All entrepreneurship is social entrepreneurship

Most entrepreneurs start out wanting to make their own version of a dent in the universe.That’s the appeal of entrepreneurship: take a risk to start something new, and be rewarded with category disruption, wild financial success, paid speeches, magazine covers, and the like.

Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick, the co-founders of Uber, were no different. Having both come from successful startups, they were familiar with the sacrifices needed to be successful. Famously, Kalanick said they aimed to grow Uber “at any cost.”

Dents in the universe by definition displace one thing in favor of something else. Whose responsibility is it to consider the social costs of disruption?

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Your customers want you to engage on social issues. Are you ready?

The Super Bowl has historically been the place where brands have debuted their big marketing campaigns for the next year, capturing viewers from what is still one of the most-watched events in the U.S. The past few years, those campaigns have included stark stands on social issues: from Audi on women empowerment during last year’s game to Dodge making a connection between its Ram Trucks and public service the other week.

The problem? Both of these ads came off almost immediately as inauthentic, and lead to an online backlash. Audi was immediately called out for how few women actually work at the company. And Dodge debuted its campaign with a distasteful voice overlay from Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Why social controversy is creating a massive shift in branding and leadership

Business as usual is dead.

Many once held as industry innovators and lions in their arenas are now falling like dominos, and their dismissals are finally shifting the terrain of acceptable business conduct between women and men. Prominent media figure Mark Halperin is the most recent to lose not only his latest book deal from Time but also a lucrative series with HBO based on his political writings. Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective just cut ties with another prominent male based on news that surfaced about prior allegations of sexual misconduct. Amazon Studios’ Roy Price just had to resign under the same allegations. And the list will only continue to grow after the wide-spread news of film executive Harvey Weinstein’s decades long sexual harassment of countless women.

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Forbes | How The Explosive Social Issues Of Race, Reform Are Pushing Brands Into New Digital Territory

Today, even the most casual conversations now contain a deep infusion of socio-political perspective and, often times, heated passion. People previously uninterested politics and social issues are now reading POLITICO and The Hill right alongside their favorite business, beauty and sports publications. This information flow is then wildly accelerated by the digital echo-chambers of various tech platforms that then absorbs the collective thought, mashes it up, promotes it, deconstructs it, and creates a veritable never-ending cycle of exchange between a variety of new and effervescent subcultures and voices on the current state of the United States. Diversity. Immigration. Sexual harassment. Racism. Climate Change. No one is safe, and anyone or thing can become the day’s hottest digital target in a flash.

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Inklings of Better | The story behind #StandWithAleppo

A Syrian brain surgeon and two women in Chicago unite to stop a humanitarian disaster.

This past weekend, I stood outside Terminal 5 at O'Hare, protesting along with thousands of other Chicagoans the treatment of Muslim immigrants and refugees by the current administration. As we enter a dark stretch in this country's treatment of refugees, I wanted to get a first-hand account of someone who's been an advocate of those fleeing Syria, and how she used online media to shine a spotlight on the tragedy.

Wendy Widom is a two-time Emmy-award winning social media manager at CBS 2-Chicago, and the co-founder of #StandWithAleppo, the highly visible online advocacy campaign. Wendy and I have been exchanging messages about her experience. Read more below.

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Introducing the personal impact canvas

If you’re like me, the past month has caused a bit of an existential crisis — and made you fired up and ready to do something.

But if you’ve never been involved in the kinds of fights you’re interested in, it can seem overwhelming. I’ve had many conversations over the past few weeks with well-intentioned people who see big problems and a big, intimidating white space before them in terms of where to start.

Read more on Medium →

Read More | President Obama: We should be proud of what we've achieved

It's because of people like you who have stepped up—in ways big and small—that progress over the past few years has been possible. And as we roll into the final months of President Obama's last term in office, it's going to be up to folks like you to help make sure we aren't held back by those trying to stop progress.


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