Are you making a positive impact in the world?
Do you need help with your initiative?
Let’s start from the start and see why is it important to take action and connect with people who can help you make an impact. Right here. Right now.
Back to the future
It may not be the end of the World, but it is indeed end of the World as we know it. End of cheap oil means end of business as usual. Cheap oil was what made our economy and way of life, what allowed us to live miles away from food, water, work and use transport as a joker option for every question (Future Money Trend 2011). Long story short, it is what allowed us to import cheap goods from China and to consume…to consume more…to hyper-consume.
A reality check
The peak oil, the fact that we don’t have seven more Saudi Arabias, the strong Occupy movements, the economy based on exponential growth and unsustainable resources, the increased sustainability awareness… all speak volumes that we need to change the way we have been living and doing business. For the entrepreneurial minds this means that we have the opportunity to create solutions and creatively adapt to a less energy intensive world.
Mission Possible: Local and Shareable
On the bright side, there are many initiatives that bring sparks of hope that we as society can change the direction of development of the broken systems and restart a different, resilient and thrivable world.
Thanks to the social web, we can share anything with anyone anywhere in the world (The Sharing Economy Fastcompany 2011). Sharing may be one way to challenge the culture of hyper-consumption.
Collaborative businesses such as Zipcar, GetAround, Air BnB allow sharing cars, space, tools… These new models not only question the mass consumption, but also contribute to building trust, which is the (lost) glue for a thriving society. Moreover, the sharing economy opens tones of opportunities to innovate the business model and redefine the way you can add value to your business and to the world.
The coworking movement is becoming more intensive. It allows people to share office space, collaborate and spend less on supplies and materials. What is even more important, coworking stimulates the values of community, openness, collaboration, sustainability, and accessibility (Global Coworking Blog 2011), which define a brave new world of coworking and coliving.
A nice initiative for making the coworking movement visible is the Jelly week, which aims to mobilize all coworkers during one week in January 2012. This can help you identify coworkers near you.
Overall, the democratizing power of the Internet opens opportunities for fast and accessible action and innovation.
From democracy to do-ocracy & The Small-Mart revolution
The real challenge is to go beyond democracy. Put differently, it means going from giving everyone a right to have an equal say in decision making to giving everyone a right to start an action and make an impact. 7 billion beginnings.
Today people are empowered more than ever to do things and make change happen. The Small-Mart revolution voices start of local initiatives and businesses.
Speaking in the language of entrepreneurs, this means that the options for taking action and redefining the form of doing business are multiple. Local value driven enterprise, Social Enterprise, B corporation… what really matters is to be a change agent in any form and to maximize the positive impact you can make. Right here, right now.
Pact for Impact
Yes. Impact investing is one more reason why now it is the right time to rethink the type of business you want to start. The capital is becoming more ‘conscious’ and investors have a more holistic approach in assessing the investment. They look beyond the financial ROI and take into account the environmental and social impact.
This reaffirms that making change and meaning become more important than making money. From entrepreneur’s perspective the miracles happen in the intersection of money and meaning. Then the opportunities are multiple. An example is Social Capital Markets – SOCAP
Connect: Connections are the new currency
The currency for social entrepreneurs and change agents is connections.
Why play alone, when there are thousands of people who have knowledge and resources that can help you?
A great place to start connecting with people that are making a positive impact in the world is GroAction, an exclusive network of change agents and social entrepreneurs who want to help each other succeed. The network matches change agents with other members who can help fill their needs, which range from knowledge, social connections, and financial capital. Simply put, all you need to start making an impact is just behind the corner.
It’s change o’clock
Think. Play. Do. And make an impact. Here and Now.
Yes! It is really up to you.
Irena Efremovska is part of the GroAction team. GroAction is a private network of vetted social entrepreneurs and change agents founded by Luke Miller Callahan. Both Luke and Irena are MSLS students.
If you or someone you know is making a positive impact in the world, direct them to GroAction to help them do it more efficiently.