the pursuit of POWER…
What is real power and where does it reside?
When boiled down there are basically four pillars of power… People, Governments, Religious Movements and Corporations. All are guilty of abusing their power! Whilst many might argue about which of these has the greatest power, I believe it’s business in its many forms that carries and imparts the greatest influence around the world and unfortunately not always for the greater good!
The current landscape…
Society as a whole and therefore business included are adversely impacted by the enormous social and financial cost of not addressing the important human issues that divide and alienate us as a global community.
Primarily due to our short term thinking and our focus on ‘SELF’, People, Governments, Religious Movements and Corporations have not been able or willing to deliver a solution to our humanitarian challenges.
Whilst there are many people and organisations working tirelessly to make a positive difference in the world, the sad fact is that as a global community we are making very slow progress in addressing inequality, poverty, oppression and most other humanitarian & social challenges.
Progress is painfully slow!
This is the case primarily because the prevailing corporate business model is designed to foster and promote self-interest which is all too often mirrored by individuals. This business model coupled with the ‘trickle down’ economic strategy that dominates capitalism and the democratic political agenda is simply that – a pathetic TRICKLE! Centuries of violence, oppression and suffering with no end in sight supports this and demands we find a better way.
Business itself is essential but what form of business do we want. As the saying goes “Business is Business” so unless there is some form of collapse in the current capitalistic framework the reality is that the current business model is not the entire solution.
There is ample money, resources and technological tools available to solve most if not all of the social and humanitarian challenges we face. The issue is that for many opportunity is just a dream!
How can the Balance of Opportunity be changed ?
Whilst business can be a major impediment to social justice it is also the solution! The balance of power can be altered by using the existing business model but in a modified form.
Community Enterprise (“profit for others”)
What is Community Enterprise?
A Community Enterprise is a viable and secure business that is 100% owned by a registered Charity, it operates professionally in its own right but with a modified ‘community connected’ management model. This new management model is inclusive, transparent, ethical, and has an alternative compensation and employment strategy to promote a nourishing community environment, both internally and externally. It is a corporate citizen of the highest value, due to its specially designed working environment and the allocation of its profits back to the community. A percentage of the profits from these professional community enterprises are kept to enable the establishment of new businessess with the balance being used to sustainably fund the most effective community programs that are successfully addressing important community and social issues
This funding model should be a part of all ‘non-profits’ armory, in addition to the traditional donation/grant based funding model.
Where to now?
The philanthropic community should consider this new funding strategy and direct all or part of their donations to Community Enterprises instead of never ending donations. This is philanthropy to the power of 10
Existing Not-for-Profits and Charities, that are able, could add this new funding strategy to their existing donation/grant based funding model.
Donors from around the world should consider making donations to charities and not-for-profits that are implementing this effective and sustainable new funding model.
Currently there are tens of billions each year being donated to charitable causes, services and programs. This money gets spent and then needs to be found again each and every year. Is this really sustainable?
there is a better way!
Effective Community programs and causes need adequate sustainable funding – and community enterprise can deliver this.
Once implemented this strategic funding model will have major direct benefits as well as many indirect benefits. The overriding major direct benefit is that effective community programs will be delivered in a sustainable way, achieving their desired outcomes and delivering positive social change.
Some other important benefits are as follows:
In time this funding model has the ability to fund many programs and services that are currently the responsibility of governments.
Due to the design and purpose of Community Enterprise they will employ not only more people overall but also more disadvantaged people than a comparative traditional business. This will provide enormous ongoing community benefits and positive outcomes.
Community Enterprise stakeholders will be happier and more fulfilled in their work, which in turn will have a positively impact on their private lives.
If you begin to remove inequality, poverty, oppression and other humanitarian & social challenges you will diminish the drivers of conflict, hate, violence and suffering.
Commercial enterprise often talks up the benefits of competition, imagine what will be possible when commercial enterprise itself has real competition – now that’s a conversation worth having!
Just imagine what the world could look like if we adequately and sustainably funded all the important and effective community programs and services – WOW what a world we CAN have!
The solution to a better world is simple – the journey is a little more challenging
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