A bible for social entrepreneurs in which experts in the field of social entrepreneurship share their experience, knowledge and wisdom as to how to innovatively solve pressing social issues.  

 


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Dear Friends and Family:

After 17 hours of travel, Laura and I arrived safely yesterday and were warmly by Karen Tse, International Bridges to Justice, at the Geneva Airport. We then took the train back to the center of Geneva and transferred to a second train which brought us to the village in which Karen, her husband Alex and their two boys Noah and Nathaniel live, Versoix. The train brought us up Lake Geneva with incredible views all the way of the distant snow covered Mount Blanc - far more magnificent than the pens ever were - that dominates the visual background as we made our way up the lake. The Wong Tse's then fed us and sent us off to bed where no sooner than we closed our door, glorious sleep arrived.

Today, we took the train back to Geneva having gloriously slept in until 9 AM, and with no guide other than our wits, found the train back and  met Karen and the IBJ crew.

We were introduced to the close to 20 IBJ activists working in the Geneva Office and then Laura launched into her "Game Jam" process with about a dozen willing participants.  The Jam was to produce the intellectual concepts around creating an educational game design that would help train the next generation of IBJ JusticeMakers, dedicated to ending pre-trial torture in the countries they served.

Breaking into two groups, Laura skillfully facilitated the highly animated and vocal  groups through the process. What emerged was why we had come: an integrated team effort that would creatively and innovatively launch the project. It felt like a great and successful way to begin our work here in Geneva.

Following the Game Jam we met with one of IBJ interns to discuss a Graphic Novel competition they had been developing. Having begun the Game Jam  methodology, the Graphic Novel Competition around ending pre-trial torture now had a structure from which it too could proceed. Our expertise in designing book competitions proved to be of great help here. As with all of these opportunities, our conversations and work around them has just begun. But it is important to let you know that even on this first day of our interactions, how crucial your love and support has been.

We will keep you posted on our work and send pictures captured from the field.

Thanks for helping us make it to Geneva. More to come.

Love,
Ron and Laura

 

Gamification in Progress
A blog by Laura Sanderford



Eager and intelligent, creative and ready, knowing and expectant. Suddenly, one staff member makes a suggestion and that unleashes a cascade of ideas, thoughts, and interactions. Emergence has occurred.


Watching the interns and staff members of International Bridges to Justice fully engaged in a creative project is amazing. For me, there is nothing better than seeing people realize how smart and creative they can be. In this case, creating the structure of a game using IBJ's curriculum and principles gives them that opportunity. Seeing the staff pull from their knowledge of what IBJ does and blend it with gamification principles is an exciting and important moment.

This new world we live in is all about the fastest most effective way to exchange and receive knowledge and activate understanding. Stacks of papers and piles of books sitting on a desk to be read are no longer the most effective way to do this.

How can one effectively demonstrate the complexities of such a dire situation as pretrial torture around the world? Creating a game, to be played online, is one way. Especially when you consider, according to GeekWire,1.2 billion people play games and 700 million of those are online.


In the middle of the game jam, one of the staff member shouts, "We must make players go through the first level playing each of the characters involved in the situation before they move on to level two. They need to assume the roles of policeman, judge, lawyer, prosecutor, and victim. That is the only way to experience and understand multiple perspectives. The others agree whole heartedly.


Shifting our own perspective can come more easily when we "walk a mile in the other's shoes." Role playing in a game helps achieve a deeper understanding of what each of these people are experiencing, creating compassion within the player as well as a willingness to shift from all too often stuck perspectives.

Another intern calls out; "There must be a consequence if the player doesn't do a good job. They need to see that the victim they represent will be adversely affected when the player doesn't learn and apply the laws and procedures needed to successfully help their client."

"Every time a mistake is made, it could increase the jail time or fine of the victim."

"That sounds good."

Tying the player's decisions to tangible consequences is a powerful suggestion. If one doesn’t pay attention to the procedures and laws learned during the game, poor choices are made and the victim suffers. Through the game, this makes the player understand how inattention to details can impact a victim's life in real life situations. This could translate into longer jail time, a higher fine, or even more torture.

The hours I spent listening and observing the IBJ staff during the game jam left me inspired. The interns and staff members at IBJ were and are incredible. Their hearts are fully engaged in completing IBJ's mission to end pretrial torture and establish the rule of law around the world. It is a huge task, but they all believe it is possible. Belief combined with intelligence, passion, and a strong direction is a powerful combination. The game they designed is an effective tool that can be used to teach IBJ's curriculum and expose people to the complex interaction of a system of injustice that needs to be stopped.

