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Meeting a Disruptive Social Innovator

Nick Jankel Nick Jankel would be a major contributor to an ideas bank. Let me explain. Kazi Islam, CEO of Grameen Solutions commented to industry heavyweights that it can be helpful for people to wander around a resting place for ideas that never took off but might be just the ticket in other circumstances. As a fountain of ideas himself, Kazi knows that often for want of funding or other external conditions, brilliant ideas do not meet their (final) maker.

I went to Nick's "Disruptive Mental Capital" session a few months ago. Nick described a bleak landscape of the mental health industry; bleak because funding is strategically difficult for ideas that break the mould.

Too much emphasis on the professional background of innovators can kill growth in the industry. Mental health is a huge issue in developed countries which we should be targeting. Despite increasing professionalism within the industry in recent years, I do not believe that has translated too well to increases in mental health.

Yet better mental health is an area that is crying out for Social Business to address. Nick mapped out several possible models, he seemed to have one for almost every area we touched on. Nick has had his own successes and demonstrated an integrity of purpose by not working for organisations that break his code of ethics since he had a turning point several years back.

He spoke of the need to develop the "collaborative, courageous, contributive mindset" which will surely spark the creation of jobs -- another area worthy of the attention of social business innovators.

He spoke about the need for visionary funders, who understand the need to test ideas but also the necessary investment to scale up a ripe (and tested) idea.  Social entrepreneurship in the UK could operate on a whole new level.

Nick holds out hope that this can be the case. Which is why he is still on board this ship. I believe he has a lot more to contribute to this field. You can see more of his work through his company wecreate™ and a recent Guardian article he penned.

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