“I believe in the power of the voice of women.”— Malala Yousafzai
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”— William James
Walking the Walk:
I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a while, occupying both intellectual and physical space in both the education (special needs/Autism) and entrepreneurship arenas. Trying to better balance my own seesaw of humanity and technology; personally and professionally, while contributing to both. Trying to continue the “journey for change” I first embarked on 5 years ago, when I started my consulting company Socially Speaking LLC.
I’ve spent time doing this wearing various hats, and in various boroughs in New York City. I’ve had the privilege of meeting many different people from all walks of life and schools of thought. People coming together because of one commonality and one growing realization:
At the crossroads of education and entrepreneurship is where you find the seeds for social good.
This is something I started to experience first hand when I began lecturing around North America in 2010. That spurred my own growth and the 2012 launch of my Socially Speaking™ iPad App, and my raison d’être for creating The NICE Initiative. It’s why I wrote my business book, The NICE Reboot, and have previously blogged here, for The Huffington Post, and on Tumblr. It’s something I’ll be speaking about in Newark NJ on 1/19/16.
The Truth About Social Good:
Social good is not new, but it is noticeably catching on. More and more of us have realized the importance of social entrepreneurship as a way to change the world and address national disasters. Both education and entrepreneurship are intertwined with social good, now more than ever. This is seen in the growing trend towards online learning and the gamification of the MBA. There is a paradigm shift in education resulting in the creation of student-centric learning. It’s all about creating “learning experiences”. This is trickling down into the startup arena where the rules of engagement are also changing. Good entrepreneurs understand the importance of communication and technology in an almost intuitive way. It’s why for us, digital citizenship is crucial, as is acting like digital natives; no matter one’s age or geographical location.
Social good is the new frontier. It is the invisible country without a map, which knows no borders or time limits, and is accessible to all. Social good is the only true catalyst for meaningful change and overall success; for both the individual and communal pursuits we aspire to. It affects our mindset, especially when it comes to how we pursue entrepreneurship and work/life balance. It should affect our game plan and career trajectory, and should affect our best practices in our ongoing quest to balance our cravings for humanity and technology. The future of world peace depends on it. The future of work depends on it.
So how can one hone their entrepreneurship by harnessing the power of social good?
Here are 3 practical suggestions to ponder as we look towards our journey in the new year…….
1. Use your social media platform creatively and consistently as a sounding board and proverbial petri-dish to promote causes you care about, that can incite social media activism in others.
2. Use your job as a drawing board for honing a diverse and creative skill set of both soft skills and tech skills, so that you are ready and able to more effectively collaborate with others in real time and online.
3. Find ways to provide a product/service to a niche market that will promote good by contributing to the welfare of others, making a real difference. A quantifiable, global, and long-term difference in quality of life for the user. This goes beyond the revered “user experience” and is actually about leaving a self-sustaining legacy.
Wishing everyone a meaningful, joyous, and socially good new year,