Last weekend, Hortonworks hosted a group of 12 teenagers from Gooddler Social Impact Youth Incubator who came to our Santa Clara headquarters to learn about social impact as it relates to entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship is a relatively recent thing, but it is quickly becoming mainstream. Social entrepreneurs use start-up companies and investors to develop, fund and implement businesses designed to positively impact society, socially, culturally or environmentally.
Gooddler Foundation is dedicated to backing the next generation who will rethink the world and create a better future. Working jointly with the Institute for Evolutionary Leadership, the Foundation developed a 12-weeks curriculum to teach high schoolers how to blend philanthropy and business to create positive social impact in their communities.
Becoming a social entrepreneur begins with thinking how solutions you bring into the community impact the very people you want to help. Kids learn how to build teams based on individual strengths and weaknesses. They explore issues in their communities, design innovative technological solutions to create viable business models. They will get a chance to pitch their business plans in front of real-world investors, at Gooddler Social Impact Youth Summit, co-hosted with the United Nations. Bonus – a selected group will travel to New York to participate at the United Nation Youth Summit.
The teams produced terrific results, and some went above and beyond. Team “AppolloBox” wants to make DIY low-costs musical instruments and an online library of musical classes to provide extracurricular educations to schools with limited budgets. Another team wants to fight hunger with vertical farming.
I was particularly eager to hear innovative ideas that leverage data and apply data science to solve economic and social problems. Team “HH” wants to build a mental health database utilizing AI to teach the fundamentals of mental health issues and provide individualized treatments to adolescence. This is just one example of how big data, data science, and machine learning can be leveraged to solve some of the world’s pressing concerns.
I was truly impressed with these young people and proud of Hortonworks for helping organizations like Gooddler Foundation. We know that social, political, and environmental issues are wide-spreading, and we need innovative solutions that are relevant and sustainable. Investing in the next generation of socially conscious leaders could do just that.