SOCAP21 Session: The Business of Building a Better World: ‘Hope Is a Verb with its Sleeves Rolled Up’
Times of disruption can forge new perspectives. For leaders in the impact economy, the current global divisions, societal reckonings, and climate crisis present an opportunity to unlock the power of markets to accelerate greater good.
As impact investing becomes mainstream, the decade ahead will be a critical time to realize such great change through collaboration and community. During a SOCAP21 session, panelist David Cooperrider, Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University, said it’s important for changemakers to share their visions of a better world with others to build momentum and seize the opportunity to lead.
“Economies are the most dynamic when they have a mission,” Cooperrider said. “Some are calling this moment not so much a moonshot but an earthshot, not just to underscore the potential dangers but the opportunities to lead. That’s the task — to build that earthshot moment.”
His research shows the importance of involving stakeholders in interactive planning, a concept echoed by panelist Raj Sisodia, Professor of Conscious Enterprise, Tecnologico de Monterrey, who said it’s important for economic leaders to think of business as a way to meet each other’s needs rather than just a way to make money.
“The capitalist model has done a lot for humanity in the last 200 years. … But we have to elevate it, because if we don’t elevate it we will decimate it,” Sisodia said. “We spent the last decade talking about what is the shift that needs to happen … and more and more the question is how.”
As the concept of conscious capitalism gains popularity and traction, he said, we should turn to the power of community where people have a purpose to “give and grow.”
“All the wisdom doesn’t have to reside with the leaders. You can tap into the wisdom of the people in the organization,” Sisodia said. “Everybody matters and everybody needs to win. We have a system that has too many losers.”
But realizing the potential of the current moment requires people to step up in more imaginative and innovative ways, said author and entrepreneur John Elkington.
“What we’re seeing is very clear evidence that all of our systems, our economies, our societies, our politics, our biosphere, all are wobbling in a very concerning way. And all these wobbles are interlinked,” he said. “You’ve got to regenerate the systems that you’re dependent upon.”
The interlinked nature of our economy and society means that the concerns of the global majority must be factored into reshaping business for the 21st century, said Gillian Marcelle, Managing Member, Resilience Capital Ventures LLC.
“When we speak about the ‘we,’ we really need to be careful that we are including all of humanity,” Marcelle said. “Businesses are places where we actually realize some of the best parts of what it means to be human. … Businesses and work are places where we create and shape.”
Watch The Business of Building a Better World: ‘Hope Is a Verb with its Sleeves Rolled Up’
This SOCAP21 session features:
- Moderator Audrey Selian, Director, Artha Impact (Rianta Capital Zurich)
- David Cooperrider, Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University
- John Elkington, Author and Entrepreneur
- Gillian Marcelle, Managing Member, Resilience Capital Ventures LLC
- Raj Sisodia, Professor of Conscious Enterprise, Tecnologico de Monterrey