Desperately Seeking Social Entrepreneurs

We do need energetic entrepreneurs with economic, social and ecological sensitivity in order to succeed in this moment of challenges and opportunities

I love social entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurs are my heroes, women and men who change the world one idea at the time and create opportunities for many. We do need energetic entrepreneurs with economic, social and ecological sensitivity in order to succeed in this moment of challenges and opportunities, business people with the understanding that sustainable development means living in an interconnected global system where everything and everyone is at one.

Organized by the United Nations the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development summit took place from June 20-22 in Rio de Janeiro with the hope to improve the relationship between planet Earth and humankind: “The summit will essentially look at how to safeguard global economic growth without destroying the planet in the process. It also aims to ensure that any new environmental policies will transcend international borders. Within these goals, there are key areas of discussion, including food security, water and energy — and a focus on developing countries.” CNN

For the past few years economists, politicians and organizations have been discussing a viable solution for the recession tsunami that has swept away savings, funds, houses, careers, and our youngsters’ future. After decades of reckless economic and environmental speculation in the name of profit, our system has cracked. Our survival is not a matter of political views, but it strongly depends on the synergistic effort of every single individual on planet Earth. Where to start?

How we view the world determines what we create and experience in our daily lives. Apparently some people live in a silo, and some view reality as a system where anyone’s action REALLY counts. From a systemic point of view “the other” is not the enemy but a necessary ally with whom to build a durable and mutually beneficial relationship. ROI is just as important to systemic entrepreneurs as it is for traditional entrepreneurs. Good business though is about good relationships and a keen attention to all stakeholder groups affecting and affected by an organization. Ratings agency Moody’s downgrading lashes can be argued and yet the marks are real. Companies failing to grasp the interconnected nature of all our personal and professional endeavors run the risk of losing the race in the long haul.

As a professional I have not always possessed the necessary far-sight to thoroughly understand the impact of my actions. Impressive salaries and professional titles have never been my main priority in life, and yet much of my past actions aimed at professional growth have been in the name of money. There’s nothing wrong about financial success but when it’s only about financial success. What is the long-term value? BOND&ROW was born with the purpose of developing women and men eager to live their talents and purpose to the fullest while contributing to sustainable organizations worldwide. “Using your unique talents and serving others brings unlimited bliss and abundance”, says Deepak Chopra. I strongly believe that personal and professional success is at the intersection of expressing our talents while contributing to the happiness of others.

And now what?

“I am going to Kenya, teach anything I know about business to local people and learn as much as I can about social entrepreneurship.” Vivian is a former student of mine at NYU, we shared an Organizational Communication class where many discussions were made about stakeholders, entrepreneurship and social responsibility. She reminds me of Lucy Liu’s character in Kill Bill, Cottonmouth, someone with superpower strength hidden behind a beauty of stillness. My Cottonmouth comes with a sword made of Chinese grace, American drive and a burning desire to contribute to the lives of others. Vivian is twenty years old, she listens carefully and she smiles when she springs into action. She still does not know what her contribution is going to be, but she surely is on her way to finding it out as she travels the world with Think Impact and learn about herself and business. Vivian’s social entrepreneurship project in Kenya is all about entrepreneurial ideas that change the world.