Next Generation of Social Innovators:
Summer Summit 2017 in Review
In June, eleven teenagers explored Chicago and discovered the city in a whole new light. At Allow Good’s weeklong Summer Summit, youth had the opportunity to visit local leaders in the philanthropic sector from various Chicago foundations, nonprofit organizations, emerging for-profit social ventures, and socially conscious businesses. More than 20 speakers from organizations such as Groupon, the McCormick Foundation, and GirlForward spoke on topics ranging from philanthropy to corporate social responsibility to global citizenship.
Activities throughout the week of the Summit focused on cultivating leadership, gathering insight from guest speakers, and putting their new knowledge into action. At the end of the week, each student worked individually or in pairs to create and present their own social entrepreneurship venture based on a social issue they identified as important to them.
Our students created eight different organizations, each aimed at a unique social issue they are passionate about:
emily - the write place
Emily created The Write Place, a traditional nonprofit organization that would build libraries in developing countries to provide books, food, and water. The goal would be to “educate everyone with the knowledge of languages, reading, writing, and effective communication” within the local community. The Write Place would rely on book and monetary donations to fund its activities.
sam - aqualyfe
Sam devised AquaLyfe, a for-profit social venture that would distribute “water purification tablets to refugee camps, emergency responders and central governments of third world countries” to provide reliable access to clean water. Through “bulk acquisitions and slim profit margins,” AquaLyfe would provide water purification tablets to those who need it at an affordable price.
gabrielle - code it!
Gabrielle designed Code It!, a socially responsible business that would teach girls how to code and get them excited about computer science. Code It! would offer a summer camp where girls can “learn how to code script and become interested with coding’s properties.” Gabrielle’s hope is to stimulate girls’ interest in historically male-dominated STEM fields.
mary kate + winta - autastic!
Mary Kate and Winta created Autastic!, a nonprofit organization that would improve the experiences of students with autism through “integrated autism education, mentor programs, and fun events” in order to make youth on the autism spectrum feel included in their schools. At special events, Autastic! would sell advertising space and use this revenue to fund its academic programs.
luC - yournalism
Luc innovated Yournalism, an app that would identify credible and fake news sources to help teens navigate digital journalism and stay informed with accurate information. Yournalism would also “lobby government to pass laws with punishment for sources of constant fake news” and “encourage voters to vote for candidates at all levels who support independent journalism.” Income from advertisements in the app would be used to financially support the app and Yournalism’s lobbying efforts.
Caitlin + drew - stop human trafficking
Caitlin and Drew conceived Stop Human Trafficking, a nonprofit organization that would raise awareness of human trafficking and teach communities “to know the signs of human trafficking and what to do when it presents itself.” Stop Human Trafficking would rely on donations along with income generated from the sale of promotional products. Revenue would also be generated from presentations at corporations in order to offset the cost of presentations at schools, public libraries, and police stations.
khai - second chance
Khai envisioned Second Chance, a nonprofit organization that would provide better books, technology, academic resources, and job training to incarcerated persons. Second Chance’s goal is to provide “an opportunity for a better life when coming out of jail.”
jack + julian - educafun
Jack and Julian designed EducaFun, a nonprofit organization that would provide after-school and summer academic programs for youth that “increase student interest in engineering and other academic subjects,” “improve local community relations,” and create connections essential to becoming a responsible community member. Donations and revenue from summer program tuition would be used to fund EducaFun’s free after-school programs.
At Allow Good, we believe that everyone has the power to effect change in our world. Gabrielle, a Summer Summit youth participant, said “Allow Good reminds me at a young age, I can make a difference! I have the power by becoming an involved citizen…to strengthen and improve my personal and global communities.”
We hope our Summer Summit continues to inspire all youth to find ways to create change in their communities. Best wishes to the next generation of changemakers. We cannot wait to see what you come up with next!