One Wild and Precious Life?

Social enterprise is emerging as a brave new economy. Social enterprise represents a challenge to old dichotomies that polarised the charity and business worlds.

Social enterprise is emerging as a brave new economy. Social enterprise represents a challenge to old dichotomies that polarised the charity and business worlds.
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Photo: © Jonathan Robinson

They are positioned somewhere between and beyond the conventional private and public sectors. They are businesses that bring to social problems the same enterprise and imagination that conventional entrepreneurs bring to getting rich. Social enterprises are competitive businesses that are driven by the interests of the community and the environment.’
This extract from Careers Un-ltd, by Jonathan Robinson and Carmel McConnell, demonstrates just why it is a careers guide with a difference. The book starts by asking: tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’ It blows apart the ltd world of work and affirms that you can earn good money doing good things. It tells the stories of pioneers who are being the change they want to see in the world, as well as giving the Rough Guide’ of how you can get there.

Jonathan and Carmel are great examples of this new breed of social entrepreneur. Jonathan describes him-self as a student and fledgling social entrepreneur who has worked on an aid mission in Bosnia, interviewed the Dalai Lama in India, joined anti-corporate globalisation protesters in Seattle, dined with the world’s corporate elite, made a budget film in West Africa and built community spaces out of waste in Soweto.
Carmel says she has spent her whole life being an activist, firstly at Greenham Common nuclear missile base and latterly as a global corporate consultant. Her main interest is in the link between social justice and big business, and helping large organisations to learn and apply greater social responsibility in the belief that consumer trust is the ultimate market advantage. It is an inspirational and practical book with lots of leads to follow up.
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