‘We must get away from the us versus them mentality’
Collaboration and shared purpose in the new world of business
Monday, September 10 - Kristian Partington
The necessary transformation to reshape economies and rejuvenate communities will come by combining the ideas and ideals of the pioneers of socially-responsible industry and the next generation of social entrepreneurs.
Social Venture Network executive director Deb Nelson says “large corporations that are truly committed to environmental responsibility and economic justice will have a crucial role to play as well.”
“We’re all in this together and we must get away from the ‘us versus them’ mentality,” Deb says, noting the most powerful institution in the world is business, and the way we approach business must change in order to revive the natural environment and create a more economically-just society.
“I happen to sit at the center of a community that is creating businesses with a primary goal of building a more just and sustainable economy,” Deb says.
Business with social-purpose in mind is a movement whose time has come, and Deb finds hope and inspiration in the passions and talents of a diverse group of bold entrepreneurs and visionaries coming together in ways never imagined under old business models.
‘Us versus them’ was the mantra of old business, along with ‘profit at all costs.’
Collaboration and shared purpose emerge in this new approach, and in large part is what fuels its growing momentum.
She points to the upcoming SVN Fall Conference, to be held in Rye Brook, New York Nov. 14-17, as a prime example of business people coming together to share experiences and successes to help each other succeed while pushing the boundaries of imagination and creativity in their fields.
The common denominator is that everyone wants to contribute to a better world for future generations.
“SVN members, they created their companies because they wanted to contribute to a more just, sustainable and humane world, and so they lead with their social mission,” Deb explains.
When these people come together, the possibilities are unlimited.
“We can float the craziest of ideas by each other and see what sticks, and we can also be really honest about not only what’s working but what isn’t working,” Deb says.
“That’s one of the beautiful things about SVN members: they show up with the good, the bad and the ugly — they share it all.”
But it isn’t just ideas that will change our economic course for the good; it’s the ability to translate those concepts into tangible actions, and by sharing space with like-minded entrepreneurs and business leaders in an open and honest forum, such as the conference, Deb says SVN members are able to capitalize on the collective knowledge of the entire network.
“They’re not just incredibly brilliant visionaries that are courageous and brilliant and risk-takers,” Deb says, talking about leaders she works with. “They’re also people, who know how to make things happen, and that’s what created this sea change, this massive shift in consciousness.
“And people have started noticing.”
Click here for more information on the Fall Conference, and if you have any questions or comments related to this story, feel free to contact 800-294-0051, ext. 24, or e-mail kristian(at)axiomnews.
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