Social entrepreneurship in relation to the buzz word sustainability is rapidly becoming the new sexy of our time. Interestingly enough, social entrepreneurship, and the vastness of definitions associated with it, all appear to have a common goal: the creation of a symbiotic framework promoting both business and social health. This trend has increasingly grown primarily due to the negative economic and educational climate in the nation. A simple focus shift brought upon by the insights provided from our current experience will not alone create the desired frameworks.
To clearly outline some of the major difficulties or challenges for approaching this mind state, we must view social entrepreneurship as the creation of a culture within a culture and examine the complexities associated with that context. For example, there is a strong “entertain yourself to death” and “consume till you die” cultural flavor ingrained in some of our youngest and oldest minds. Acknowledging this brutal fact is necessary when constructing an approach for human redirection. Until we are introspectively honest and critical, traction will just be a word.
Another major challenge when shifting frameworks, is the habitual urge to attempt to solve new problems with old framework methods. In addition to this urge, there are sight blinders associated with all paradigms and cultures. Thomas Khun’s work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions touches on this aspect in the following way, “Moping-up operations are what engage most scientists throughout their careers. Closely examined, whether historically or in the contemporary laboratory, that enterprise seems an attempt to force nature into the performed and relatively inflexible box that the paradigm supplies”. (pg 24) We must attempt to identify the parameters of our paradigms and be flexible enough to diverge from them when necessary.
Quite often individuals repackage old ideas with new language and technology in order to broadcast and promulgate them as newness, fully knowing they are advertising brass as gold. So as we watch business and social sector practitioners and theoreticians attempt to squeeze these frameworks together, we must filter these experiments critically. Which puzzle pieces should remain or be reshaped?