Showing posts with label communities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label communities. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Social Change: The Human Condition Of Business Modeling

Gazing upon the world we have built, and tripping on the stumbling blocks of the haves and the have nots, does the world of business and economics have it backward? As a whole, our commercially driven world creates & sells products and brands first with a secondary focus on volunteerism, social change, and adequate responsiveness to real world needs.

Certainly honest efforts are being made to make a human capital drive more sustainable. TEDTalks, STEM programs, and other similar organized efforts are the inspiration of so many of tomorrow's global business, organizational, & political leaders. But even with all of this tremendous effort, the players in these situations know if they don't maintain public interest, then they, and the people they inspire, will eventually falter.

So how do we avoid creating our own social change villains while maintaining the costly weight of worldly needs? What do I need to do and how do I get there become critical questions, but they focus too much on the individual.

What if, instead, we followed the lead of social change leaders like Richard Branson or Elon Musk and explored the human condition of business modeling? What if we spent more effort supporting entrepreneurial mindsets focused on changing the world and making it a better place without that ever-glowing dollar sign being the ultimate signature of profit?

What questions are most important to you when addressing social change?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Social Good of Young Innovators

A while back I was attending a professional organization meeting where there were about 60 or so attendees; primarily members and some guests. The chapter leader asked everyone to stand. He then proceeded to ask everyone that had been a chapter member for a year or less to sit; a small portion sat down. He asked for people that had been in three years or less to sit; a slightly larger portion sat down. He proceeded to ask about 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, and so forth up to 50 years.

After the 20 year mark there were only a few people standing. These were older folks that had been with the organization for some time, and the chapter leader asked that the chapter commend these folks.  This particular organization has an average member age of 55+ and is diligently working to bring in younger members. And, while I do applaud showing gratitude for so many years of service for one organization and its efforts, I couldn't help but think whether the chapter leader shouldn't have gone the other direction and started at 50 years.

Why are we, as nations and as a world, obsessed with celebrating the past through events and figure heads? Shouldn't we be celebrating the young, our future, with every waking moment?

To quote a brilliant person, and a man my family adores (particularly my son):
“Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.” 
― Neil deGrasse Tyson

I am, by no means, implying that we should discount the tremendous efforts of individuals or specific monumental achievements & events. But I do think we need to spend more time, money, and attention on younger generations. Whatever concepts or actions a previous generation creates, it is inevitably up to younger generations to advance them or even start anew.  This is true for every aspect our lives including our:
  • Personal & familial relationships
  • Business & organizational relationships
  • Communities, Markets, & Industries
  • Global relationships
With each facet of life, we stand on the shoulders of giants and reach ever higher. But we also find new ways to support each other; new ways to grow & evolve that may not include the past. In fact, we may flat out dismiss the past in favor of a better way. This is the nature of innovation. And with technology at the heart, and with the internet in particular, progressive thinkers can connect, engage, & collaborate like never before.  

I say this as a father, an organizational leader, a business person, a global citizen and an advocate for the Social Good. We should embrace young minds in our communities and industries. We should work to create one human voice celebrating the young & the innovative spirit for the Social Good of all.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Internet is the Conduit of Social Change

Has there been one day in the last week that you haven't accessed the internet? How about the last month or even year?

When I went to college in the early 1990s, the internet was not yet available on my campus' library computers. The only thing plugged in to the computers were the dot matrix printers that were ready to send dozens of students into a litany of profanity that would make The Old Man in A Christmas Story blush. Cell phones were an alien concept to most people and those that did have "mobile" phones had to use two hands to manage the weight.  

Internet Timeline created by Miguel Todaro, www.migueltodaro.com
I only a knew a few people that were majoring in Computer Science, and the INTERNET was just making public appearances on larger campuses. Since those formative years of my life, I don't know if I'm more amazed that the power of the internet has grown so much or so fast. Both are mind boggling considering that was only 20 years ago.

Today, we each use the internet daily for multiple personal or professional purposes. And even if we aren't accessing the internet through our personal or work-related smartphone, tablet, or laptop, you can be certain that you will be impacted by that the person using it beside us.

What each of us says across the internet and the social media universe matters.

Individually

For the individual this may mean connecting with a person, cause, or job that he or she may not otherwise find. Whether it's an argument provoking sentiment on facebook or a well thought out white paper, what we say is potentially awakening a connection in the world you may not know - but should.

Community Sharing

Our daily interactions on the Internet go far beyond connecting individuals. For communities, locally and nationally, the internet gives us the chance to see, learn, and grow from the successes and failures of others.

Worlds Colliding

When we connect and interact as one world, this gives us the chance to “fight for the future" and "boldly go where no man has gone before”. The science fiction of yesterday creates the technologies we use today with the internet as the conduit. Both Science Fiction and Science explore two of humanity's greatest reaches - our inward search to acquire knowledge in the universe as we know it and our outward search to share knowledge to make this world a better place to live.

The world is growing rapidly, and the internet can be our greatest asset to connect. How can we better leverage the internet to make more positive connections?