Western Michigan University
The specific solution is providing opportunities to under resourced communities. Specifically in Latin America, Steelcase has helped tackle lack of continued education, along with shelter, access to clean water, and utilities as well. For the past 30 years, employees in Monterrey, Mexico have volunteered to provide connection and learning through service in these communities.
What inspired the leaders was the lack of opportunity and what the world can be like if we were to empower the people with limited resources comparatively to ourselves. For instance, "by helping others reach their potential, we realize our purpose, and create the ultimate social innovation". The work towards reducing inequalities has increased at leaps and bounds.
The overall impact of this innovation is creating new standards within communities that now have a sense of direction. These communities have new insite, and new ways to act ethical and effectively for the betterment and safety of their personal communities. These people now carry on their new developed sense to other surrounding communities that may be struggling with the same issues. It is important to leverage resources around the globe and make differences in communities.
This innovation benefits the business because it has made the employees of Steelcase much more aware of the world around them. Steelcase has helped their employees reach their full potential, along with transform them, and help their mental health. Work place incidents have decreased by over 30% in the past three years. Employees are now aware of when to take action.
Social and environmental benefit
This benefits society because people are now able to identify some major issues and know when to take action if something is not right. Communities now have people that know how to act ethically, which has a direct impact on the environment they live in and the preservation of it. The innovation of this project has resulted in employees taking extensive measures in knowing what the carbon footprint is of their material resources and the manufacturing of the products.
Claire LaFleur, Project Management for New Product Development in Education
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