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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Conscious Capitalism – The Future of Business

     -  Megan McIver, President of Verona Communications

     -  Rob Wilson, The Guardian

In the days of yore, people envied and sought to imitate those with land.  Owning property was seen as the social status symbol.  Having land meant possessing resources, which allowed the owner to attract mates and support large numbers of offspring.  As more people lived closer together (either on their own property, or someone else’s) the opportunity for individual gain through owning a specialized skill set or the means to employ it became the driver of social status.  Wealth became less immutable stuff and more liquid capital.  Personal legacy – the Horatio Alger myth of rags to riches – became the desired brand. 

Now, people live in a complex, multi-level web of social engagements both in person and online.  Everything we do has the potential to be scrutinized.  As the Kings of 20th Century Capitalism adjust to the reality that might doesn’t make right and there are troubles you simply can't ignore or buy your way out of, they are turning to a new generation of entrepreneurs, weaned on a Facebook culture of connectivity and accountability, to navigate this new social reality.  How do we leverage opportunity in a hyper-integrated global economy?  How do we tread the path between personal success and a growing social accountability?

What these entrepreneurs – people like Megan McIver, people like the Centre for Social Innovation’s Tonya Surman and everyone engaged in CSI – get is that this social accountability works both ways.  You will get caught, period, when you do something wrong, but you will be equally recognized when you do something right.  That recognition builds legacy, builds your brand and also leaves you with a stronger, personal sense of fulfillment.

Anyone whose business it is to make money should pay attention.  The social entrepreneur movement isn’t a passing phase - it’s the future of industry. 

Anyone in the business of making policy should equally pay attention – the solutions for today’s myriad of networked challenges won’t come from those pursuing narrow, partisan interests, but from those Conscious Capitalists looking to leave behind a legacy of a better tomorrow.

Welcome to the 21st Century; welcome to the Conscious Society.

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