The Solution Revolution

Published: 2021-06-29 06:55:49
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It’s often challenging to accept opinions that challenge your own, but the knowledge I was exposed to in this class pushed me to realize the value of exploring multiple perspectives to inform research and broader change. I will detail my impressions of speakers and readings side-by-side with my personal takeaways, and provide an overall summary at the end. “The Solution Revolution” in particular, introduced powerful new concepts about public, private, and government sector collaborations in order to solve the world’s toughest issues. I found myself constantly reflecting on this idea of a solution economy at different points in the course: when we heard from social enterprises like First Book and Edovo, and when we debated about what the most effective solutions to recidivism would entail, or whether an inter-sector partnership would be key. Additionally, the reading “How Will You Measure Your Life” struck a chord in me because it made me realize that great leaders are more than the organizations they represent. Leading a mission-driven life is equally important as leading a mission-driven organization. Some of the key takeaways, such as remaining steadfast in your personal values and “choosing the right yardstick” by which to measure your life, I definitely noticed in some of the speakers (like John Montgomery) and hope to adopt in the future as well.One speaker that thoroughly impressed me would be Kyle Zimmer. There was so much passion and commitment in the way she communicated her vision and dedication to making change, no matter how difficult. Additionally, I thought that her business model was impressive in the sense that she essentially combined market and social forces to forward her mission of increasing the quality of children’s education. The next would definitely be Tyrone Wells. Hearing him speak about his prison experience as well as the circumstances that led to his eventual release actually changed my life. The profound strength and conviction that it took for him to turn his life around in the darkest of places was extremely awe-inspiring. I have so much respect for how he overcame an impossible legal barrier through a solid sense of purpose and willingness to grow as a person. Additionally, I felt the same sense of humility, wisdom, and accountability in Chris Schuhmacher and Kenyatta Leal, whose stories of change and hope inspired me not to take for granted opportunities I’m exposed to everyday. A few notable quotes would be the following:“Can you make a difference in the world and do a lot of good and make money?” –John Montgomery I was so inspired by John’s values-driven approach to life and business, and this is an important message I will remember as I consider my own career path.“It [prison environment] was built to dehumanize you, to tear you down.” –Tyrone WellsOverall, this was an extremely powerful insight that reminded me of how much society tends to forget that those in the “out-group” are humans, too.        In summary, I realized that researchers and policymakers can only influence change with a behavioral framework of values grounded on respect. Once we regard those who suffer from injustices as people, and that collaboration among different perspectives and backgrounds is more valuable than individual efforts, perhaps then we might be able to solve the social problems at hand.

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