I confess. I have expectations of you. After you’ve read this book, I hope you kick injustice in the ass. More than once and really hard.
You and I are called to the big challenges of our time. Unquestionably, we’re each privileged to answer the call differently, but we are called. That’s why you’re reading this book. That’s why I wrote it.
This book is about powering up your social justice career, about being the best social change agent we each can be. If you’ve already found your social justice job, great. Maybe you haven’t. Either way, we are colleagues. Let’s talk about the intoxicating joy of social entrepreneurship, social change and social justice.
Social entrepreneurship is a career of mind-blowing satisfactions and mind-boggling self-doubt. At some point in our social entrepreneurship – actually, at many points – we each wonder if we fit in, if we are doing enough, if we are worthy. No matter how small or insignificant you or I might feel on any given day – even if we are just getting our careers underway, even if a hurtful defeat has set us back – your unique life perspective matters, but not uniquely. Everyone matters.
At this moment in your life, maybe social entrepreneurship is not for you, and that’s totally cool. You alone will decide when you’re ready for the serious, soaring work of improving your part of the world.
The Unfinished Social Entrepreneur is a reminder that you and I are kindred spirits. We belong to a global community of ordinary citizens, activists, students, social entrepreneurs, businesspeople, artists, philanthropists, scholars, scientists and policy-makers — all of us working in concert to combat the disgrace of grinding poverty, social injustice and environmental degradation.
This book is a book of conviction, but I am not here to lecture you about our global humanity and shared challenges. If your conscience does not move you to action, nothing else will. Nonetheless, social entrepreneurship is a career term proudly owned by changemakers with progressive views. In the places where I hang out — “to social entrepreneur” means fighting sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, racism, militarism, environmental degradation and economic exploitation.
Each essay tees up a canard or challenge – a provocation, if you like. Each is a reflection, almost a meditation, on a topic of disquiet for me. In many parts in this book, I’m unable to offer answers. You might find that frustrating, disconcerting, unsatisfying. At the end of the day, neither of us is released from the responsibility, and the fun, of independent exploration or critical thinking. No one has all the answers. Some days, I’m not even asking the right questions. It’s a cause for humility, not for halting.
I want you to know that I’ve written the best book that I can. It might not be the book you deserve, but it’s the best that I can do. In these pages, I’ve been as honest with you as my inhibitions allowed. I’ve tried to be a truth-teller, sharing what I’m thinking and questioning.
I tell a few stories in this book. But the real story – the only story worth telling – is the one you will write for yourself.
The Unfinished Social Entrepreneur is finished. The work of social entrepreneurship is not.