August 9, 2016

How to Turn Ideas into Change

What if you could help change the world in just two hours? Or find solutions to educational and environmental issues across the globe without having to leave the office?  It may sound like an impossible task, but these are just the kind of challenges that keep social entrepreneur Daniel Hires feeling inspired every day.


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Social entrepreneurship—where organizations are focused on furthering social and cultural change-- is not a new concept, but has gained more traction as technology continues to evolve and makes participation and collaboration easier and more effective. But even as connectivity becomes less of a barrier, there’s still the hurdle of making problem-solving scalable; how can a few people in just a few hours actually effect change? 

That was the first problem Daniel Hires was determined to tackle. In the summer of 2011, Daniel helped build the Berlin chapter of MakeSense, which was founded earlier that year in Paris. MakeSense is an organization that mobilizes an international community of passionate changemakers who lend their skills in technology, communications, design and more, to solve challenges submitted by social entrepreneurs from around the world. Two-hour workshops, called Hold-Ups, are hosted by local MakeSense outposts—now in 100 cities—to generate problem-solving ideas for projects promoting social causes in the areas of health, education, environment, food and more. Outputs from each workshop are open source, so anyone can benefit from the ideas generated in each session.

Turning Post-it Notes into Ideas

Daniel recently hosted a Hold-Up for Ecosia, a search engine that uses ad revenue to plant trees. So each time you use it to search online, you help global reforestation efforts. For this particular session, Ecosia’s Claudia Egholm was looking to grow their Twitter followers from 11,000 to one million. AND, in a month’s time!

Seated in front of the MakeSense volunteers, Daniel starts with a word association activity, asking participants to write thoughts on sticky notes that are taped to the wall. The notes are photographed and saved to the free note-taking app Bamboo Paper to make it easy to edit and collaborate both with those in the room and those collaborating via email, like Daniel’s colleague in Mexico City. Throughout the workshop, Bamboo Paper and Inkspace play big roles. Participants can sketch, draw or make notes on their tablets and smartphones, then save their ideas to Inkspace, to share ideas digitally with colleagues around the globe. 

Putting Ideas into Action

What excites Daniel is how MakeSense merges his passion for social causes with technology, providing what he says is a “super-efficient way to find solutions.” It’s no wonder he’s looking to keep things streamlined; with so many challenges facing the world today, it can feel like there’s not enough time to solve everything. But Daniel feels there is a lot of good in the world. As an infant in Seoul, Korea, he was found abandoned and later adopted and brought to Germany. From this hardship he got a new opportunity—and he’s committed to giving back wherever he can. He says, “I believe an important part is putting an idea into action” so while brainstorming may be the first step, he is actively working to turn ideas into concrete results.

It’s one of the reasons he’s always on the go: moving between cities to inspire and empower others to get involved and make change. His life is mobile, so he relies on cloud technology like Wacom’s Inkspace where he can easily share notes and drawings created with Bamboo Paper to his social media channels or save to Dropbox or Evernote.

Solving global challenges is definitely a continuous process, but with Daniel Hires and social entrepreneurs like him at the helm—those committed to mobilizing and empowering local communities—we’re certainly on the right path to creating a better world.

Ready to get started turning your thoughts into ideas?

Download Bamboo Paper for iPad and Windows tablets as well as Android smartphones and tablets. Plus, save and share your ideas with the Inkspace cloud. Click here to learn more!

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