Accelerate your entrepreneurial journey.

In the United Nation’s World Economic and Social Survey 2013, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs stated that “unless human development and environmental protection goals are integrated, they will remain in competition, jeopardizing both sets of goals.” How can we reduce global income inequality, lift over 1 billion people out of extreme poverty, and reverse environmental degradation simultaneously?

This complex issue requires a fundamental shift in how we approach economic development. Governments need to harness the power of public-private partnerships to align human development and environmental protection goals. What follows is a three-pronged strategy to help us pursue sustainable development.

Eban Goodstein, Director of the Bard Center for Environmental Policy, spoke at the Scoville Memorial Library on October 26, 2017. His talk focused on tribalism, sustainability, and the future. He illuminated how climate change became a divisive, party-line issue.

As recent as 1990, 70% of Democrats, along with 70% of Republicans, agreed that the government U.S. government was spending too little on the environment. However, movement conservatives eventually began working to unite free-market and social conservatives by designing a series of loyalty tests, one of which was opposition to environmental regulation. This loyalty test implied a capitalism v. climate dilemma, reinforced by the liberalization of environmentalism, that led people to believe that combatting climate change required government control of the economy. Is sustainability inversely correlated with capitalism, or is there another story?

Do you struggle to formulate and articulate valuable, unique insights? Are societal conventions controlling what you share with the world? How do you break free from the cycle of social conformity and emerge as an independent thinker?

Creativity comes from engaging in divergent thinking, a process of exploring many possible solutions, and making disparate connections, which means putting together seemingly unrelated puzzle pieces. Divergent thinking is correlated with curiosity, persistence, risk tolerance, and nonconformist tendencies. If you would like to embody more of these characteristics and add valuable, creative insights to the world, then you should continue reading. Otherwise, please stop now, and remain within the comfortable confines of your conventional thinking.

Would you rather be a social entrepreneur or an impact investor?

This question may sound ridiculous. Both types of people are advocates for change, and they work to make the world a better place. The roles are often interchangeable, especially in the financial sector. Furthermore, entrepreneurs often gain wealth and graduate into investing. So why does it matter?

On Thursday, September 21, 2017, the headline of the New York Times Business Day read "The Start-Up Slump Is a Drag on the Economy. Maybe Big Business Is to Blame." With new firm creation at over a 30-year low, here is what dirty hippies can teach us about revitalizing the American economy.

Timothy Leary 101: Intro to Turning On, Tuning In, Dropping Out

"The idea that entrepreneurship is a meritocracy is a myth." Ross Baird bases his debut book, The Innovation Blind Spot, on the premise that capital fails to flow to the most innovative and useful new ideas. Instead, he argues, "money flows to the ideas that are the most convenient to find or the most familiar."

According to Bloomberg and BlackRock, over $50 trillion in potential investment capital is sitting on the sidelines. Billionaires, alone, are holding $1.7 trillion in cash, according to CNBC. By mobilizing $1 trillion of this capital, we can restore the American Dream, while simultaneously solving some of the most pressing global problems.

Fiduciaries have a responsibility to increase beneficiaries’ options, acting within contributors’ constraints. This means that fiduciaries must act in beneficiaries’ economic best interest, while minimizing risks associated with externalities. In addition to generating economic returns, fiduciaries have a responsibility to minimize environmental, social, and governmental (ESG) risk factors by generating ESG returns.

One of the best reasons for starting a business is to multiply the value you provide the world. Entrepreneurship is an excellent mechanism for making a positive and scalable impact on society. Here are some key elements for value multiplication through business:

5-Step Design Thinking

Successful entrepreneurship starts with design thinking. This problem-solving method is rooted in human-centered design. Feedback plays a critical role in the process, which begins with empathy. Design thinking is a five-step cycle that should be repeated continuously throughout product development.

1. Empathy: Engage in perspective taking to understand your target markets needs by asking questions and gaining ground-level experience.

