You have likely heard the idiom, “march to the beat of your own drum,” a social metaphor for independence or individualism.
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” — Henry David Thoreau
But, how has this catechism distorted our personal views on the association of community? Community has always been a collaborative effort. But over the last 2-3 generations, something has blinded us to our true nature of oneness. How will we ever recover from this blinding force that has overshadowed our need for one another?
The Connection Economy
As the next Social and Civic Entrepreneurs, it will be your responsibility to help bridge this gap and optimize your collaborative efforts in this new wave of convergence.
in his book The Next Convergence: The future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Nobel Prize winning economist A. Michael Spence, points out that we are in the midst of a reality that will soon give rise to new global players. Technology has leveled the playing field and impacted macroeconomics, culture, politics, and geography through true globalization. (Here Come the New Competitors: John Jullens).
The internet is changing the global landscape. It provides a new opportunity to connect and collaborate in ways that were never possible in past generations.
It's critical that you gain an understanding of this complex, collaborative environment and learn how to leverage it for increased productivity and profitability. You are living in a time that has never been presented to the world before.
A Bold New World
No amount of data that can predict what is possible in your world. You have to invest your time, talent, and assets into what’s most important to you at this moment. You have to exchange your mental burnout for a proper balance, and align your skills with appropriate actions to achieve maximum success.
You have everything it takes to succeed, and if you can’t see that, then you need to get to know yourself better, and uncover the possibilities that lie right in front of you.
Social Entrepreneurs Bridge Divides
Social Entrepreneurs are individuals that can come all walks of life - from business government, education, or other community sectors. Social entrepreneurs understand the new economic realities and are compelled to act on an optimistic vision of how their community can be successful in today's world.
They believe this new economy—global, complex, and fast-changing—can provide unprecedented opportunity for people, places, and organizations. They are go-getters, strong-willed, and relentless personalities that know they can make a difference despite their circumstances or setbacks.
Social entrepreneurs take their regional economy—its opportunities and needs—as a starting point and help communities make positive choices about their future, building the relationships and specialized resources for success. Social entrepreneurs share some traits of the classic business entrepreneur.
Social Entrepreneurs motivate themselves and others to look at their community differently. (Grassroots Leaders: How Civic Entrepreneurs Are Building Prosperous Communities, Henton, Melville, and Walesh).
How Social Entrepreneurs Can Optimize Collaboration:
Building Resilient Economic Communities in Turbulent Times
Looking for New Ways to Transform Their Communities
Understanding a Need for Social Change
Using Bottom –Up Grassroots Success Methods
Revitalizing Urban Areas
Reforming Education Systems
Understanding that Community Development is a Process
Acknowledging to the New Forces that are Transforming Communities
Staying in the Game But Adjusting Your Plan
Your mission as the next generation of “Social Entrepreneurs” is to ignite the spirit of social enterprise in order to restore the balance that has so evaded our communities. You are the bridge-builders who help communities collaborate, to develop and organize their intellectual capital, and to build productive, resilient relationships across the private, public, and civil sectors. You will be the ones that forge the ties that bind economy and community for our mutual benefit.
You Are The Change You Seek
You have what it takes to usher in this movement and produce change. You are the next great “Social Game Changers”. Your talent and hidden potential is about to surface and make “Facebook” look like child’s play. No disrespect to Mr. Zuckerburg, because he is very innovative in his own right, but what you possess has never entered into the heart of man.
“But it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Here are nine common traits to see if you have what it takes to lead your community into this new paradigm of global success.
9 Signs You're a “Social Entrepreneur”
1. You See Opportunity In the New Economy
2. You Possess and Entrepreneurial Spirit
3. You Provide Collaborative Leadership to Connect the Economy and the Community
4. You're Motivated by Broad, Enlightened, Long-Term Interests
5. You Work in Teams, Playing Complementary Roles
6. You Know How To Work With People
7. You Are Constantly Honing Your Collaborative Leadership Skills
8. You Preach About Interdependence
9. You are a Motivator and Influencer
As you really consider and ponder the words of this article, keep in mind that you are at the “Half Time” mark on your journey. “Half Time” is a parable that means you are to take inventory of how far you have come, assess your belief systems, and find your center and stay there.
The times are chaotic and cumbersome but a shared vision of progressive action that fosters community development will help do just the trick. So, put these truths to use and share them with everyone that you know and start preparing for this third leg of your journey. Because, once the fourth quarter come we will raise up 4 fingers like we used to do in High-School football, indicating that it’s Win or Go Home.
Writer: Tyrone Brackens
Tyrone Brackens is a Mentor and Social Entrepreneur. He recent founded DSLAB Technologies, Inc (Center for the Development of Social Learning & Advanced Breakthroughs) which is a Community Development initiative where HBCU (Historically Black College’s & University) students can be trained and mentored in the fine arts of “Entrepreneurship, Wealth Creation, & Philanthropy".
Theme: Sustainable Development Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals