#Socent's best and brightest gathered in NYC last week for the first ever Lean for Social Good Summit. Inspiring Capital had the incredible honor of co-sponsoring the event. It was a great day meeting and learning from such inspiring and courageous entrepreneurs including the hilarious "midwife of customer development" coauthor of Startup Owners Manual, Bob Dorf. In true lean form, the impressive line-up of speakers shared both their failures and successes in using lean for social good. A theme in the summit that resonated with me was the concept of turning frustration into motivation and action to solving complex social issues.  One of the best demonstrations of this is Emily May, founder of Hollaback! Hollaback! is an incredible organization/movement trying to end street harassment that started out because of her frustration. Two years later, it’s an international movement that has trained over 200 leaders in 62 cities, 25 countries, and 12 different languages. Impressive is an understatement. When venturing in the labyrinthe that is social entrepreneurship, that motivation from frustration to action, is the much needed edge to persevere through the maze and have real impact.

To help you with your maze, we  selected some of our favorite great bits of wisdom from lean principles and inspiring quotes from leaders in the #leanimpact movement to keep you going! Highlights include Emily May from Hollaback!, Sang Lee of Return On Change, Bob Dorf, Marcos Salazar of Be Social Change and Anoush Rima Tatevossian from United Nations.

Inspiring Quotes

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Lean Principles

1. Validated Learning 

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One of the key principles in the lean startup movement. Validated Learning forces your idea to jump from abstract into reality before it's fully developed. So instead of sitting in a room brainstorming ad nauseam , you get out of the building and try to invalidate your product. VL helps you identify the weaknesses in your product/idea, fix them and move on. So get out of your head, get out there and learn, learn, learn! We loved how Wello spent 9 months in Rajasthan, India testing MVPs for clean water delivery!

2. Innovation Accounting

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Closely tied with validated learning, Innovation Accounting requires innovative methods (metrics) for testing your idea/product. How do you measure milestones in an uncertain environment?

3. Build-Measure-Learn

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Once you've acquired some data and determined relevant metrics, how is your idea/product doing? Does the data validate it? Or is it seriously flawed and a pivot is in order? This step is the true mark of a lean entrepreneur. Learning how to analyze, fail forward and try again. That's how Emily May went from an app that nobody used to an international movement that is changing lives in over 25 countries.

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