There is no question we are living in turbulent times. From Brexit to the election of Donald Trump change is afoot and a whole lot of it is unsettling. Although this brings additional uncertainty for socially conscious entrepreneurs it also provides new opportunities to exercise important leadership.
As old systems rumble and shift, there will be increased opportunities for innovation and new life to push up through the cracks. Identifying and developing those opportunities is the purpose of the New Economy for Social Innovation (NESI) Forum taking place in late April in Spain.
NESI is bringing together nearly a thousand business, government and thought leaders from all over the world to think through and work to lay the foundations of a new economy, one specifically designed to serve the common good.
Such an economy would be in stark contrast to our current situation. Katherine Trebeck, who will be a speaker at the NESI conference, outlines the flaws in the current model in a recent article. She notes:
Eight men control as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population, while 1 in 9 people go to bed hungry and others see their living standards stagnate. As the richest 10 percent of people create almost 50 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, we are facing the sixth mass extinction and dangerous climate change. These statistics illustrate the profound unfairness generated by economic systems geared up to increase GDP and by those businesses that are geared up to maximize short-term returns to shareholders.
NESI Forum is a project of the Global Hub for the Common Good, an open and participatory think tank aimed at catalyzing the transition towards a more sustainable, fair, collaborative and people-oriented economy. It is co-organized by the main international networks of the New Economy, such as RIPESS (Social & Solidarity Economy), the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), B-Corporations and Sistema B, Ouishare, Economy for the Common Good, Transition Towns, International Alliance for Localization, Initiatives of Change as well as other important partners such as the New Economics Foundation and the Schumacher College.
Also called “the Davos of the new economy”, the NESI Forum will focus on key topics such as moving beyond a limitless growth economy, reshaping banking and finance, conscious consumption, philanthropy in the new economy, democratizing energy and the role of media and social media in the new economy.
With many major governmental institutions and policies in serious flux there has never been a better time for social and eco-entrepreneurs to step out of their everyday work routines and into serious leadership. Besides, given the current political climate couldn’t you use a few days spent with totally positive, forward-looking entrepreneurs and new economy advocates who are stepping outside of fear and status quo and getting real about designing the future?
Consider the current instability from the perspective of a caterpillar. During its incredible transformation and evolution, while in the cocoon, as the caterpillar’s body begins to break down it starts to produce what are called “imaginal cells”. These cells are so foreign the worm’s immune system attacks them. That kills some of the imaginal cells but it also increases the overall disintegration of the status quo caterpillar body. Despite the resistance the imaginal cells keep coming and at the point of maximum disintegration and upheaval of the caterpillar body the new cells begin clumping together and eventually realize they’re now a butterfly!
The purpose of the NESI forum is to bring together new economy imaginal cells so that we can find our wings.
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