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Social Entrepreneurs

I had never before heard of the term “social entrepreneur” before getting in contact with Ashoka. With people increasingly disappointed by the lack of action taken by governments to solve problems, a growing citizen sector has emerged which seeks to enact change, often in unconventional ways. We in the field of journalism have seen the rise of citizen journalism in response to readers who have either lost faith in the credibility of the media or feel that they can better relay news, often at the community level.

As stated in David Bornstein’s book, “How to Change the World,” we often equate social change with an idea “whose time has come.” Environmental awareness, automobile safety, sustainable agriculture, etc. And yet, many great ideas go wasted, not because society doesn’t need them at the time, but because there is not a champion behind the cause.

Bornstein writes that social entrepreneurs are innovators, relentless in pursuit of their goal to help society. Their actions bring about “systematic change” shifting “behavior patterns and perceptions. What business entrepreneurs do for markets, raising productivity and yields, changing industry standards, etc, social entrepreneurs do for society.

I write about this not only because I have had the pleasure of meeting some of these social entrepreneurs during my trip, but also because, as photographers, we often hope to change the world in some way through our pictures. These people are changing the world, everyday, all over the world, through their actions.

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