Follow these steps and you will develop your entrepreneurial skills, while establishing yourself as a leader:

Observe: Take note of how leaders in your life perform. How do they motivate you and their other followers? How are their organizations performing? Where could they make changes to improve organizational performance?

Branding from day one - the way of the mindful marketer

A start-up, today, may or may not have started to think about developing its brand. If it chooses to do so, there are three simple yet important questions that come up.

What do our customers and prospects really value?

The State of Status in Society

Are you insecure about how other people view you? Join the club. Whether we like it or not, we are all status-seekers in some ways. We worry about our job titles, our companies’ reputations, and our salaries. Sometimes we fret over the clothes we wear, the size of our living spaces, and the cars we drive. Striving to be viewed in a positive light, we work tirelessly to elevate our social standing by acquiring symbols of status.

Impact Investing: Will Your Business Pay for Success?

Pay for Success (PFS) is an innovative new funding mechanism that is used to finance social-benefit projects with high-quality impact metrics. PFS projects are popping up in every sector from homelessness, to healthcare, to education. New models prove that PFS projects can be used to stimulate investment in commodities, as well as workforce development. What impact will this have on the private sector? Will your business Pay for Success?

Peruvian Commodities:

The Common Fund for Commodities unveiled a Development Impact Bond (DIB) to modernize cocoa and coffee production in Peru’s Amazon region, the Ashaninka. This first standing commodity-sector DIB breaks into a new frontier of Pay for Success (PFS) possibility.

Want To Be Bold? Be Selfless.

Why should you take risks? If you are afraid of personal failure, it may be time to start thinking about the people around you.

Taking risks becomes much easier when you prioritize other people. Unless you take risks in your career, no one can learn from you. Additionally, if you are striving to serve others, your mission can override any sense of self-doubt or insecurity.

“Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world.” –Grateful Dead (Eyes of the World)

Entrepreneurship starts with vision. It is all about identifying that people want. Make a habit of pinpointing problems, and over the course of your life, you will be illuminated with countless ideas about how to change the world.

An occasional evening at the office... for brand storytelling.

"Safe to brag to friends about." How does this sound for a restaurant's tagline? A just-about-medium-sized thing in a suburb that is very sure about what it puts on the plates. We are talking about claims here. As the old saying goes, "You've got to name it to claim it." Which means that we have to be able to make a claim that's special, interesting, attractive, fresh, and unique and still be credible, relevant and make a point.

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

Social entrepreneurs increase equality through the profitable sale of goods or services directly to poor or underprivileged populations.  These products enable customers to unlock capital, which generates quantifiable change in society.

Social entrepreneurs generate revenue, seeking to create business models that are self-sustainable and profitable in the long term.

Growth Hack: Venture Travel

Are you looking to grow your entrepreneurial or artistic venture? Look no further than venture travel. This innovative networking framework employs community-connected hosts to provide business opportunities for visiting entrepreneurs and artists.

Here is how it works. If you are a musician from California, you may not be familiar with venues, studios, and music networks in Washington, D.C. What do you do if you want to work in Washington? Simple, you sign up on Entreprenavel to stay with another musician who can show you the ropes. Your host can connect you with gigs, help you form promotional partnerships, and introduce you to potential collaborators. Community-connected hosts help entrepreneurs and artists tap into new markets by introducing them to the right people.

Locals Aquaponics

Frigid winds whisked sheets of snow through the blustery New York night. Feet of snow piling upon her doorstep, Nadia Robinson tended to the carousel propagation chambers. In her indoor grow house, plants and fish thrived in a symbiotic relationship, typically reserved for wetland ecosystems. Testing the waters of aquaponics, Nadia found her entrepreneurial niche during her final year at Syracuse University. This was the future of the community food movement, the front-line defense to fight food insecurity. This was Locals.

Almost three years later, Locals is based out of Washington, DC, leading the Capitol Community’s charge to reclaim its food supply. Comprised of partners and programs, the Locals network functions as a collaborative ecosystem. The business works with community organizations, local distributors, and partner agencies to offer fresh organic produce to health-conscious consumers.