Stanford Social Innovation Review : Informing and inspiring leaders of social change

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Social Entrepreneurship

Rodney Mullen: Innovation Doesn’t Exist In A Vacuum

Walk down most city streets and you will see a skateboarder doing tricks. Skateboarders see opportunity, not constraints, along any handrail and over any curb of urban architecture. Head to a ski slope and you will undoubtedly see snowboarders doing tricks, making jumps, and adopting skateboarding culture through their clothing, attitude and general embrace of experimental freedom. Skateboarding is a constantly evolving sport where anyone can bring something new and inventive to the table. The world of skateboarding has the power to illustrate artistry, innovation, trial and error and growth. The ethos of skateboarders can inspire social entrepreneurs in myriad ways. Join Ned Breslin as he speaks with Rodney Mullen, a great friend and a motivation to many. Rodney, at the vanguard of innovation, openness, and sharing, will talk about how skateboarding can serve as an important guide to social entrepreneurs everywhere.

Edward D. (Ned) Breslin is the CEO of Water For People, widely considered a force for positive change by challenging status quo approaches to water and sanitation, philanthropy and aid transparency with concrete alternatives. Breslin received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2011.

Rodney Mullen is a professional skateboarder, company owner, inventor, and public speaker who practices freestyle and street skateboarding. Mullen is credited with inventing numerous skateboarding tricks that are regularly performed in modern skateboarding. Mullen has appeared in over 20 skateboarding videos and authored an autobiography, entitled “The Mutt: How to Skateboard and Not Kill Yourself.” In 2013, Mullen was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame.

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