Welcome back to the MOOC on social entrepreneurship. In last week's optional case assignment, we asked you to think through a number of social problems, social issues, and to come up with ideas for solutions in the form of social enterprises. What we'll do first is to listen in to some of our students talk about these cases, and how to identify an opportunity for each. And then, I will present to you how different social entrepreneurs have actually addressed these opportunities. Hopefully, this will help you identify how you can very systematically approach your own social problem and look at so-called antagonistic assets and how you can turn them into an opportunity. As always, we have guest speakers who will talk about their own experiences. Johanna Mair, the editor of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, will talk about a volunteering organization in India that started out with certain ideas of how it wanted to address the problem of poverty and exclusion and which over time has changed its approach quite dramatically. This illustrates that often you start out with one specific idea of trying to solve your problem and you evolve and change over time. So don't feel bad if you find over the next couple of weeks that your own startup idea still keeps changing. After listening to Johanna Mair, you will meet another colleague of mine from the Copenhagen Business School. Kristjan Jespersen will ask you to begin rating the ideas which have been coming in on our discussion forums. Please pay attention to the process that Christian outlines today. If you have great ideas and you haven't uploaded them yet, you're still welcome to do so. But at any rate, look for the ideas that your colleagues have uploaded on the discussion forum and try to like the ones that you think are particularly good. This will help in the group formation process, as we'll be seeing over the next couple of weeks. But now, let's go and listen in on the CBS students and what they have to tell us about opportunity identification. >> I've recently discovered that it's, two-thirds of blind people in the market are unemployed. So it begs the question: what are some opportunities for people with seeing disabilities that emphasize their other sorts of talents? There have to be some good solutions for this. >> I think the whole point of social entrepreneurship is to see something not only as a challenge but as an opportunity for changing the situation of a person. So if you think that blind people are disabled, you don't get very far. But if you think of them as people having different skills, for example, they have a great sense of touch because they don't have eyesight. For example, there is this program that is employing them in performing mammographies and breast cancer tests and they are actually better than the average doctor and they're cost-efficient. So it doesn't only solve the problem of blind people unemployment but also, breast cancer is the most frequent cause of death for women: it solves a health sector problem. So it's a holistic solution for many social problems. So you really have to see the opportunity in the challenge. >> Absolutely, I've even seen some other sorts of ideas such as that they can work as customer service representatives on the phone because they're so attuned to listening to people. >> Exactly. >> They're very sensitized to those on the other end of the line. Or even, I've come across these restaurants, really innovative idea, where you're served everything entirely in the dark. >> In the dark. >> Yes. [CROSSTALK] >> And people who are serving you are sometimes blind, but they're way more in tune with navigating around in this environment. >> [CROSSTALK] Of course, it's natural for them. >> As well as the taste of the food itself. >> Mm-hm. >> So some opportunities that could be highlighted. >> Exactly. >> But what about in some other circumstances, such as those for young boys in environments where they're considered minorities and are experiencing some sort of rebellion that pushes them away from succeeding within their school environment or a new business environment? What are some opportunities for boys like this? >> I guess it's the same thing with the blind people. You have to consider different problems at a time. If you can tackle urban violence, and weak communities, and discrimination, and unemployment at the same time. For example, you could launch a business, a program to build business skills among those young ethnic minorities. I think one way you can do that is by showing them people that actually succeeded and those people come back. People like them from the same background, same educational background, same community, same urban center, and showing them that this success is possible. And that you can actually have peer recognition through other ways than failure or violence. And those, we can call them coaches, can teach them business skills that they can use to empower themselves and to have their own business as well. And creating better communities and reducing unemployment because it's difficult sometimes with the discrimination, etc, to be employed. >> I've come across this excellent organization called Weed and Seed, that operates in some cities in the United States. The point of the organization is mainly focused around using abandoned plots of land and developing them into community gardens. But the left hand of the program is that they bring in schools and they teach the kids how to use the different fruits and vegetables to cook for themselves. And then they have a chef training program attached to that. The neatest thing about it is that the kids were able to feel pride, both in what they were growing and what they were creating from what they were growing. And they saw this positive feedback, not only from the community, but also from their own families, that their parents were really proud of them. I think that really drew even more kids into the program when they saw their elder peers doing so well with it. >> Which city was this? >> I saw it in Buffalo, New York. >> Buffalo, that's great. >> Unfortunately, terribly economically depressed. >> I heard about a similar initiative in, I