Good & Gasp #1
Encore-Stagers, Toil-o-preneurs, Impact Investing Bubbles
Themes that caught my attention, interest or made my eyes roll while roaming the web world of doing good:
- Encore Fellowships – how to use the potential of OLDER people, instead of YOUNGER people
- Toil-o-preneurs – innovations in solving worldwide sanitation problems
- Civic responsibility – how to get Americans to find public jobs “cool” again (if ever)
- Impact Investing troubles and bubbles – are we on an impact investing bubble since nobody seems able to find all those financially juicy deals that we’ve been promised?
- Good (Business) Generation Gaps – discussion on the shift in generations towards doing more social good (btw, this was a “gasp” for me)
- Interesting article from Civic Ventures on what to do with the “in betweeners” in their 50s that are neither young nor old, and who have an interesting in spending their time with something related to “giving back” (even doing good?) – examples include a mom applying along with her daughter to Teach for America
- The latest idea seems to be to offer these “encore stagers” fellowships on a stipend, which many have really enjoyed
- Question is now, how do we leverage this potentially massive movement further?
- Interesting article talking about the tremendous need for sanitation solutions in India, among many places, but also the cultural challenges in implementing those solutions of social entrepreneurs dedicated to restore dignity especially to women who lack reasonable toilet facilities in most slums. After all, nobody wants to really talk about toilets – ever.
- How do we scale these sanitation solutions given the need for systemic development, not just placement of toilet facilities without the service component? How do we get people in slums to pay for this service (many don’t want to)? How will education efforts pan out for these products?
- Taproot Foundation’s Alan Hurst argues on SSIR’s blog that social entrepreneurship is fine and good, but in order to really make a difference, he wonders how we can engage more people and talent to the public sector that really does the bulkwork of “social stewardship” in defending the institutions and ideas upon whom social entrepreneurs rely.
- How can you make working for the government cool? I pointed out in a comment that this was a somewhat U.S.-centric view, since in East Asia (like Japan and Korea) there is no particular stigma or looking down on public sector people, who actually enjoy quite good standing in society and definitely are more enthusiastic about their jobs than their U.S. counterparts.
- Kevin Starr from Mulago Foundation’s and Johanna Mair each discuss aspects of implementation challenges with impact investing (and I happily chime into the conversation)
- Mr. Starr wonders how we can make the “do good and do well” premise really work for those financially interested investors, given that his foundation does 95% philanthropic grants despite wanting to engage in the “investing” part of “impact investing”
- Ms. Mair reports from her chairing the Global Agenda Council on Social Innovation, a collaboration by Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the World Economic Forum, and the looming realization that we may be on to a “impact investing” bubble (it blew my mind to see projections of impact investing supposedly being a $500 billion market opportunity)
- David Jones, CEO of Havas, delivers a perfect example of what I consider an article that adds absolutely nothing new or insightful to the conversation of generational differences between “traditional” and “do good” entrepreneurs because it stays extremely superficial and repeats a lot of cliches – and of course, being on Fast Company brought it +250 Twitter hits!
- “Gasp” is the right reaction when I read about how businesses need to bring more “professionalization” to the social sector without a word of how this is supposed to happen and without acknowledging any possible tension this kind of simplistic attitude has caused for many years already. Also, a typical belief business people repeated here is that without making money, “social change will remain a niche activity” – I am not surprised why nonprofit and philanthropy folks go bonkers over these kinds of statements, knowing exactly that it is not possible for many social change organizations to be simply businesses.
- And yes, I did add my gasping commentary. I mean, how could I NOT call him on it, if his article is titled “How to solve the good business generation gap” without actually proposing any solutions??? urrr, so angry…