When Karen Tse, founder and CEO of IBJ came in to see the progress being made on the game, she said, “I can see policemen, lawyers, and judges playing this game and getting a real perspective of all the other folks being impacted. It’s awesome.”

Laura

 

Geneva, Switzerland

This business of ending pre-trial torture and assuring due process of law is not only high-pressured and intense, every moment of delay increases the suffering of others. Yesterday, I was brought two proposals that addressed the needs of the country of Liberia, which after 14 years of civil war has found its judicial system in shambles. What that means is that outside of the capital, Monrovia, there has been a reversion to “traditional” means of justice with no due process of law. The punishments meted-out are often barbaric and rarely just.

There’s no room for tired, jet-lagged, or distraction. Finding words to describe these situations and pressing needs is driven and filled with responsibility for people and conditions that are not only difficult to imagine, but unfathomable within our own experience. One cannot be callous in the face of this suffering. And yet we are, have been and continue to be. It is so easy to idley sit and sip a latte and enjoy the pristine, lakeside vistas of this beautiful city, bathed in the carefree sunshine of the day. The words must be found.

There is no luxury in the work Karen Tse and her young cadre of interns face during their day. This is challenging and demanding labor. I wrote an introduction for a proposal yesterday for a film competition for which IBJ has been invited to apply, offered by Sundance and the Skoll Foundation. And it made me think about all the mindless film production being developed to distract us from the world around us. And it was clear how difficult the process of change really is. And still the words must be found.

We do what we can do. We try to protect our own. We expect decency and sanity. But the world doesn’t always show up decent and sane. The only answer I see is to develop our mindfulness so we can meet this world as it is and not how we expect or want it to be. Simultaneously recognizing that in the authenticity of that meeting, with our hearts open, we can transform, and be of benefit to others.

Think of another with your heart open. It sounds so simple.

 

An Emergent Aventura Extraordinaire

When Karen Tse invited my wife, Laura, and me to work with her world-class social entrepreneurial organization, International Bridges to Justice (IBJ), as part of our Creating Good Work Initiative, we were truly honored. It was not just that the work IBJ was doing to end the use of torture as an investigative tool had been heralded far and wide as a hallmark of humanity. It was also the emergent impact it had on the lives of millions who would inadvertently become ensnared in a government’s willingness to sacrifice its humanity for expediency. It is a thought worth the reflection.

During the final days of our nearly month-long International Bridges to Justice journey, our Aventura Extraordinaire, on the banks of Lake Geneva, Switzerland, my mind was blown by the enormity of this effort Laura, and I had advertently stepped into. I had a feel for the work being done by IBJ but, after our few weeks with them, that feeling had become tangible and transporting. I had not just been moved by the experience, I had been taken to someplace beyond what I had ever envisioned. It’s a place I love to be.

Ending torture as an investigative tool is not inconsequential work. Because of its success, IBJ has mixed all the ingredients necessary to bring about a cultural shift for future generations. Working in 42 countries, this is pragmatic labor that is tectonically shifting the continental thinking of those believing in geographic maps.

Unfortunately, the solidity of inconceivability ravages the possible. It is this unwillingness to see beyond what we think, now, that keeps us from ending suffering and shifting the world in which we live. That much is clear from the work being done here which is innovative, bleeding-edge and visionary.

This is not meant as a condemnation of those comfortable with the world as it currently exists. Rather I find it to be a personal challenge to that comfort. A personal choice to see that comfort as being an example of my own intransigence to what feels inconceivable, but which actually is quite fluid and constantly shifting. An open heart to the adjacent and possible.

By recognizing that fluidity, I find myself eager to remix the formula, reformulate the ingredients into a porridge that is not only healthy and wholesome, but far more easily consumable by those who haven’t had the benefit of (not to mix food metaphors too badly), drinking the Koolaid. I guess I haven’t just had a sip of IBJ, but have taken the full baptismal dip. Come on in. The temperature is just heating up.

Our weeks here were filled with finishing up a number of million dollar proposals: one to the Finnish government dealing with justice rights for LGBTI and women and children, another for the folks at TED talks, still another for the Skoll/Sundance Stories of Change opportunity. Giving meditation instruction to all the interns and employees and then making the connection to situational and environmental awareness to those IBJers heading into dangerous locations. And finally launching one of my original intents for making this trip, to interview about 20 of IBJ’s 59 leading JusticeMakers located in those 42 countries around the world, from Boliva to Russia to Indonesia, in which they are having an impact.

