video about entrepreneurship that is worth watching.  It is just over two minutes long.  I’m passing the video along because it is well done and because it makes the point that anyone can be an entrepreneur.  Entrepreneurship includes implementing innovative ideas that address social issues—I would argue that Albert Coates was the ultimate entrepreneur.  I guarantee you that Albert never asked anyone for guidelines.

I have mentioned in other posts that I want to encourage innovation at the School.  Please don’t misunderstand me.  I think we are doing some wonderfully innovative things in a number of areas, which is especially impressive when you consider that we haven’t had new money to make them happen.  We need to be innovative in organizing and doing our work, and it is happening.  Our work with blogs, Twitter, and webinars is one example, and several of our colleagues described work in those areas at the School’s Foundation Board meeting last Friday.  Thanks to Jeff Welty, Jamie Markham, Kara Millonzi, Todd Nicolet, and Kelley O’Brien for doing an excellent job.  Our Board members were thoroughly impressed.

Check out the video.  Ted told the Kenan Institute group that it gave him goose bumps—it is pretty cool.   Are there barriers to innovation that could be lowered or eliminated?  I want to be sure that the School is doing whatever we can do to encourage continued innovation in our work—both in what we do and how we do it.

1 thought on “Innovation

  1. Recently a representative of The Power of the Dream http://thepowerofthedream.org/ presented to a group of parents, who were attending a meeting sponsored by the Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network http://www.plan.ca/, some case studies of successful entrepreneurial micro-enterprises—all by severely disabled persons. The PLAN model of support, a Circle of Friends who care for a disabled child after the parents are no longer alive, works exceptionally well when adapted to a business model. Rather than attempt to fit a person with disabilities into traditional employment, “Micro-enterprise allows a business to be structured around an individual’s care interests, preferences, and needs.” This is innovative thinking at its best, and it is being done by volunteers.

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