Understanding available assets is the first step to opening up new opportunities for innovation. Technology continually makes mapping of such assets easier at scale, putting critical data at our fingertips. And speaking of scale, the Catholic Church is one of the largest private landowners in the world. Recognizing the latent potential in this massive resource, Molly Burhans is leveraging new technology to map the land assets of the Catholic Church and create new ways to channel them for social good. Read more about her bold work in this article from The Boston Globe.
Baltimore pastor Rev. Heber Brown is sparking a movement with his Black Church Security Network, an initiative he started after seeking to do "something beyond prayer" to support his community members wrestling with health and diet issues. Rev. Brown is engaging churches in planting fresh produce on their own land as well as connecting them to black farmers, ultimately seeking to position churches to further equity in the food system.
Social innovation requires an enabling ecosystem, and one of the key players in that ecosystem is the philanthropic sector. Innovative philanthropists can help empower individual organizations to take risks while fostering collective impact in the process. With their faith under attack, one group of American Muslims and their allies are organizing to support Muslim change-makers who are creating solutions in their communities. In the process, they're reshaping perceptions of Islam in America. Read about Pillars Fund and their new approach to faith-based philanthropy in this article from Buzzfeed.
Social innovation requires deep contextual understanding to shape solutions that will have a sustainable impact. In this story in the Huffington Post, listen to Nick Tilsen talk about how he rooted himself in his home community on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and is helping the community create its own future, deeply connected to its own history and spirituality.
Faith communities have often stepped in when government welfare systems fail to support people in need. The role and responsibility of government in social welfare is a worthy and critical debate. But what happens if we engage faith communities to collectively create a solution rather than just react to system failures. In the case of Safe Families for Children, you get an alternative to the perpetually troubled foster care system for temporary family separation situations. Read this story from Forbes.com to learn more.
Crisis migration caused by violence and persecution has sparked a wave of new ideas and approaches as the world seeks to respond to the challenge of a growing global population of forcibly displaced persons and refugees - over 65 million persons according to UNHCR. This story from the National Catholic Reporter discusses a recent report released by FADICA (Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities), which looks at how Catholic groups are using social innovation approaches to address this challenge. The report illustrates how a 2,000-year-old institution like the Catholic Church can connect tradition with innovation to bring new ideas to bear on today's global challenges. Spoiler alert: Catholic sisters are driving much of the innovation.
Urban faith institutions often find themselves on the front lines of issues of homelessness and affordable housing in their communities. This story from Faith and Leadership about the innovative work of a congregation in Detroit shows how an asset-based perspective can change the focus from reacting to a need to creating a transformative solution. Stay tuned for more stories of how faith institutions are reimagining their role in the housing sector.
Hello and welcome to innoFaith! We’re building a network of people and institutions of faith that seek to inspire and enable our communities to engage in the world in innovative ways to help humanity thrive. We are rooted in sacred traditions that we know have great wisdom to offer modern society. We also know that a fast changing world requires us to adopt new frameworks and methods for engaging with complex social problems. We want to make faith and the assets of our communities and institutions a powerful force for social innovation, one worthy of the challenges our societies face in the 21st century.