First, there's most people. Most people respond to the onslaught of global problems by tuning out, drowning in distractions, or adopting an attitude of cynicism or apathy.
Next, there's many people. Many would like to take action, but feel overwhelmed, don't know where to begin, or feel like problems are just too big to solve.
Then, there's some people. Some people react with more destructive, and counterproductive, approaches to their otherwise very real frustrations.
But finally, there’s people like you. People like you are finding ways to respond with creativity, energy, and even optimism- tackling local, national, and global problems with powerful ideas and new tools. People like you are seeing problems that are being ignored or mishandled, or blatantly exploited by traditional institutions, and they are creating new solutions.
The good news is, you're not alone. And so many creatives, changemakers, and trailblazers have found ways to respond with creativity, energy, and even optimism. They're tackling global, national, and local problems with powerful ideas and new tools.
Because while technology, the spread of information, and our organizing capacity has given us more destructive ability than ever before, it has simultaneously unlocked more constructive ability than ever before.
The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind. It belongs to the creatives, communicators, peacebuilders, dreamers, and healers.
Bill Drayton, the father of social entrepreneurship, calls this person a changemaker. Changemakers see patterns around them, identify the problems in a situation, envision a better way, create new solutions, lead collective action, and continually learn and adapt as situations change.
And with the cascade of crises, the world needs your gifts more than ever.
Social entrepreneurship is a relatively new and rapidly evolving field. And in this new economy, people with purpose prevail. Because this new economy is built on the shoulders of people who refuse traditional metrics of success, combining different fields in new ways to create bold solutions.
Blake Mycoskie used trendy beach shoes to save kids lives in Argentina, by stopping deaths by preventable diseases, and creating a business model that forced us to rethink the way we think about Capitalism.
Veronika Scott designed a utility coat that turned into a sleeping bag, which also created jobs for homeless.
Daniel Lubtezky created a popular snack food company that sourced its products from conflict regions, fostering interdependence and economic diplomacy, in order to build a little bit of peace in the middle east.
New business models are breaking boundaries between business and philanthropy, and building bridges between purpose and profit. And social entrepreneurs help others envision new possibilities, appreciate their meaning, and recognize how they can be broken down into doable steps that build momentum for change.
A lot of people still inhabit the world of following rules and repetitive skills. And millions of people don't feel they can take control of their own lives. But with the cascade of crises, and the impotence of traditional institutions, the need for change (and changemakers) is urgent.
The field of social entrepreneurship is improvising its own ecosystem of support by stimulating more change-making as it grows. Because as you create solutions, you'll inspire others to create solutions too. Social entrepreneurship is, therefore, contagious. And every person who creates solutions emboldens others to pursue their ideas and create bold ways forward.
Our hope is that this work begins to spark your excitement, expands your sense of possibility, and even points you in the direction of your own path.
Positive change might strike some as a burdensome responsibility. But it will call others (like you) to greatness. Because change starts with people like you.
"Remember that no one is born a changemaker. It is something you become when you see a problem, and dare to be a part of the solution." - Melinda Gates