Kids As Social Entrepreneurs?

Kids changing the world… one act at a time.

More and more, kids are wanting to have a positive impact in the world. They are taking action and mobilizing other kids to address problems from infant mortality in developing nations to neighbourhood concerns. They are donating to charities, volunteering to help others and even engaging in social entrepreneurship. They are taking the passion they feel about a cause and undertaking a business-like activity that earns money (or provides other resources) to support that cause.

Alex Scott, for example, was four years old and battling cancer when she started a lemonade stand to raise money for cancer research. After a year, she had raised $2,000. By the time she was eight, she had raised $1 million through the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Many kids like Alex are motivated to pursue a social entrepreneurial activity because they’ve been touched by something serious or significant and are moved to take action. They have had a personal experience with the problem. More often than not, though, these children would be hard pressed to pursue social entrepreneurship without the support and guidance of an adult. Continue reading “Kids As Social Entrepreneurs?” »

Teaching Children Empathy

In my previous post, I outlined Ashoka’s new Empathy Initiative for Social Entrepreneurs and the importance of teaching empathy to children.

How do we help children learn the valuable skill of empathy?

1. Model Empathy

The most powerful learning tool for children is modelling these behaviours they see their parents doing. The more we model empathy and are aware of the needs of others, the more likely our children will exhibit similar behaviours. Likewise, we need to be empathetic towards our children and they will see this an model it in their relationships. Continue reading “Teaching Children Empathy” »

Ashoka’s Empathy Initiative For Social Entrepreneurs

Ashoka is the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. This is from Ashoka’s Empathy Initiative: “Empathy. We don’t hear the term every day, but Ashoka Fellows over the past thirty years have shown time and again that there is no practice more fundamental to the human experience and no skill closer to the heart of what it means to be a changemaker. Its presence–and as profoundly, its absence–can be seen amongst the myriad challenges that populate our daily headlines, whether school bullying, ethnic conflict, crime, or the global preparedness of tomorrow’s workforce.”

In response to this, Ashoka is launching an initiative aimed a teaching children empathy and changing the way the education system is run by making empathy as much of a priority as Maths or English. They are aiming to equip principals, teachers and parents with the tools and resources they need to effectively grow and develop empathy in children and young people. Continue reading “Ashoka’s Empathy Initiative For Social Entrepreneurs” »