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Thursday, October 30, 2003 - 08:42 PM

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Community ThrivabilityExcerpt from Social Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalism, by Coolmel, March 2007

"Wikipedia defines social entrepreneurs as “someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change.” Ashoka describes social entrepreneurs as “individuals with innovative solutions to society's most pressing social problems.” The keywords here are “social problems” and “solutions.” In short, social entrepreneurs solve social problems (such as poverty, unemployment) to create a wide-scale social change without anticipation of substantial financial profit. In its attempt to define social entrepreneurship, the Stanford Social Innovation Review put it succinctly, “Social entrepreneurship signals the imperative to drive social change, and it is that potential payoff, with its lasting, transformational benefit to society, that sets the field and its practitioners apart.”

Conscious capitalism on the other hand is “creating a new paradigm for business,” to make corporations and businesses “conscious” about how they conduct their business. This includes infusing corporations and businesses with spirituality, corporate social responsibility (CSR), adoption of the triple bottom line (3BL) and other ethical business practices. In short, conscious capitalists (or business people engaging in conscious capitalism), put values first before profit. It's capitalism infused with “soul.” However, conscious capitalists are not necessarily recognized as entrepreneurs until they become “successful” with their business (see SSIR for details). And while conscious capitalists can also be social problem solvers, in general, conscious capitalists are exploiters of opportunity (or opportunity seekers) with a value proposition of gaining profit for themselves and/or for their investors, shareholders, and stakeholders.

Therefore, the main difference is: Social entrepreneurs are primarily (social) problem solvers without regard for profit. That's why many social enterprises are not-for-profit and have their grassroots planted in developing countries; While conscious capitalists are primarily opportunity seekers operating under the paradigm of conscious capitalism... "

©2007 Zaadz


Excerpt from Ken Wilber's Foreword to Conscious Business by Fred Kofman, September 2006

"Conscious, Business, Spirit. Three interesting words, yes? Words not often put together in one sentence, let alone an entire book. I wonder what they could all mean, hooked together like that? Business, let's start there. Business means... business. The dictionary definition, dry and prosaic, is "occupation, work, trade, commerce; serious, rightful, proper endeavor." Sounds serious. Conscious means "having an awareness of one's inner and outer worlds; mentally perceptive, awake, mindful..."

...So "the spirit of conscious business" might mean "the essence of awake or mindful work."

That starts to sound interesting. Still, I wonder exactly what "conscious" or "mindful" might mean, especially since under "conscious" we found the provocative phrase, "aware of inner and outer worlds."

Integral Business

Conscious business¬óbusiness that is conscious of inner and outer worlds¬ówould therefore be business that takes into account body, mind, and spirit in self, culture, and nature. Put differently, conscious business would be mindful of the way that the spectrum of consciousness operates in the Big Three worlds of self and culture and nature. This means very specifically that integral business leadership would use the tools that have been developed to best navigate and master self, culture, and world...

© 2003 Shambhala Publications

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