Tonight is one of those nights when you walk home and you feel like there are things falling into place, one by one. You can’t say exactly what, nor why – and maybe it doesn’t even really matter.
It’s been one month since I landed in Santiago – a month that’s been dense like 3 months and that passed by quick enough to feel like just couple of weeks.
I’ve been writing already about why I like so much the Startup Chile program and its potential to create change in a unique way, also through the various initiatives that it allows you to set up.
Today for example I was joining for the first time a gathering of some entrepreneurs from Startup Chile Generation 10, whose business are particularly focused on social issues. I was with Luis Bajaña (Cyclemoney), James Shannon (LocalFoodLab) and Christopher Pruijsen (Sterio.me) having an open confrontation on social entrepreneurship in front of a small crew of people, talking about our own projects and also introducing the Hack4Good hackathon that is taking place this weekend in Santiago.
At one point I was impressed by how we were all saying that, no matter how long it’ll take to get some funding or a proper investment – we’re going to bring our projects on anyway. “It’s just needed.”
There was no hesitation in our voices or looks, and it wasn’t the type of situation where you have to try to impress someone. It felt just like the most honest manifestation of the urgency we feel to do what we’re doing. More because of a sense of social justice than a sense of profit.
“We have an ethical responsibility to not do things we don’t want into this world. We are gatekeepers.”
I personally think that it’s important to talk more about social entrepreneurship, to explore more its dynamics and its characteristics. But if I take a look beyond the details, I see one single overall principle that silently unifies any business that keeps in mind the consequences that it creates on a social, environmental, economical or cultural level. A principle that Mike Monteiro‘s sentence expresses perfectly:
this world is going to be about what WE will decide it will be about.
Considering what impact our business is going to have on reality is more that a triple-bottom-line trend, and certainly more than just joining a social-impact-centered program for startups.
It’s about choosing to feel the responsibility of manifesting a certain type of values, with every single one of our acts – or not.
It’s about remembering that our life is our message, and that each of our choices creates an impact, and that this same dynamic scales exponentially when you set up a business: because it will create impact on many different levels at the same time.
We ARE gatekeepers.
And if knowing this is not enough to remind us the importance of what we’re doing (and of how we’re doing it), then I don’t know what else could.