Sunday – February 26th, 2012
By: Michael L. Brown — Founder, CEO, and Director of Development — MAG-NET MEDIA HUB, LTD and Brown Developmental
A big part of what I must do as a “would-be entrepreneur” — one who has a BIG INNOVATION that he is seeking to bring to market, but must first find partners and potential funding sources to help make that innovation a reality — is to surf the world wide web and participate in discussions on social media sites, in an effort to identify potential partners and funding sources for my project.
Today, I received a post to a discussion I had started on a LinkedIn Group, that asked the question:
“What would you do if you could solve the world’s economic problems? Where would you turn for assistance in bringing your solution to market?”
At the heart of the particular post that was submitted in response to my discussion question, was a college student who was basically saying that he had developed a website and “social business” in Brazil, with the goal of helping the 150,000 inhabitants of the Complexo do Alemão Area in Rio de Janeiro Brazil — 60% of which had no form of income whatsoever — stating that his website would be able to provide jobs to people in that area.
The site and business was basically an NGO (Non-Government Organization) or Non-Profit Organization, that provided a contest and awards program to help people create “social businesses” — which I took to mean businesses that were “social media” in nature, or that would somehow be self-sustaining and help to create jobs in the Complexo do Alemão area (it was really hard to tell, as much was possibly lost in translation from the Spanish Language to English).
— But anyway… this college student had created some type of business model that could possibly help in finding jobs for people in the Complexo do Alemão area in Rio de Janeiro Brazil.
Great! — Best Wishes and all the power to him… — I sincerely hope it becomes and accomplishes everything that he wants it to accomplish.
The interesting thing was, however, that when I followed the link to the first website that he had linked to in his post — it took me to a page on the “Dell Social Innovation Challenge” Website — where this college student had submitted his business idea as part of this challenge — and while I couldn’t tell if he had won some money from it, or some aspect of it — anyway — there he was… he had submitted his project to be a part of this contest or challenge.
When I investigated this “Dell Social Innovation Challenge” more closely, to see if it might be a potentially good avenue for me to personally follow, in trying to obtain access to potential partners and funding sources for my socially innovative projects — I found that it was only open to actively enrolled college students.
— And this greatly bothered me (as you might be able to imagine as I was obviously moved to write a blogpost about it, and tell them about themselves on the Dell Social Innovation Challenge Facebook Page.
— And since I figured that they would probably end up removing my post from their wall on Facebook… I figured that if I really wanted to make a lasting impression with my comments, I would need to add them to my blog here on WordPress, as well.
And so… without further adieu — here it is:
Although it is great to see Dell doing “something” to help in developing new innovations with the potential of great social impact to the world… I can’t help but wonder why you decided to limit this program to college students only.
Do you seriously think that older entrepreneurial-minded people, who are NOT active college students, and may or may not have already graduated from college, aren’t out here in the private sector trying to bring socially innovative projects to market, and would potentially benefit from being able to participate in this program?
Doesn’t it seem that this “Social Innovation Competition” is more so than anything, another fine example of rampant “AGE DISCRIMINATION” within our society?
And what message does this send to our nation’s youth?
— That they will never be able to add more value to society than what they might potentially add while they’re young and in college?
— That they will eventually (in 5 to 10 years) have to face the same stigma of age discrimination themselves… so take advantage of it and enjoy it while you can?
— That older people with more life experience to offer, are somehow “dumber” than younger people with little or no life experience?
This kind of thinking flies in the face of logic, and therefore makes this program potentially more detrimental to society, than good.
I guess if the name of the program was something like “The Dell Collegiate Competition for Social Innovation”, or “The Dell Scholarship for the Socially Innovative”… it would have probably set better with me. However, by calling it the “Dell Social Innovation Challenge“ you’ve indicated that the program is much broader, and all-inclusive, than it actually is.
Okay… well that’s pretty much about all I’ve got to say about it.
Good Luck to every college student that enters the contest. I hope you can come up with some ideas and projects that can truly change the world. Because we seriously need it.
Any thoughts of your own that you’d like to add?
Michael L. Brown is the Founder, CEO, and Director of Development of Brown Developmental and MAG-NET MEDIA HUB, LTD. He is a self-educated expert in business development, strategic planning, economics, and marketing, and has more than 25-years of professional business and operations efficiency experience, along with a keen insight and 8 years of R&D experience in economic development.
Through the MAG-NET MEDIA HUB’S Geographic-Based MAG-NET LOCAL System, he seeks to bring “A New Economic Engine for a New Economic Age” to the World, and is also available for consulting projects and speaking engagements. To inquire as to his availability for your project or event, send a request for more information to email@example.com
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