This work to end torture as an investigative tool requires a 24/7 focus. This is evident in the midnight phone calls from founder Karen Tse upon her arrival in Myanmar, which had already been reinforced by the daily calls from her while on a week’s well-deserved vacation. Her singular attention somehow doesn’t relax on a beachside resort. I’m not sure it can when you realize that there are people around the world who have no other champion other than IBJ. If this work doesn’t get done, think of all the pain and suffering that will continue and continue and continue. Finding an end to this human catastrophe is possible, but the same level of thinking that got us here, ain’t going to dig us out. But a deeper level of interaction among hearts may.

Within the Buddhist perspective, heart and mind are the same, so what emerges out of an interaction of hearts that are ready for the meeting. Creating opportunities for this deeper level of interconnection is surprisingly part of IBJ’s answer. In addition to their on-going and highly successful ground work, IBJ is in the process of building the JusticeHub. According to the TED Prize documents being submitted by IBJ, Karen was a finalist two years ago, JusticeHub is an integrated platform for the exchange of global justice solutions. By interconnecting the worldwide justice community, JusticeHub will enable real-time information-gathering and emergent collaboration on both the local and global scale. Part Wikipedia, part GitHub, connecting people to create and improve open-source software, JusticeHub serves as a central nervous system for a vital, interactive ecosystem of justice. The JusticeHub is the great emergent “force multiplier” affording efficiency and effectiveness in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)16, which addresses peace and justice.

Ah, UN SDG 16. IBJ’s journey is not without its rewards; in 2015, the UN made justice rights one of its global Sustainable Development Goals, in part because of IBJ’s influence. This goal speaks directly to justice rights in countries from Asia to the Americas, and challenges transgressors to restore and honor them. The movement IBJ launched 17 years ago, is now being led globally by this intrepid group of people holed up in these cramped offices located in one of Geneva’s more colorful neighborhoods. To be clear, in this famously multi-ethnic city, colorful has everything to do with ambiance and nothing to do with that multi-ethnicity.

Which, to a certain extent, describes IBJ’s approach to justice. It is for everyone, not just those who can afford it. If you believe that providing access to justice and ending torture as an investigative tool is important, IBJ can always use your financial support – www.ibg.org. But it can also use your willingness to act.

Catalyzing good work is what Laura and I intended when we launched our Creating Good Work Initiative. If you feel so moved to benefit others then get up and act. Complacency only allows for injustice to accrue. It’s part of the reason why we’re up against these situations today. We’ve gotten way too comfortable in our own little cocoons to want to risk being open to the plight of others.

There are few more satisfying things to do with this life than being of benefit to others. There are lots of opportunities to do so, plenty of need that can benefit from the knowledge, expertise and wisdom that you possess. And the profound effect that can emerge from taking that action is just one step away from where you sit right now.

We learned a tremendous amount from this Aventura Extrodinaire. We couldn’t be more appreciative of the generosity of those who helped us with our crowdfunding effort to make it here. That deep appreciation also extends to the open welcome and amazing work of those here at IBJ. Creating Good Work is something we can all choose to do. The people here at IBJ know that and are acting on it. May their work be an inspiration for others to step directly into the world and meet it with their open hearts.

 

Building Resource - A CGW CSRwire Blog

By Ron Schultz

Ten years ago, a social entrepreneurial effort that provided an innovative and effective solution to a pressing social need could eventually find appropriate support, funding and recognition for their work. Foundations and investors slowly recognized the power of these new opportunities and the creative thinking out of which they emerged. Once this new model gained traction, acknowledgement and dollars flowed. This access to capital allowed these organizations to reach more people, do even more effective work, and grow the potential of their efforts. Today, things have changed significantly. For many of those now maturing organizations, who are still doing brilliant work, it has affected them to an even greater degree. What has changed is the sheer number of social enterprises now competing against them for an overwhelmed investment pool.

Measuring impact and its accompanying impact investment protocols have not clarified the situation, but muddled it even more. Part of the reason is that we are often demanding measurement of activities that require evaluation rather than mere quantification. But more on that and the resources and long term perspective needed to make such evaluation meaningful, in another post. For now, a growing community of social entrepreneurs vying for a tightly held investment and donation pool has meant that mature efforts are continually forced to cut through the chafe to keep doing the work they have done so successfully.

