Like the parable of seeds in the Bible, germination and growth of the seed depends on the kind of soil it is planted. There can be different kind of soils fertile soil, sand and rock soil, roam soil and many other types. And the nature of the soil always influences the growth of seeds. Soils in social innovation refer to the environment and attitude of the people.
For a long time we have had creative ideas, for the longest time we have had families maybe mysterious surviving without formal stream of income. It amazes me when I try o figure out how my mother managed to bring seven of us up with merge resources and with no definite resources. It is beyond comprehension. This proves my point; that there is a unique resilient nature of African people. It is the love for development that can explain why mothers will be seated all day in an open market selling cereals to cater for their family.
Social innovation requires us to scale our ideas, such as these to better serve the whole society. It is important to note that what we are seeing in small scale; women selling vegetables along the roads is a sure sign of better attitude towards development. Africans, we are not lazy, we have the tenacity to follow through investments.
However, the seeds of ideas will not be of help if the leadership environment is not favorable. The seeds of social innovation ideas will not succeed in an environment where people fear for their security. These seeds of social innovation may not help much, the ignorant and uninformed population.
Social innovation ideas will only help develop Africa if we can commit ourselves to fostering a better and favorable climate. We have to work on leadership and governance styles. We need to work on our value system. We need to work on our capacity in terms of knowledge and information dissemination.
Without working on these factors, then writing a new Africa story will be building castles in the air. We need to encourage people to share their stories to inspire friends and relatives. We need to genuinely learn on how we can start nurturing the art of building trust among ourselves. We need to learn the art of listening and conversation if we expect different result from those of the last centuries.
Value for human dignity is among what we need to work on; in order to bolster a good environment for nurturing seeds of social innovation. Without respect for humanity we will be doing zero work talking about social innovation. It will take us more centuries to see significant change if we don’t figure out the really cause of human rights violation. Until we realize that at the bottom of the pyramid is where reasonable change can emanate from then we are lost in the middle of a wilderness.
To move from this desert of poverty, we need to empower the people who are going to drive this social change. In Africa, we are blessed; the people who are likely to bring a significant transformation are the youths. The youths have the energy and zeal to face difficult task, they have the temerity to risk. While having a conversation with some of my fellow young people I get a sense of what they can do if they were offered the opportunity.
It is upon me and you who have had this knowledge of truth to take it to the majority who have not accessed. It is upon me and you who have received the gift of information and network to share our stories to inspire those who have not come into contact with this truth; that we have inalienable talents gifts and abilities within us.
We can share our stories not in political rallies but in small cells, with no walls of social discrimination. Believe me we can do it in Africa it only takes a little bit of our commitment.