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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.

Friday 19 April 2013

Socialopoly: Bankers, Social Entrepreneurs and the Value Proposition

We've turned to business elites for advice on governance.  We've tried technocrats, pollsters, spin doctors and yes, bankers.  These are all confident, successful people in their own way.  If success is success and the best way to run government is like a business, then why is it we're losing our status as a global economic superstar?  Why is hiring stalled?  What's not sparking in innovation yet flaring up in mental illness?
If these were the right folk for the job with the right advice for the times, surely we would be making some progress on these fronts - but we aren't.
Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  If the usual suspects aren't producing exceptional results, perhaps it's time to seek out different consultants.
Here's a radical notion - why not seek advice from grassroots social entrepreneurs?  They are business-oriented but equally pro-social.  Social entrepreneurs tend to be more hands-on with people on the ground, too, meaning they have a better sense of the common person's reality than someone who lives Gangnam style.

I know a bunch of folk who put social accomplishment before personal profit; they're out there working on everything from e-governance to education, labour design to mental health.  They have great ideas, but they don't know that bringing those ideas to government as policy suggestions is an option.  They've never been engaged that way before and government engagement isn't exactly something they teach in school. 
Oh - they also come a LOT cheaper than the Gord Nixon's of the world.

Give 'em a chance, government - you'll be glad you did.


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