🍏 At the end of November, I attended the end-of-term banquet held at the Social Innovation Lab and had a conversation with the social innovation and startup resident teams who were about to “graduate”. What I saw are friends who have devoted themselves to solving social problems and gradually established an ecosystem for sustainable development.

📦 Take this year’s social innovation resident team “PackAge+” as an example. In his past work experience, the founder Ye Dewei came across a large amount of online shopping goods and realized that the disposable packaging resulting from online shopping has a huge impact on the environment. Therefore, he started a business with his friends to lease the reusable packaging bags to e-commerce platforms. After receiving shipments from the platforms, consumers would return the outer packaging to the participating offline stores or points of collection, and the team would take them back to the warehouse for cleaning and sorting.

📈 This mechanism not only effectively reduces the waste of resources caused by packaging and lowers packaging costs for e-commerce platforms, but consumers can also get online and offline discounts after returning the packaging. Even stores that participate in collecting the returned packaging also get increased shopper visits as the result. This win-win-win business model has now been favored by more than 60 e-commerce businesses. This year, it has successfully raised NT$6 million in funds. In the presence of the impacts from this year’s pandemic, this is an exciting result.

🎶 Among the resident startup teams, Letron Music Inc., with the original intention of “reshaping the music ecosystem via technology”, developed the “Letron” app, which showed me the vision of future music creation that is well worth expecting. In the Internet age, those who are aspiring to create have more opportunities to contribute their talents to the world. However, inspiration is not readily available, and creators are often “blocked” because of this and cannot stably produce quality works. Therefore, Letron Music has developed a popular music AI algorithm to decompose the choices of various music styles, melodies, and rhythms. With machine-assisted composing, a song can be written in an average of 3 to 5 minutes to help music composers overcome the bottleneck.

🎬 In addition to assisting in creation through digital technology, another unique feature of “Letron” is that they actively build a music ecosystem through the Internet, including music copyright application, demoing, recording, automatic generation of MVs, and uploading to social platforms. All can be done in the App. The subsequent derived revenues from the songs and proofs of copyright can also be managed through the distributed ledger technology, so that the fruits of the creators’ labor can be effectively protected.

💡 As I listened to the presentations of the resident teams in the end-of-term luncheon, I couldn’t help but think of a conversation I had with Dr. Geoff Mulgan, the father of British social innovation, at the NPOst annual meeting in October this year. He put forward the concept of “collective intelligence” and pointed out that the collaboration between people and between people and machines can allow us to form an organic organization and truly solve the world’s problems.

🎓 Throughout this eventful year, partnerships between social innovators and startups have created more and more diversified cross-domain and cross-border collaborations — a beautiful crystallization of collective intelligence. “Graduation” is the beginning of true maturity. I sincerely wish these teams well.