Social entrepreneurs must learn to think ‘local global’
Thursday, March 14, 2013
In January last year, I was awarded funding by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to explore how social entrepreneurship builds better communities. By the summer, I had excitedly lined up a number of meetings with youth enterprise agencies, technology businesses and women’s development groups. In October, I was New York bound and geared up for a six-week trip which, at that time, I thought would show me how social entrepreneurship was really done. That was my personal hypothesis anyway.
Now, I’d picked some rather lovely destinations and it felt like the trip of a lifetime. New York, Toronto, Rio and San Francisco, in six weeks. In those weeks, I was set to meet 35 people, to film them and ask them to share what they do, why they do it and how they measure the impact of their work. I got on the plane to New York, thinking, “It’s a tough life.” The irony here is that the six-week trip was the hardest journey I’ve ever made. The realities of poverty, healthcare inequality and threats to human rights that hit me in each place I visited threw my whole way of thinking out of the window from the moment I arrived.