One such organization is International Bridges to Justice. I have mentioned this organization and its leader, Karen Tse, often in my posts, and for very good reasons. The work IBJ is doing is extraordinary. Ending torture as an investigative tool and implementing due process of law as a systematic part of the criminal justice system is not just a noble pursuit. It is a human necessity to create societies in which fear and aggression are replaced with the rule of law, and principles of behavior are adhered to that protect all of us. IBJ has been leading these efforts in over 30 countries, and it is work that is truly making our world better.

But like other social entrepreneurial organizations that have spent the last decade effectively developing their skills and sharpening efforts, the way forward - toward reaching more - is not a foregone conclusion. Targeting the most vulnerable and unsympathetic people, living in the most underdeveloped and precarious economies in the world, and continuing to provide them with resources and services year in and year out is not a model destined to build vast wealth. But then, Karen Tse didn’t found IBJ with the goal of starting an NGO that would evolve into an economic powerhouse. She founded it to solve a problem. And IBJ has been focused on doing just that. Now, her competition for funds means that not only does her organization have to persevere through the cultural, bureaucratic and governmental red tape to end torture, but she has to compete in a marketplace that has been flooded with well-meaning, yet often untested programs.

In an effort to provide greater public access of funding to organizations like IBJ and the Creating Good Work Initiative have partnered to set up a dynamic project-based relationship. It includes a modest crowdfunding effort that will bring these two organizations together to magnetize, inspire and train the

next generation of the JusticeMakers/public defenders who are at the heart of IBJ’s work. All the money raised by this crowdfunding effort goes directly to fund the work at hand. It will mean that IBJ can expand its programming and ensure the protection of due process rights for more people than ever before.

This isn’t simply another fundraiser. It’s an innovative opportunity to reach a wider network of both new and old supporters. This group crowd-funding event is a great way to support IBJ. This campaign can be found at XXX. Full instructions can also be found at the site. Your participation can make a significant difference in the lives of some of the most desperate people in the furthest reaches of our globe.

Perhaps, it shouldn’t be too surprising that some of the best run and most effective social enterprises are constantly struggling to raise funding, especially during this economically challenged time. But the issue remains. In this particular marketplace that is saturated with worthy organizations, all vying for the same limited resources, creating good work means that you have to rise above the competition. This is as much about what an organizations does as how it reaches and develops a supporter base. The swirl of impact investment confusion hasn’t made this task any easier.

The challenge facing organizations like IBJ that are working in places where no one else will go, is not only to tap into the consciousness of a broader donor base, it’s about shifting cultural thinking. We don’t have models that both break the mold of fixed ideas to solve social problems and address work that most would prefer was kept hidden.

The answer may come in a willingness to deliberately disrupt the design of the organization itself. Refresh the model in a way that is not simply adding a new coat of paint, but recharges and revitalizes the organization from within. It took great courage to launch an operation like Karen’s a fifteen years ago and perhaps even greater courage is needed to re-emerge from the crowd. But when the objective is to end torture in places where the practice is deeply entrenched, it should be all of our responsibility to see to it that Karen and her colleagues have everything they need to do their work. This is more than just making a difference in the world, it’s about demonstrating the depth of our humanity.

With that as the call to action, we should all easily ask, “How can I help?”


 

 

Ron Schultz leads a session on Mindful Action & Intelligent Fearlessness at the Skoll World Forum. Come explore how the practice of meditation and mindfulness can help us cut through our fixed ideas about the world.
 

Creating Good Work launched its TradioV online Television/Radio interview program on May 18th 2016.
By Ron Schultz
This hour-long interview program, initially aired live, was designed to benefit social entrepreneurs and business enterprises dedicated to creating good work in our communities. What is good work? We define good work as those business efforts that are truly of benefit to others, solving social problems, and which are about building local economies rather than extracting from them.
 

Creating Good Work:
Ron Schultz speaking at the Social Enterprise World Forum 2013 in Calgary, Canada.
 
Creating Social Innovation Collaboratives:
Shifting From 'Scale' to 'Reach'
By Ron Schultz
I have spent the last dozen years of my life dedicated to the world of social entrepreneurship and helping social entrepreneurs become more successful in their endeavors. And, if you ask my very patient wife, it has not been as financially rewarding as it has been Karmic-ly worthwhile. But make no mistake; it has been incredibly worthwhile and rewarding work.
 
