How could Children Change the World?

These are #ChicagoBooth students visiting a village in India as part of #boothSEI, a Social Enterprise Initiative that supports social impact aspirations of students & alumni, and furthers research on how institutions can help solve global problems.
Are you inspired by this photo? I am!

As a man who is obsessed with scalability and the future of our children, it’s not about a single initiative but about the big picture, the biggest bang for your buck, so to speak.

If you wanted to solve a problem, why not choose the biggest most important issue of our time, the one that if you solve it, other problem may be solved by proxy. What is the correct problem to solve – global warming? poverty? the conflict in the middle east?

My house mortgage jumped to mind, hypothetically one may put $88K USD cash down, get $280K from the bank, and live in a house, or rent it out, for $2250 per month with an actual cost of $1200 per month (interest and escrow). This provides a 12% yearly ROI, or in simple terms, you can live in a house that should cost $2250 per month, but only pay $1200 in “rent”. How is this possible? Simply, the trick or tool is called financial leverage. (Disclaimer – by no mean is buying a house always a good idea, just look at the property tax rates in Illinois to see what I mean, sometimes renting is a better option…)

The richest people in the world became such using financial leverage. On the other hand, others lost it all using the same technique. Putting real-estate aside to the professionals who actually understand this market, and the best way to correctly invest your money, I had a different idea in mind – what about social leveraging?

What if we could go to the bank as a team of 5 friends, and come back 5,000 people passionate about a certain idea, ready to rock and roll! Could this be possible? How could we implement the social equivalent of financial leveraging? Is this the same as a viral idea? Just because ten million people have “liked” your youtube video or Tweet, does that mean you have changed the world? Probably not, however, a viral idea must be one of the building blocks.

When we need cash, we go to the bank. They have them greens right?! Where do we go to get the passionate people? Who are these people? What will motivate them to join and take part? What would be the equivalent of a credit score? How would an idea or a cause be qualified as worthwhile in the eyes of these individuals?

My gut is telling me it’s about clean water, food, education, technology, and the children of the world, It might be too late for us. Can we empower the children of the world to take ownership and responsibility for the challenges we just can’t solve for them?

Although I feel I have the building blocks of the solution, the complete equation continues to elude and seduce me at the same time. Do you have a piece of the puzzle? Join our cause at computationalthinkingchicago.com because we are way bigger than the sum of our pieces!

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