Week 1 Response

*** Share your reflections on social good innovation (Social good is defined as working collaboratively to create solutions for the betterment of the whole).**

Social good, really, is everything- after all, the greatest human torture is isolation. Relationships to self, others, community, nature, ideas are underpin everything about how the fabric of life comes together into observable reality. The goal of education, I feel, is to cultivate the life-affirming human qualities of wellbeing. Social Good Innovation is a natural outcropping of the curiosity, compassion, and co-creation that are instinctual to a whole and well-functioning individual. Everything else- every single other subject, is in service of that.

  • After participating in the webinar and reviewing the guides, what is most exciting to you about engaging in social good innovation? What are your concerns?

I’m obviously excited by this. Always. I’m not aware of any concerns so far, other than the perpetual looming fears of not having enough time or whatever to really connect and deliver in a way that comes close enough to the potential I’m dreaming of!

  • Some educators choose to create challenges narrowed down to one specific SDG and some allow students the choice to choose out the 17. Thinking ahead to your challenge, will you have your students focus on one particular global goal or will it be open? Why?

My focus is economics- but it is NOT economic GROWTH in the ways that we usually think of it. Many of you may be aware of the critique on this SDG goal, and inherently understand the problems associated with the icon of an upward, limited trajectory of growth. While seeing the SDG goal of “economic growth” as fallacious, I do focus on increasing peace, prosperity, regeneration, and wellbing for all as economic indicators. So we are fundamentally re-thinking that paradigm, so this 1 singular SDG goal no longer tears the others apart.

That said, I am not sure if I would be choosing it or shunning it, in favor of choosing “partnerships” or “education for wellbeing” or something.

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Economics is one area where sustainability and the SDGs really challenges the current status quo. But similarly it offers great opportunities to really address the topic of ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ the research of economic systems from a sustainability standpoint and what economic structure might actually offer sustainability for the foreseeable future. I’m guessing there would be lots of great insight and learning as well as an introspective look on what is important vis-a-vis what is currently happening. Resources, stock markets, income inequality, poverty, all make great connections to the SDGs and provide an awesome opportunity for students to engage on making community change! Very exciting!

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This was so helpful for my own thinking, thank you for sharing, Alison! Identifying the benchmarks of what represents a growing and healthy society are an important topic for discussion and reflection. I can definitely get caught up in the need for economic growth without truly considering the impact that outcome has had for some vs. others in society.

Hello Allison,
I agree with increasing peace, prosperity regeneration, and well-being for all as an economic indicator. There are other relevant goals to review.

Social good innovation is when innovation is harnessed for the greater good of people. Innovation is a catalyst to make impact and change happen. It is a way and method to focus efforts and measurements on the impact the people affected, communities affected and places affected are changed and/or transformed through innovative approaches, spaces and solutions.

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Hi Alison,
I appreciate what you imply about the health of the economy of a nation not being measured in terms of GDP, especially in terms of the growth of GDP depending on extractive (mining, logging, drilling, etc) and then dumping methods (which then ties into a bunch of other SDGs…(climate) justice, climate action, wellbeing, etc), which results in the exhaustion of the earth’s resources.

How do we reimagine societies that don’t see the earth and its systems as inert “resources” to be used up in a race for profits and a greater GDP? A soul shift like this would also alleviate many, if not all, of the other challenges described in the SDGs as well. That’s the root of social good innovation that I’m looking for! But baby steps, I suppose.

I’m just at the beginning of my learning journey in this area, having just this summer had my eyes open to the fact that international corporations pretty much control the world and even our education system is by-and-large in service of the corporations.

If anyone has any resources on this topic that would be enlightening, please send titles, links my way.

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Great! thank YOU for sharing :slight_smile: Even looking a tiny bit closer into the history of where this “growth” indicator comes from, at those who implemented the GDP post-WW2, criticized it for being a wartime metric and not truly representative of what an economy is (Keynes). So what is the economy? Keeping track of society. Simply put. So much more than how much money exchanges hands between those who already have it. We can do better. We aren’t talking about changing gravity- we are talking about improving human design to improve the human condition.

There are. Which do you see as being more important or separate from the economic indicator?

Awesome definitions! Let’s do it!

Most important: wants and needs. How many students are out of touch with their own wants and needs because they are still stuck trying to contort and provide ‘the right answer’?