think it was Detroit. >> Yeah. Yeah. >> The more difficult the problem is, the more tricky it is to find a solution, right? For example, with clean water. How do you provide clean water to communities that have no energy, that have no ways to repair the systems that you provide them? What could you think? >> Yeah, there has been a circumstance where a nonprofit organization has developed a tool called the Life Straw, that doesn't depend on any sort of electricity and it's easily assembled with simple parts, and I believe costs about $1 US to produce, so very cheap in that and this could be a solution. But it brings up the challenge of how to distribute it to the communities and how to make them feel as if this is a good solution for them. >> Yeah, I feel like when you tackle basic needs in very needy communities, you have this double challenge that the system has to be self-sufficient, and it has to have community ownership. >> Yeah. So for the Life Straw it's really self-sufficient, you don't really need anything. You just need the Life Straw. But then you don't really have ownership over that because people might perceive it as just a straw, might not use it. Or yeah, so the ownership part, the community ownership is really important. >> To getting that spread out there. >> Yeah, so that's really a challenge, clean water. >> Yeah, and even in the longer term, I see that it's not just about the distribution of tools that are solutions. But also to harbor a sort of community feeling that we can make a difference with the political system, an empowerment issue. Because often, the case is that there is clean water available in the community, but there's no method for harvesting it and ensuring that it's distributed equally to people. >> Yeah, I have this great story that I was told by a person that I met and he invented this system that very cheaply cleans water and installed it in different places in an African village. And it's simply, it was very cheap, but simply didn't work because he ignored the local culture. Simple facts like that, the time that the women have to get water from the river, even if it's unclean, is the only time that they have to actually meet and talk about their issues, their problems, their lives. So the fact that he installed the system so close to their house, completely disrupted this social connection. And so people continued to go to the unclean river, get their water, and completely ignore the very fancy technological system there. >> So, one of the messages is that you really have to- >> Think about this. >> Look at where it's happening, and what's important to them in order for it to work. >> Yeah, might be the best system in the world, but if it's not adapted to the needs of the people there, it will not be used. >> So in terms of needs of the people in different communities, what about scenarios where you have handicraft but no access to equipment that could do this more efficiently or cheaply necessarily through electricity? So what are the opportunities for craftsmakers like this? >> Well, I think now you have this very high demand for quality items for handmade items. I mean, it's basic luxury. Just handmade is the foundation of luxury. So you can target high-end consumers through that. It might be a solution to just, don't present it as people who don't have electricity, but as people who do really quality goods with their hands, and creating a brand around that. I don't know, using local materials, or... What do you think? >> Well if there's going to be a social mission and you're going to sell it from the perspective of that it's very high quality and made with local materials or has that unique aspect to it. Then how can you also ensure that these are products that are benefiting people who were creating them because they don't have access to other options? Rather than, more sort of artistic super stars in already well to do areas. If I'm looking at a shelf in a store that specializes in handmade products, it becomes really difficult for me to differentiate between well, which is a product that is going to have some sort of large social benefit for somebody who couldn't make a product another way? Versus, a product that somebody made because it's hip to make things by hand. So this becomes a conundrum for me as a consumer. >> So between the needy and those who are just in that trend. >> Exactly. >> Well, I think that's the responsibility of the brand. To just expose the situation of the producers in the producing country. So also to create a brand around that country, I don't know. For example if you think about Bangladesh, you can think about it as a place that will not be chosen by luxury brands to produce their goods. But if you think that there is some local knowledge there and they have this really high quality materials and people do beautiful things with it, you just have to create this desire from the consumer side. And you can even create links between the consumer and the producer. I feel that's from Bangladesh, is that? >> It's from Cambodia. >> Cambodia. >> But it's, at least the external part is made from recycled rice bags. >> Yeah, for example, using materials that they have that are locally available. >> But part of what I liked about this product, and what drew me to it is, and I see this is part of the opportunity for handicraft. Is not only is it a matter of kind of going back to old- fashioned, foot pedal-operated sewing machines or something like that. But this is even better done collectively. So that if you're able to find other artists who are interested in doing that that you can share the machinery. And not only that; that you can share the sense of where you want your business to go, maybe have a well-formulated business plan, and get access to other sorts of markets where you can sell this message. Including riding on the wave of it being fashionable to have handmade products. >> So in this exact sense you could image the kind of collaboration between those people who have the local knowledge and, for example, some famous artists or famous designers and just build something around it. >> It's beautiful. >> Last week I've introduced the terms complementary and