The Intersection Of Innovation And Faith

Religious organizations have historically been on the front-lines of doing good. How can they benefit from social innovation, and what can social innovation learn from them?


Jumpstart is an organization that hopes to find and develop Jewish social entrepreneurs. This may seem like a narrower focus than some other social enterprises we often cover, but it’s an interesting leap from the days when faith-based organizations were often the only game in town for helping the most needy. In this video, Shawn Landres, Jumpstart’s CEO, says that the rise of social innovation has been hard for the often-traditional faith-based organizations, but the infusion of new ideas can help revitalize the conventional practices of the sector.


Landres’s advice for social entrepreneurs

  1. Get over yourself. Ask yourself real questions: Is there a market for it? Will people use it? How will they discover you? You need humility to be able to honestly ask and answer those questions.
  2. Don’t underestimate talent and creativity. Those are the qualities you should be investing in.
  3. Make sure you have a pipeline. No matter how good your innovation is, if you can’t get it to the people who need it, it’s useless.

This video is part of a series on prominent social innovators–all convened by PricewaterhouseCooper during the 2012 Social Innovation Summit–who are discussing the evolution of social innovation and offering advice to social entrepreneurs. We’ll be featuring them here on Co.Exist.

Here’s a little preview of everyone who will be featured.

About the author

Morgan is a senior editor at Fast Company. He edits the Impact section, formerly Have an idea for a story? You can reach him at mclendaniel [at]