Africa if we are not ready to Collaborate and partiner, We are not ready for Social Innovation.

Last week marked a start of a journey in social innovation revolution in Africa from Nairobi. A number of individual from all over the world congregated  to learn of what makes a city a hub of innovation. I had the privilege to see how passion can be contagious. My conviction that(smart and talented people in any field are ready to help others) was reaffirmed . That is why in the conference i joined the group that was discussing how collaboration can help us develop social innovation.
I founded Contagious Passion Africa to help tell the story of those willing to give themselves to restore dignity of Africans. I have for the last two years read and written about those I have had an experience with. But as Alexander Saint –Amand observed in his article Four Learning Principles For Social sector published in Stanford Social Innovation Review on 2nd June 2015, social innovators can’t depend on traditional learning method because they are pioneers in nature.
Yes, social innovators are pioneers, and it is where we count ourselves, for instance storytelling was orally done traditionally, how can contagious Passion Africa tell stories in the right way in this digital era? Where can we draw our inspiration from? It is extremely challenging but we have to keep soldiering on and be creative. In the conference last week, some of these questions were answered. Thanks to Amani institute Social Innovation Exchange from UK ,Hivos who rganized the conference and all the participants who willingly shared their stories.
Since we are pioneers then,we need to find ways to partner, if we are really interested in causing significant change in the field of social innovation. From the conference I learnt how we can fail fairly, i realized how failure precedes success if tenacity principle is not violated. Yes, it is said that before one internalizes some information they will have to hear it more than 20 times, that sound ridiculous but it is the nature of human beings, especially in this technology dispensation where we always experience continuous partial attention. We need to continuously teach what we think is important as social innovators.
From such conferences we get stories of individual passionate about social change, and how they have transformed their passion into social enterprises that help change the lives of people at the base of the pyramid. It is through strategic collaboration with them  that we will ensure that we get to the core of our social problems. Can you imagine a person in the deep valleys of Nyamira county, Turkana, the deep side in the congo basin in central Africa  and many other places that have not experienced the fruits of electricity being connect to solar power by a passionate individual from Tunisia? These can only be done if we learn the tenets of partnership and collaboration.
The following were key issues that affect collaboration :
It was almost unanimous that relationship and trust are key if we dream of success in the field of social innovation. Trust is what will enable people from different parts of the world to sit together to look for a solution to terrorism in Kenya; it is what will cause as to have a virtual conference on Skype to seek how to better manage our new education project for public schools.
Respect for the people who have been afflicted by the scourge of poverty is significant for progress in the field of social innovation. We have to involve them, they need to trust that whatever we are thinking as a solution can be improved by their own creativity. Social innovators we should act as messenger of good news, news of liberation from the shackles of poverty. News of restoration of African dignity.
With the wisdom of the crowd concept, we will be better to have a million Africans informed latter than having a few informed, for the solution of a group will be much better than the solution of the most brilliant individual in the group.
This is the reason why at Contagious Passion Africa, we recommend telling of your story, to inspire the hearer to stretch their imagination of great possibilities that exist for them to be involved in the process of change making in Africa


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