I love being a staff writer for 3BL Media/Justmeans on topics - Social Innovation, Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurs. When I am not writing for 3BL Media/Justmeans, I wear my other hat as owner of Serendipity PR. Over the years I have worked with high-profile, big, powerful brands and organisations within the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors; and won awards from my industry....
Social Innovation: Video Stories of American Students Doing Great Things In Their Communities
Johnson & Johnson, the famous, house hold and international brand has been using social innovation to inspire American students affiliated to a university organisation to tell their story of how they have helping their communities using the medium of video, and if their short film (two minutes or less) touches the hearts of viewers and judges, then their organisation could win $10,000! This initiative is called 'Be Vital Challenge.'
The top ten semi-finalists were chosen based on the highest average public rating. As a result five undergraduate and five graduate student organisations from across the U.S. were judged by the Johnson & Johnson Panel and made their choices based on three key points: best apparent return on investment (40%), best out-of-the-box solution (40%) and greatest human impact (20%). The four finalist student organisations were announced on November 5, 2012 and will be invited to travel to the J&J Global Invitational in Orlando, Florida. In Orlando, two $10,000 first prize winners (one grad and one undergrad organization) and two $5,000 second prize winners (one grad and one undergrad organization) and all will be revealed on 16 November 2012.
All the semi finalists had done some amazing work in their local communities and while all deserve a mention these are the ones that I have chosen to share here - UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School in Carolina was one of the semi finalists, were over the nine years they have been strengthening their community by volunteering time, labour and funds to build homes for those in need. The students, faculty and staff at UNC Kenan-Flager have come together to fully fund and build a house for 'Habitat for Humanity' and have fondly called it 'The House that Kenan Flager Built'.
While, Springfield FTK (For The Kids) is a special interest group raising money for Penn State's Dance Marathon or otherwise known as 'THON.' Proceeds from THON benefit the Four Diamonds fund and provide support for kids facing paediatric cancer. The mission of the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon is to conquer paediatric cancer by providing emotional and financial support to the children, families, researchers, and staff of the Four Diamonds Fund. The THON is a year-long fundraising and awareness campaign which engages the effort s of more than 15,000 students across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in hopes of finding a cure.
Another semi finalist that has done some interesting community work is BioComm, a graduate student run organisation that unites Medicine, Law, Engineering, MBA and other students together to develop strategy, social innovation and business plans for biomedical research to get products to patients at Cape Western Reserve University, Cleveland. Johnson & Johnson and its many operating companies support community-based programs that improve health and well-being. I think it's going to be a tough call to choose a winner as all videos on the 'Be Vital Challenge' website are inspirational and winners to me.
Photo Credit: Be Vital Challenge Website