21 May, 2011

Social Enterprise

Today's blog post is based on my own navel gazing as I seek to find ways to earn a livelihood, whilst solving social and/or environmental problems. For me there is no such thing as work/life balance.......it is all LIFE.

My problem seems to be more economic: I have a floundering social enterprise.

It does not cost me much to keep it ticking over, but it is not returning on my investments of time or money either.

Simon McKeon is amongst other things the Chairman of the CSIRO and a board member of World Vision. He is also Australian of the Year.

Simon was engaging & interesting. He said lots of things about including women, aging populations & people with disabilities & disadvantages into the workforce......but the workforce he described seemed quite entrenched in modern paradigms.

He was hopeful that using genetically altered plants to produce omega 3 fatty acids was going to reduce dependence on wild fish stocks. Simon seemed to think GM is a really good idea. I am not so sure.

There has been a lot of talk in recent years about Corporate Social Responsibility. I struggle with the concept of business who are seeking to be socially responsible when their core businesses &/or mission statements are socially destructive (like fossil fuels or tobacco or industrial food).

I have not refined my concept of a Social Enterprise but I am seeking models of enterprise that are a little different.......I am looking for ways that I (and others) can meet our humans needs and/or provide for our dependents & achieve social objectives.

I love the work that Food Connect are doing. My challenge (for myself) is to find commercial solutions for environmental problems. I would love to be part of a business that employs stay-at-home parents, semi-retired professionals & people with disabilities.

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