Inspiring change: 100Arts

A space for collaboration
Inspiring change: 100Arts
Brent Gerlach

When the social enterprise startup 100state announced it was pursuing an artist-in-residence program, Brent Gerlach says he saw an opportunity to merge his consulting company GESWERK with 100state to form what has become 100arts.

Gerlach says he took his resources and applied them to 100arts, which is a place for artists to collaborate and create works designed to inspire change. “It turned out to be great because 100state is really amplifying 100arts in a way that wouldn’t have otherwise happened.” The next big goal of 100arts is to realize an arts initiative based around the social issue of empowering women in the workplace. Gerlach describes the startup as an inspirational environment to create works of art. He said it’s helping to mend “a disconnect” in Madison. “There are so many fragmented parts of the community, places that could better act in concert with one another,” he says.

What is social innovation?

According to Stanford University’s Social Innovation Review, social innovation is a “novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable or just than existing solutions” and benefits primarily society as a whole rather than private individuals.

It includes these elements:

Increasing employment, productivity and economic growth

Justice, fairness, environmental preservation, improved health, arts and culture and better education

A social innovation:

Can be a product, production process or technology (much like innovation in general), but it can also be a principle, an idea, a piece of legislation, a social movement, an intervention or some combination of them.

Recognizes the fundamental role of cross-sector dynamics: exchanging ideas and values, shifting roles and relationships and blending public, philanthropic and private resources. Innovation blossoms where the sectors converge.

Can’t be understood, let alone solved, without involving the nonprofit, public and private sectors.

The M List
Madison Magazine‘s M List is a who’s who of organizations and individuals who are having an impact on our local culture and economy. In its third year, the M List recognizes those making strides in the area of social innovation. Last year’s list of innovators were in the food industry. The original M List, in 2013, honored the technology sector. The 2014 M List honored “Foodtastic” entrepreneurs and innovators.

Click here to return to the 2015 M List.