Entering the “touchy-feely” age
What does it mean to be a social innovator? I think that someone who throws funky wild parties should qualify. But alas, the Centre’s new diploma does not focus on developing the skills to host creative parties. J The Centre’s Diploma in Social Innovation is in fact our attempt to answer the question, “What knowledge, skills and values will be important to be successful in the fast-changing world we live in?”
Thomas Friedman, political columnist for the New York Times and author of several books, including ‘The World is Flat’, has also been thinking about the question of what’s going to be critical in the 21st century. In his words: “No matter what your profession…..you better be good at the touchy-feely stuff, because anything that can be digitized can be outsourced to either the smartest or the cheapest producer.” Bestselling author, Daniel Pink, would agree. In his book, ‘A Whole New Mind’, he says: “We are moving from an economy and a society built on the logical, linear, computer-like capabilities of the Information Age to an economy and a society built on the inventive, empathic, big-picture capabilities of what’s rising in its place, the Conceptual Age.” And psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman author of ‘Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being‘ asserts that human flourishing is about PERMA: P – positive emotions; E – engagement; R – relationships; M – meaning and A – Achievement.
So, how does this all relate to my initial question, “What does it mean to be a social innovator?” A social innovator has intentionally nurtured those skills that cannot be outsourced, that are intrinsically human, and which Daniel Pink would say are essential in the Conceptual Age that we live in. They embrace the core values espoused by the United Nations – that we are one human family living in a highly interdependent and fragile world. The big issues facing us in the 21st Century – from climate change to poverty alleviation – require a new kind of thinking. And finally, social innovators, through their journey of pursuing a positive impact on society, are simultaneously ensuring meaning in their own lives. It’s a journey towards positive impact, outwards and inwards too.
The Diploma offers you the opportunity to take 5 of Centre’s cutting-edge online courses at a reduced tuition over an 18-month period. We invite you to consider this Diploma and network with a group of individuals who have decided to invest in themselves and emerge with a mindset that’s equipped to flourish in our fast-changing world.