That a group dynamic can alter the way you think, act, and create is no secret.

That the right group dynamic can so drastically inspire and motivate you – that’s something!  This is precisely what I got to experience at the SE Innovation Lab in Gothenburg November 11-13.

An extraordinary bunch of people gathered on a Friday afternoon. Varied ages, from the early twenties to the late fifties, from all walks of life, all armed with unique and inspiring ideas participated. It felt a true privilege to be one of them.

To tell you the truth, I’m not entirely sure how it happened; but our common dynamic was so inspirational and encouraging that when I left the Lab, after two and a half days, I felt that it is in fact possible to change the world. All you need to do is nurture your idea(s) and focus on the right things – and your idea will grow.

One of the most important lessons I learnt during the Lab is that, what you focus on grows. Perhaps this was also one of the starting-points for the other participants. As we began presenting and focusing on our ideas on Friday, continued to dive deep into them on Saturday, and wrapped up our work on Sunday, it became clear that all of us had individually, yet together, arrived at a point where we could identify our focus more clearly. Most importantly, we knew where to pick up and how to continue, during the coming weeks, months, and years.

I have previously participated in workshops about entrepreneurship and business management. A common focus was apparent: SALES.

But here, at SE Innovation Lab, we talked about other values first. Heart, then cash. Social values, then business values. Social benefits, then sales. And herein lies the difference between an ‘entrepreneur’ of the traditional kind, and a ‘social entrepreneur’. A social entrepreneur focuses on other things than sales, and thus, the social benefits of our businesses grow. And since SE Innovation Lab focuses on us, as social entrepreneurs, we grow.

During those two and a half days we grew; and now, afterwards, we continue to grow. And we can change the world.

Written by Carolina Olson, one of the participants at SE Innovation Lab in Gothenburg October 11-13 2013.