21 Aug 2012
Transition Network conference 2012 preview: No:2 – Introducing some leading social innovators
In the 4.30pm workshop slot on Saturday at the 2012 Transition Network conference is a session which brings together three leading social entrepreneurs, who will talk about their work outside the world of Transition, bringing different models, passion, enthusiasm and insights you may not previously have encountered. We are honoured to have them, and who knows what collaborations, overlaps and connections might arise from it. So, in no particular order, they are Lily Lapena of MyBnk, Ken Banks of kiwanja.net and Junior Smart of the St Giles Trust (SOS Project). A bit more about each of them:
Lily Lapenna is empowering young people to manage their money effectively and make enterprising choices. Lily created the first independent peer led youth banking program approved by the national banking regulatory body (Financial Services Authority—FSA) in England. In doing so, Lily is developing the next generation of financially literate and entrepreneurial citizens. In less than three years MyBnk has reached 20,000 young people across 57 partnering organizations (see more here).
Junior Smart is transforming the way people leaving prison are supported, dramatically cutting reoffending and creating a positive role for exoffenders in their communities. In deprived areas of London, increased violence, theft, and drug use have contributed to the rise of crime among young people. To address these problems, Junior has developed an ex-prisoner led peer mentoring system that provides services to prisoners to address the broad array of problems they face in prison, before release, and as they integrate back into society (see more here).
Ken Banks is making real the possibility of SMS-enabled communication for social change organisations across every sector and in every geography. He is bridging the digital divide in the citizen sector by bringing the tech revolution to the last mile: To the isolated, small, and resource-poor organizations in the developing world. Having been one of the first innovators using mobile phones for social change, Ken is now creating a rapidly scaling user-led movement that enables local changemakers to co-create the solutions they need to solve their own problems, based on simple and readily available technology: Ordinary mobile phones. The core platform has been downloaded over 20,000 times by users in more than 70 countries, inspired a number of sector-specific spin-offs developed by user citizen organizations (COs), and is reaching millions of people (see more here).