I am delighted to interview Dan Morrison, founder and ‘Chief Do Gooder’ of IMAGINE Social Good, a management consulting startup that helps social innovators bring their ideas to life! Specifically, they help entrepreneurs design their business, create winning business strategies, and launch digital marketing campaigns to help them maximize their impact. Prior to this, Dan’s first venture as a social entrepreneur was Citizen Effect, a nonprofit that connected social good projects with citizen philanthropists. One of Dan’s most exciting clients at IMAGINE is Asia Initiatives; a nonprofit founded by Geeta Mehta, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Columbia University. Geeta has launched a program called Social Capital Credits (SoCCs) based on the fact that underserved communities are often rich in social capital. So, she asked Dan to help model her concept of social capital credits to address local development initiatives in low-income communities.
This program enables locals to do projects that will improve their community – planting trees, picking up trash, getting vaccinated, etc. – to earn “social capital credits” or SoCCs. They can then use SoCCs to acquire critical goods and services – water, food, education, health services, etc. - that address the individuals’ vital needs. The community chooses all of the social good projects and the vital goods and services, and they track the results so the community knows which projects and goods/services have the greatest impact.
Ultimately, Dan believes the fundamental challenge is rethinking the way we address social problems. “A lot of social enterprises are simply putting band aids on the problems our current unsustainable system creates. Band aids are important because it is the marginalized communities of our society that needs them most, but we must find alternative, sustainable systems so these issues are eliminated all together.”
His solution to this is to invest in great ideas. “A lot of times, social entrepreneurs and innovators have a great idea to help the world, but they don’t have great business skills. The idea is an important thing to invest in, and we need to partner them with talented entrepreneurs because if we just wait for an entrepreneur to come along, the problem will persist and spread.
To learn more about Asia Initiatives and SoCCs, please email Dan at localdanm (at) gmail.com.