About this site
There’s a mantra in my family, which is notoriously good at losing stuff: when you’re searching for something that’s missing, Look Under Things.
So: I really want to start a social business. And it doesn’t seem so hard – just bring a great new idea to the table, network the hell out of it, be charismatic, and people will shower you with funding, partnerships, training and awards. But we seem to gloss over one tiny detail: coming up with the great new idea. This blog is an attempt to document my learning, pondering and whining as I search every nook and cranny - in my head and around the world - for a social venture to invest myself in.
Friday, February 1, 2013
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
3 big, rainbow-colored cheers.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
No one knows better than the employees how effective an organization is, so no one is better positioned to provide constructive criticism. But at the same time, if the people who work for an organization can't even support it, what chance does it have to build a supportive constituency outside its walls? Sure, it's more politically correct to share reservations and concerns with your managers internally than on a public forum. But what happens when you've banged your head against your bosses' office doors so many times that it seems the only way to get through to them is to name and shame?
Do employees have more responsibility to make their concerns public when they have a social cause, or are funded by public money? What about when the issues are systemic and core to the organization, versus small but potentially personally problematic to the employees? (Easterly's gripe was the wastage of billions of dollars of public funds and the lack of social outcomes to dire issues of livelihood... Mine was moving in to an incomplete office space where women were encouraged not to walk to work alone from the bus stop because of safety concerns. You be the judge of what's more important... my money's on Easterly.)
Personally, I think an organization's willingness to accept public criticism, even from employees, is pretty key to making it better. That said, I've never run an organization and experienced my employees ragging on me in a public forum. And at the end of the day, I removed my blog post: better to work to change the organization from the inside than simply picket it from the outside, right? Easterly disagreed and has no regrets... I wonder how I'll feel 10 years from now.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
In 2008, I watched the numbers come in for Obama at 7am from a consulate gathering in India. After swelling with pride for my country for the first time in my voting-age life and taking a few euphoric calls from Kenya, I called home to express my excitement.
The tone of my mother's voice when she picked up the phone took the wind completely out of my sails: she said she couldn't be truly happy about the victory because California's Prop 8 had passed the same day. Coming from a woman brought up in the '50s in a Catholic household in Westchester, not her California-raised hippie liberal daughter, this sentiment reminded me how little the Obama victory actually symbolized a nation moving forward, and how much work there was to be done.
Two and a half years later, mom should be damn proud of her home state. NY has done what CA couldn't do: nurtured a champion of the cause (Andrew Cuomo), organized a coalition of disconnected lobbying organizations, garnered support and muscle across party lines and overpowered the formidable force of the Catholic Church. All this sure seems like it would be harder in an east coast state that contains Wall Street than a west coast state that contains the Castro*... so basically what I'm trying to say is, nice work, New York. California, get your shit together.
Also, a shout-out to my father's employer of 35 years, Xerox, which made a significant contribution to winning the first Republican vote by endorsing the bill. My school's LGBT club does a lot of work to promote and collaborate with companies that support equality for all their employees, and it's nice to see corporations standing up for what they believe in. (Hint hint, Exxon Mobil.)
*Obviously I know it's a bit more complex than this. But it's still embarrassing to be a Californian when it comes to this issue.