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Posted by Juwaeriah  04 Apr 2014
Engineering Solutions for Social Systems

What good is funding in the 21st century? Social service, humanitarian work, public good, aid, relief, support add to it a dash of NGOs. Resting upon the threshold of donations and funds, the immediate as well as long term projects are usually if not always taken care by non profits.  That is how it has always been, claimed one graduate student during a 2 day conference on The State of the Youth in Toronto early in November. Corporate Social responsibility can never be given a genuine benefit of doubt for corporate organisations always have ulterior motives. While there was some truth to that, it was hard to let the reality set in. A large part of social and humanitarian work is done under the banner of being a non profit. That is the state of the world dynamics one would argue.  In my mind I questioned, why does it have to be like that? 


Only when we challenge ourselves to think beyond the existing structures and mental models, are we truly capable of innovating and progressing. If analog was the only way of life, and we sat there assuming it to be, digital would never see daylight, nor would our mobile technology or high tech computing. Why then do we have to completely rely on existing methods and be critical towards the non standard social applications?  A method that cuts across corporate and donation based organisations does exist.


Engineering social systems through strategic management and design thinking will bring about a new flavor to this sector. Simply put, organisations that are grown out of the need to renew social systems have a brighter future than their existing counterparts.  There is a dire urgency to develop effective business models in this direction. We have been dealing with the same social systems for beyond a century. Our application mediums are being redesigned yet the source has always been the same, funding agencies.


While there is much good is this form of public service, there is a vision to actively propagate an unparalleled methodology waiting to touch the face of humanity. Design thinking for social systems brings in forces of empathy with creativity and rational. What better way than this to logically work towards social system and humanitarian issues. 


Juwaeriah Abdussamad blogs at : http://www.thesystemsthinking.blogspot.ca/ and http://www.juwaeriah.blogspot.ca/

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