antagonistic assets. Specialisterne is a good example of a social enterprise that has succeeded in turning a potentially antagonistic asset into a competitive advantage by identifying an opportunity for a profitable social enterprise working with people with autism spectrum disorder. But can this process be replicated? Actually, four mechanisms exist that allow to identify opportunities for social enterprises. You can firstly identify hidden complementarities. Secondly, you can develop new complementarities. Or, you eliminate the need for complementarities. The fourth and last part is to create demand for antagonistic assets. The approach taken by Specialisterne is actually an example of the first type of opportunity. Thorkil Sonne has found a previously hidden complementarity that people with ASD have. They possess specialist skills which give them a unique advantage in software testing. The same logic is exploited by Telehandelshuset, a Danish telemarketing house which employs blind people exclusively. Telehandelshuset stresses that its staff's visual impairment Results and they're having unique listening skills and verbalization abilities. The unique abilities of their staff give Telehandelshuset an advantage over competing telemarketing operators. Their employees are better able to sense emotions in their inter-locuteurs. However, not all beneficiaries possess hidden complementarities, as in the cases of Spesialisterne and Telehandelshuset. A second mechanism for identifying opportunity is the creation of new complementarities. A good example is Mind Your Own Business, a social entrepreneurial project aimed at boys aged between 11 and 18 years, all of whom have ethnic minority backgrounds. In order to help these boys break out of the vicious cycle of underachievement at school, unemployment and crime, Mind Your Own Business motivates them to jointly start a micro business. Past business projects include a car wash, a T-shirt brand and a charity run. Mind Your Own Business reports that the boys experience greater self-confidence, ambition, and often better school grades as a result of this intervention. In other words, Mind Your Own Business creates new complementaries that allow to unlock the latent potential concealed in this target group. A very similar approach has been selected by the Melting Pot Foundation, A Danish social entrepreneurial project run by Claus Meyer. Claus Meyer is a celebrity chef and co-owner of Noma, one of the best restaurants in the world. Through the Melting Pot Foundation he aims to improve the future prospects of marginalized indigenous youth in Peru. The Melting Pot Foundation has launched a cooking school which teaches food craftsmanship as a way of instilling a spirit of entrepreneurship in its beneficiaries. In 2013, Gusto, the restaurant linked to the cooking school was actually selected as Latin America's best restaurant. The third mechanism is actually one of trying to eliminate the need for complementary assets. How can we do that? A good example for this process is the Danish company called Vestergaard Frandsen. This company does not focus on costly and complex water treatment and distribution systems that would require the presence of essential complementary assets. Instead, the firm has designed LifeStraw: a point-of-use water treatment approach. The LifeStraw is basically a hollow straw with a filter system inside, thus reducing the risk of water-borne diseases arising from re-contamination during collection, transport, and use of water in the home. The elimination of complementarities is part of Vestergaard Frandsen's product design strategy. This is what they state. We only developed products that are long-lasting, do not have any spare parts and do not require electricity to function. This distinguishes us from other producers who often take existing products and try to adapt them to a developing world context. The fourth and final way of trying to identify an opportunity is to create demand for antagonistic assets. How can we do that? The social enterprise Kono is a spin off of the so-called Café Retro, a non-profit café run by volunteers. The café donates its proceeds for humanitarian projects in developing countries. Café Retro supports projects in Sierra Leone and India. In 2009, wishing to do more than just fund-rasing, Anni Lyngskær together with other volunteers at Café Retro decided to launch a subsidiary. Kono Business is a fair-trade hybrid which imports and sells a range of textiles produced in Sierra Leone and designed exclusively for Kono by young Danish designers. A second example is Bangura Bags, which also began as a pure earned income strategy for the Masanga Hospital located in the jungle of Sierra Leone. Looking for income sources, Masanga reached out to a local tailor Alfred Bangura who since has started a tailor shop adjacent to the hospital. Bangura Bags are laptop sleeves made of old bicycle tubes collected in the area. As electricity is highly unreliable, all products are handmade by a staff of four. Kono and Bangura both acquire clients and create loyalty not in spite but because of their antagonistic assets. They celebrate the handmade aspect of their products, made on old Singer sewing machines. Apart from being independent from the need for electricity these foot pedal machines are also an essential part of the storytelling Kono and Bangura use to develop their own brand appeal. For example, each Bangura bag is hand-signed on the Bagura bag's label by the employee who sewed it. One hopeful Bagura Bags employee even includes his mobile phone number, just in case one of his Danish clients ever comes to Sierra Leone and wants to visit. To sum up, there are actually four mechanisms that you might use to identify opportunities. The first of these mechanisms is actually the identification of hidden complementarities. Secondly, you can develop new complementarities. Thirdly, eliminate the need for complementary assets. And fourthly, create demand for your antagonistic assets. As you will now start to upload your own ideas for a social enterprise on our forum, try to use one or several of these mechanisms to identify the opportunity for your social enterprise.