Creating Good Work: Forbes Magazine Online
How To Build A Healthy Economy: Q&A With Social Entrepreneur Ron Schultz
By Esha Chhabra
Ron Schultz has collected the wisdom of over a dozen leaders in social entrepreneurship in his latest book, “Creating Good Work—The World’s Leading Social Entrepreneurs Show How to Build A Healthy Economy.” Written by the minds behind Benetech, BRAC USA, Root Capital, SecondMuse, Share Our Strength, and YouthBuild, Schultz says the chapters come together to form a “bible for social entrepreneurship.”
 
Creating Good Work:
Ron Schultz on How Social Entrepreneurs Are Building a Healthy Economy
By Mike Hower
Creating change on any scale is challenging enough, but doing so for the good of society is even harder. Facing difficult odds and large-scale social problems, social entrepreneurs are driven to produce measurable impact, opening up new pathways that unlock society’s full potential to effect positive change.
 
Creating Good Work:
Rugged Collaborationism
By Ron Schultz
What would compel someone like David Haskell to lead an organization that is willing to go into the most dangerous places on earth to see to the needs of those trapped in those locations? What drives a woman like Karen Tse to end torture in 32 nations by training local public defenders to uphold the humanity of those accused? What inspired Bart Weetjens to even think he could train giant rats to sniff out land mines in Africa and then accomplish this task saving thousands of lives threatened by this treachery?

In cases like these, there is great darkness across the lands in which these social entrepreneurs work, but the good news is they often cast a very bright light into the recesses of the worlds they encounter.
 
Creating Good Work:
The Kindle version is finally available at Amazon!
At Last! Creating Good Work is out in Kindle format. Go to http://amzn.to/YrQoi5 and download a copy today. Write a review.
 
Creating Good Work:
Social Entrepreneurs Must Learn to Change Before Affecting Change in Business
By Ron Schultz
Creating Good Work – The World’s Leading Social Entrepreneurs Show How to Build a Healthy Economy had a rousing launch a couple of weeks ago at the annual AshokaU Exchange, held in San Diego, CA. The event, bursting with youthful exuberance, brilliance and amazing social entrepreneurial efforts, was a testament to the growth and vitality of this industry...
 
Creating Good Work:
The Collaborative Framework: From Social Contest to Social Body
By Carrie Freeman and Michael Karlberg
The last century has witnessed an unprecedented expansion of economic activity. Yet the material prosperity generated by this activity is enjoyed by only a small portion of the Earth’s population, and extremes of wealth and poverty are growing. 
 
Creating Good Work:
Seven Principles: Developing New Social Enterprises with Benetech
In the fifth post in the series Creating Good Work, Jim Fruchterman explains Benetech’s model for matching social needs with profitable efforts.
 
Creating Good Work:
Identifying Commonwealth-Building Healthy Economies
In the fourth post in the series Creating Good Work, Schultz examines the Organizational Commonwealth as the foundation for both sustainability and profit.
 
Creating Good Work:
Shifting The Unshifting – The Course Of Social Innovation
In this third post in the series Creating Good Work, Ron Schultz examines how real change for good really happens.
 
Creating Good Work:
Review - Jeffrey Hollender reviews "Creating Good Work"
"Social entrepreneurs are committed to a goal that neither our government nor big business has been willing to take on—the building of an enlightened society. It’s the job of these special people who want to leave the world a better place for those who have yet to be born. The book provides practical, hard-won advice for how prospective and even in-the-trenches social entrepreneurs can do just that.
 
Creating Good Work:
Shambhala Times Article on CGW
It turns out that the Creating Good Work book was inspired by the whole notion of creating enlightened society. Ron expressed that what he found most interesting was that the people who read advance copies of the book picked up on that right away. “Creating enlightened society is ultimately the driving force of the book,” he said, “but it’s also another means of reaching out into the community to help create enlightened society through creating good work and social innovation.”
 
Creating Good Work:
Bringing Good Capital Home with a Living Economy Fund

By Greg Wendt And Ron Schultz

When was the last time you asked a financial advisor to put your money in a financial fund that would support environmental and social concerns only to be met by a blank stare, because the advisor had no knowledge of that such a fund existed?

Or perhaps you went to your advisor and said, “I’d like to invest my money locally, in small businesses that are struggling here in our community and help them improve our local economy. Do you have a fund that will do that?”

 
Creating Good Work:
A New Series on Social Innovation by Social Innovators

By Ron Schultz

When the editors at CSRwire asked me to write a blog series based on my forthcoming book,Creating Good Work – The World’s Leading Social Entrepreneurs Show How to Build a Healthy Economy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), I suggested that we invite the 20 other contributors who collaborated with me for the book to join me in these weekly discussions.

They readily accepted.

 
 
 
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