It is the responsibility of our elected political governments to develop an environment that enables growth within a sustainable ecosystem. However, in this blog article, I want to introduce you to an approach that we as individuals or smaller groups can explore to improve sustainability in today’s world. I have spent the past 20 years developing projects aimed to improve sustainable development in Africa. During my work, I came across the term social entrepreneurship. However, my experience has reshaped how I think about social entrepreneurship or sustainable economics.
Why a human-centered economics?
Social entrepreneurship is designed to enhance the community it serves without exploitation of resources in the process of doing so. Read more on our previous blog where we explore more about social entrepreneurship. A social entrepreneur works around the economic structures available today. Economics is today a vital part of our human experience. Our goals therefore should be to approach economics from a more human centred perspective. In it’s deep sense, economics concerns what we create (Give), what we receive (Take), the purpose of this give-take interaction and its relationship or impact to our communities. In a previous blog, we introduced seven elements to developing a more human centered economics model.
Go beyond, deeper to make sustainability natural
Today, it has become so natural to donate and raise funds for charitable and humanitarian causes. It is a recommended approach to solving very crucial problems. However, we must ensure that it does not become a normality and excusable option from our own responsibilities. We must ensure that it is not our get away ticket. I have spent a great time of my life raising funds and encouraging donations to solve social problems. I admire those civil society organisations that do so too and new ones that will arise.
Also companies that have taken to corporate social responsibility a.k.a CSR. These are all well intended efforts, even when they are both very different and distinct approaches. Still I encourage that we go a step deeper to begin to redesign our human experience. With the goal that it becomes the exception to have to donate for social causes or integrate CSR as an element of “Good” into our economic system.
How can you integrate sustainability into your space?
What if we started from the onset to design an economic system were negative social causes are very minimised or avoided? Can we re-examine our work and businesses, redesign it in such a way that generating social value is a natural element of our everyday activity? I know that there is a fulfillment in giving back money without expectations. But also this fulfilment comes from the huge value we have placed over money.
Shouldn’t we design our work that what we call excess that can be given back is an integral commitment that uplifts the ecosystem. Look at the issue here. If a company had 5000 Euros to donate to charity every year, charities now then have to lobby, please, network and maybe compete to continually get that 5000 Euros. Otherwise the sponsoring company can choose a different charity every year. Fair enough. However, the charity that is not chosen is left to find ways to raise that missing funds.
Even the well intended act of running a charity now employs the pressure of traditional economics. I have seen many charities invest in so many things that do not directly serve its purpose. This indirect route to meet the end limits what gets to the end. The means to the end is very crucial. Some non-profit compete against one another, all in the quest to stay funded. This approach to the economic model of “competition” is not healthy for our world moving forward. In a future blog, I will explore more about economics and the model to compete for innovation.
The means vs. the end?
I have seen charities fight world poverty and then invest a good sum of their budget on social media advertising to generate donations. The issue of world poverty is not that we do not have enough to go round everyone in our world, but that ressources and wealth is poorly distributed leaving a large percentage with very little. Now the irony is that investing money in a social media fundraising campaign fuels a significant amount of funds back into the pockets of those who already have enough. It might seem like, no it’s just a hundred euros digital marketing investment, but with thousands of charity around the world, a hundred Euros becomes millions distributed poorly. This is just a simple example that we now consider a normal approach.
If you are a professional responsible for CSR decisions or if you’re an entrepreneur, owning a business, I tell you that there are countless ways to redesign your business to integrate social values that are natural to your model. Social values that truly create sustainable positive impact and growth for the target audience. From your products, services, activities of operation and many more areas, you can change the game.
The first thing here is to go in depth into your one space of expertise. Tap deeper into your own cycle of business. If you produce sport products, become the king of sustainability around sports. If your retail products, choose a structure that enhances sustainable retail. I invite you to explore new ways with us at Joadre on how you can develop your business to create sustainable values and therefore enhance sustainability in your space. Space by space, we begin to reshape our world.
One night to tune into your “WHY”
We are creating our first one night workshop to promote more sustainability for European-based professionals who make crucial decisions that impact others and for entrepreneurs who impact communities beyond their geographical borders. Our focus is reconnecting to the African continent using sustainable values and building long-lasting partnerships that generate respect and synergies for the cultures participating. Our workshop uses micro unconventional events to experience the way of life in Africa because we believe sustainability begins by appreciating the unknown diversity that connects us.
Our goal is to rekindle your connection to your “WHY”, tune into its essence and allow this connection flow to strengthen your business values. If you would like to participate in our one night workshop which will include accommodation and feeding, kindly drop us an email at [email protected]. The workshop is held in Austria, so only those who stay around Austria or can travel to Austria without any formal requirement can be admitted to the workshop. I hope you liked this article. I look forward to your comments and feedback. Not to miss out on our updates, please sign up for my newsletter here. You can watch some of our videos on my YouTube Channel here. Wishing you a very productive week.