This past week in class, we developed a conceptual framework for the GSIF program at Lehigh.
Ultimately, we felt that the GSIF program has different values depending on the perspective you look at it from. First, the fellowship can be viewed from the perspective of the venture. The goals of the ventures are to use creative solutions to make a sustainable impact on the world around us. Additionally, the ventures hope to develop in-country partners to build lasting relationships that will be beneficial in the future. Within the GSIF program, the actions that we take within our ventures help us to achieve these goals. These actions consist of workshops, fieldwork, publications, etc. It is the hope of the program that these actions then produce tangible results.
Personally, as students we also hope to become distinguishable, conduct research, and learn. To accomplish these goals we act by collaborating with people from all over the world, and engaging in research at Lehigh and in-country. These actions help us to become better students and add to our portfolio.
The Global Social Impact Fellowship is an incredible program that helps students to make impactful change in the world through collaboration and hard work. The conceptual framework that we have developed is attempting to encapsulate everything this program has to offer in a visual map.
This past week our team worked together to create a conceptual framework to achieve our overarching goal of reducing childhood malnutrition.
The chart flows from the bottom. Child stunting can be caused by a multitude of different reasons, but we tried our best to narrow it down. Ultimately we believed that lack of education, cultural norms, and poor infrastructure lead to shortcomings in the 3 A’s: availability, accessibility, and affordability. These 3 As lead to food insecurity and disease. Because of lack of proper healthcare these cause a deficiency in important nutrients and thus child stunting.
The solution to this issue begins with us (NewTrition)! We are hoping to utilize our products made from local ingredients taken from local farmers. We are hoping to make these products available and inexpensive. This will provide children with access to the micronutrients and hopefully reduce the rates of childhood stunting.
- Interdependence → how factors(ideas, goals, people, projects) in a relating system all impact each other; pyramid from the bottom up
- Ex. 1: a lot of the projects take advantage of the interdependence between people and the “hierarchy” that exists between people
- Malnutrition tried to partner with community leaders such as the reverend david because of many people’s interdependence on him and the church
- Holism → a system that is viewed as it own entity; as a sum of its parts; looking at the pyramid from the top down/seeing the big picture
- Ex. 1: Recycling facility — the public would just see it as something that takes in waste and produces product, forgets that the facility has many parts (machines, workers, managers, etc)
- Multifinality → Multiple unique outcomes resulting from a single initial product/system (win-win situation for all)
- Ex. 1: all teams: fieldwork
- Equifinality → understanding that a goal can be achieved in a variety of ways/ paths
- Ex. 1: PlasTech Ventures and Cloop used to be part of the same team with the same goals, now they are both trying to reach the same goal but through different approaches.
- Safemotherhod and Ukweli — both want to end maternal mortality
- Differentiation → each part of a system has its own specific function
- Ex. 1: Malnutrition team breaking up and assigning roles after week 1 in SL
- Working on specific parts like Manufacturing, Research, Supply Chain, etc. that interact to run the larger system
- Regulation → assessing the system to make sure that it is achieving goals to take corrective action and hold everyone accountable
- Ex. 1: NewTrition checking in with Translators to make sure our interviewing questions are being conveyed and received correctly.
- Weekly team meetings — keep us all on track
- Abstraction → looking at broad ideas instead of focusing on specific details (zooming out or zooming in)
- Ex. 1: Safe Motherhood: trying to inspire grassroot action to work to raise awareness for broader issues through specific mini-stories
- Leverage Points → understanding that there are small things that can be done to create a large effect; places in a complex system where a small shift can create big changes
- Ex. 1: Recycling Facilities: Gaining a relationship with Vincente Co to open up our network and knowledge
- KJ was the leverage point for the malnutrition team to be able to use the bakery
- Implementing a fine to give birth at home to encourage people to go to the clinic which saves a lot of people’s lives
Emergence is the process of an idea or concept coming into fruition. An example of an emergent system that has created sustainable and scalable social value is Cantaro Azul, which is a social venture based in Mexico that works to provide clean drinking water to more people. The venture utilizes small water cleaning facilities scattered throughout the country to distribute the drinking water. The venture employs solely women. By cutting costs and helping women earn a living, this social venture has made a sustainable impact in Mexico.
- Follow oil fracking ideas → pay local, waterside people of the community a small stipend for access to their areas
- Other community members can be hired to collect and process the hyacinth, income generating solution for the community
- Previous workers of hers now in charge of transportation/distribution for her.
Some Applicable Emergent parts:
- Interdependence/Holism/Differentiation: Each process now depends on the process before it, and the more successful each step is the more the greater system thrives
- Regulation: Paid on commission, so how much hyacinth they bring in instead of a salary day to day, forming accountability
- Leverage Points: Advertise how workers are helping community and fishermen to create more sales
- Accountability: not paying everyone because that would be impossible
- Multifinality: Community is reaching its goals and so is the entrepreneur