Making the world a better place can be lonely work. Although the buzz of social innovation is all around us, the hard work of designing a venture, bringing it to life, and creating real impact is daunting. What we lack most often is a network of support: people who have done it before; people with complementary skills; people with shoulders to cry on and hands to high five.
The good news is that things are changing. Those of us who've been toiling away in dark corners, hidden in our bedrooms or tucked away in local coffeeshops are beginning to see that we're part of a movement. We're connecting at events, meetups, and trainings that are strengthening our work and amplifying our connections.
The Centre for Social Innovation
—a new community workspace in New York City—is working to boost this effort into hyperdrive. Designed exclusively for nonprofits and social entrepreneurs, our goal is to go beyond workspace and become a place of true community—a home for the city's thriving social change sector. The New York program will soon be a community of more than 300 people and projects committed to social change.
We're launching a new initiative, the Agents of Change competition
, to support New York's most promising social entrepreneurs. The winners will be provided with free workspace, free meeting space and, most importantly, access to a growing community of change-makers. The competition targets individuals or teams of two tackling any number of critical social challenges. We're looking for passion and promise, and an eagerness to engage in community.
The Agents of Change competition exists because too many social entrepreneurs just don't have the resources they need to grow their projects. We don't like the idea that a lack of money could stand in the way of social change. We can give them a leg up, so they can knock it out of the park.
We've spent the past eight years designing environments to support social innovation and have learned that innovation doesn't just happen. The right space, the right support, and the right culture can turn isolated ideas into a movement for social change.
Are you working to make the world a better place? Apply to the Agents of Change
program by May 17 for your shot at joining the Centre for Social Innovation community. All winners will receive a year-long subscription to GOOD magazine
. Click here to add applying to the Agents of Change program to your "To Do" list.