I am about to embark on a a trip over to Europe. Pretty excited! It's a mixture of work and family time. The first week of July is Art of Hosting Beyond the Basics and I am finding I have a bunch of questions going in. These events are where I get to bring some of my most alive questions and most potent learnings. Here's some of what is cooking for me:
How will a return to personal purpose change my work?
I am working towards a more fair, equitable and just society where wealth and power are distributed more evenly. I don't expect it to happen in my life time but that is the direction all my work is moving - one step at a time. I have known this for a long time but it became very clear to me again recently at a local event we were running for business leaders. This renewed sense of clarity has sharpened my focus on all of the work I am involved in and I can't help feeling it is going to have lots of ramifications - not yet sure what!
How can we build local economies that transform the distribution of wealth and power?
Where I live it seems like people think entrepreneurship and start up ecosystems are going to save the collapsing economy. I just don't buy it. The focus on supporting individuals to succeed in their start ups or expand their entrepreneurial ventures just further embeds self interested action and individualism. Not only that, it continues to give money to those who are privileged enough to have access to the money and time to "innovate" - further entrenching already existing disparities between those who have and those who have not.
Putting forward entrepreneurship as a social change mechanism is a simplistic approach. We cannot apply business product development to social challenges. If we want to truly build resilient local economies we are going to have to address issues like racism, sexism, hunger, wealth distribution and many more. These are the issues which I believe lie at the root of our economic vulnerability.
Having a thriving entrepreneurial sector is important but not an answer in itself. We cannot put all our eggs in one basket - there is no silver bullet for change, it must happen on all fronts. The more connected the change leaders are the more accelerated their learning is and the faster we move through the eye of the needle.
I do think that there is a way to apply the entrepreneurial mindset to systems challenges - just as Rachel Sinha and Charmain Love identify in their article "Bringing an Entrepreneurial Mindset to the World's Failing Systems". Well, no answers here and lots to think about for me.
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