SOCAP 2014 Highlights

Last week I attended the Social Capital Markets conference in San Francisco, and was unexpectedly a featured attendee in the “SOCAP Stories” series. When I was asked about my favorite aspect of the conference, I told them I most enjoyed reconnecting with a community that I care about and support. I loved seeing so many friends and colleagues, learning about positive work that people are doing and share the latest about my projects.

I’ve attended several SOCAP conferences in the past, and always learn more and more about business models, finance, platforms and projects and find ways to apply the newfound knowledge to my work. I heard a lot of wisdom too, and what I found most inspiring were the nuggets of wisdom from a panel with Konda Mason of Impact Hub Oakland. The panel was called ‘The Heart of the Entrepreneur.’

Beyond having basic needs met (clean water, food, shelter, etc.), people feel wellness when they experience four things: community, life purpose, connectedness to nature, and generosity.

I love the last one of generosity. When we give first, we feel joy and satisfaction. Your generosity can change the tone of everything around you. When you give first, others follow. If you take first, they will follow your lead. Of course you don’t want to have others take advantage of your generosity, and that is fine… but give first and you’ll see the conditions and opportunities around you change very quickly.

The key to our health as a society and ecology is the depth to which we understand our interdependence. Our ecosystems, our financial markets, our food, our health, our whole way of being is interdependent. My actions have ripples that affect your world, and your actions have ripples that affect mine and everything else as well. That makes you a pretty powerful person.

In order to be a successful leader in this interdependent world, there are three qualities of understanding that a leader must have — a deep knowledge of suffering, of altruism, and of courage. One must look directly at suffering with true empathy, and have the courage to do what is right for the bigger picture.

Because as Gandhi said so well, “Earth provides enough to satisfy everyman’s need but not enough for any man’s greed.”

Huzzuh! Even if you already knew all that I just shared, it’s a nice touchstone, isn’t it? Thanks for the reminders, the education, and the amazing week, SOCAP. It was a blast.


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