🎁 With the gradual implementation of the “new epidemic prevention lifestyle”, the flow of people on the streets has begun returning to its former levels. Whether the economy or the general mood, things are quickly warming back up, and smiling faces can be seen in shops and restaurants everywhere. Compatriots across all sectors have been working hard throughout this time to design stimulating measures that work to further brighten those smiling faces.
♻️ Among these, the creativity and diligence of a number of social innovation organizations have opened my eyes to new possibilities. For example, Zen Zhou Social Enterprise, whose mission centers on the circular economy and ecological protection and is active in developing clean plastic goods, has recently begun collaborating with China Airlines in developing an environmentally friendly travel mug. Not only is this creating new business opportunities for the aviation industry, which has been heavily affected by the pandemic, but it also connects cleverly with green consumerism and the “bring your own cutlery” movement.
🚸 Aside from collaboration in product research and development, social innovation organizations have also developed a cutting-edge model of collaboration with industry. For example, the Victory Social Welfare Foundation has collaborated with Family Mart to launch their first “Social Welfare Community Partnership Store”, helping social welfare organizations to get through each wave of the pandemic’s assault. It is also capable of progressing to become a self-sufficient social enterprise, ensuring mission continuity moving forwards.
👩⚕️ Social innovation organizations are not only concerned with looking after themselves; many are also directly invested in the work of pandemic prevention. The Da Ai Sewing Cooperative was previously focused primarily on producing cultural and artistic goods and handmade textile bags. However, this year they have received orders for the production of medical personal protective clothing. This group of community members, who rebuilt livelihoods with the help of the cooperative in the wake of Typhoon Morakot, are currently still working around the clock to support staff fighting the epidemic.
🎪 The experience of the Da Ai Sewing Cooperation has encouraged many other social innovation organizations to think about how they might more effectively contribute to society.
💝 As such, in response to calls from the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, almost 30 organizations with innovative products selected in this year’s Buying Power catalogue, have come together as partners to launch “Power Taiwan: Warm Heart Gifts”. Each of the gifts, ranging from hygiene products to facemasks, come from the goodwill of the social innovation partners. In particular, the gift packaging was developed in collaboration with the Man Fair Workshop, Hsinchu, where it is handmade by individuals with disabilities.
🌏 In the past six months, the world’s industrial development and way of life have undergone dramatic changes, and the undulations from these changes have yet to settle. These partners in social innovation have encouraged us to see that, when adversity strikes, we can forge a new path for ourselves through our flexibility and robustness, showing wider society that there are new possibilities.
🧧 Encouraged by the good example set by these friends here, I will not only use the Triple Stimulus Voucher, launched in July, to buy NT$3,000 of social innovation products, but I will also give the full amount of returns, NT$2,000, as a donation to a social welfare organization to express my support. It is my hope that no matter which payment methods you prefer, compassionate people will be encouraged to give in accordance with their means and that people with love in their hearts will more readily open it to the world.