For the last 40 years, we've been sold a lie about how to solve hunger. It's the kind of deception that sounds so right, so convincing, that we don't even ask questions. We've been told that handing out food to poor, struggling people will fill their need and end their hunger. And yet nothing could be further from the truth.
But because entrepreneurship is now under the intense spotlight of society's gaze, this puts a certain duty on entrepreneurs and business leaders in general. More than ever, today's entrepreneurs have a duty to exercise social consciousness. As arbiters of innovation, entrepreneurs -- true entrepreneurs, and not the star-struck wannabes who lack the true entrepreneurial spirit -- are in a prime position to shape the course of culture and society.
Transformational approach, holistic approach, social enterprise -- today it's become trendy to throw around buzzwords about social change. Fortunately, the buzzwords have a concrete meaning thanks to innovators in the not-for-profit world who implemented the approaches in the first place -- long before the jargon existed. These are the original change agents.
With the entire continent engaged in some of the most polarizing politics seen in decades, everyone seems to have one thing in common: Everyone thinks people these days are too easily offended. But they aren't. They're no different than they've ever been. And, as for political correctness, it doesn't exist.
You know what? I'm freaked out about it, too. This is such a big issue in the world and it's easy to freak out about it. Deeply caring about this and wanting to do something to help is the first step in making a difference. So, let me start off by saying you're already making a difference because you care.
As the end of the year comes to a close, industry leaders are already preparing for what's next and refining their 2016 strategies to stay on top of the market. With baby boomers retiring and millennials being the most studied generation to date, market leaders can gain insight from the next generation, Generation Z.
My father, Robert Hunter, had coined the term "mind bomb" as an expression that our greatest tool for revolution was our own consciousness. He believed that mass media (early broadcast media at the time) could help spark that consciousness shift and a societal shift by changing the story of our times. The reality is the tides are turning. Despite the stories of impossibility in the fight against climate change, there are some new stories being written of possibility. It will still take many more of us -- millions and billions of us -- to continue to share these news stories and to create the "mind bomb" moments.
Bell Let's Talk Day inspired active online engagement, attracted celebrity endorsements and the attention of media, all the while raising vital charitable dollars. But a one-day social media event is not enough to significantly move the needle away from ignorance, fear and silence. After all, what happens the next day, and the day after that? Social change requires more than a social media plan. It requires a long-term sustainable strategy. Because in our content-rich, highly distracted world, passion is sometimes overrun by profit, causes are sidestepped by things like limited overhead and the desire to stay current fuels an unyielding need to move onto the next big thing.
"Clicking" on Facebook to save the life of a child in the poorest regions of the world, language that seeps in to pricey corporate social responsibility campaigns online, encourages clicktivism and slacktivism. For any important issue, such as electoral reform, clicking on a petition or 'liking' a YouTube clip doesn't cut it.
There is a global movement where social benefits are seen as outweighing outdated models of public vs. private sector interests. Those part of it are giving rise to a new solution economy, in which there is also a growing recognition that debt-crippled governments can no longer satisfy all of their citizens' wants and needs.