Welcome to part two of my SXSWi blog series. As a brief recap from my last post, I presented at SXSWi on my book Just Change: How to Collaborate for Lasting Impact. Since my book is focuses on how to inspire leaders across the country to improve their lives and communities, we gave attendees 20 minutes to solve a social change challenge. The FIRST social change challenge was to SOLVE THE DATA DILEMMA. I first wrote about the data dilemma in 2015, which was followed by a deeper data series that you should check out if you want to learn more. The focus of today's blog is the SECOND SXSWi social change challenge- how to do well and do good. For those of you who are loyal followers of my Shared Roots blog, you'll know that I have been writing about doing well and doing good for close to a decade. Whether through my depiction of values driven entrepreneurs or my urge for a capitalist renaissance, I am convicted that one of the keys to continuing America's greatness is to change the way the world does business.
So I know I'm supposed to talk a little more about how awesome it was to have all the beautiful people above at my session to solve social change challenges, but I just have to go on a rant for a little bit. When I started my business six years ago, people kept asking me if I was building a cult. How was I going to make money? Why didn't I just launch another nonprofit? Why didn't I start a foundation after I made money? If you fast forward to today, we now have Melissa McCarthy (who is awesome by the way) doing commercials on how buying a Kia somehow means you are saving the world. And while my husband knows I think Matt Damon is fine as hell, if Stella Artois is a water conservation company, then I'm a monkey's uncle. But I digress.
The point is, doing well and doing good is a hybrid of nonprofit and for profit. It is everything aspirational about being American. Doing well and doing good marries our country's innate belief in meritocracy with our overwhelming compulsion towards justice. We are not always what we aspire to be, but like greater leaders before me, I believe that the arc of the universe bends towards justice.
At SXSWi we discussed several barriers that impede the progress of enterprises that are authentically seeking to do well and do good.
- There is no playbook on how to successfully do well and do good
- Investors fund EITHER nonprofits OR for profits
- Do well, do good businesses are rarely run by leaders who understand the customer
Stay tuned to the next blog post in this series to delve deeper to find out how YOU can solve the do well, do good challenge!