There are a but a few things that can deliver such an epic wave of social good as the creation of machines of social entrepreneurship. Show generations of people how to build their own ‘machines,’ give them the ‘know how’ to effectively and efficiently manage and succeed in coupling business with empathy and we create a seismic shift into strengthening the foundational principles on which this country was birthed from.
In past essays, I have written on the importance to address the needs of urban and rural youth by making skateboarding parks ubiquitous. Skateboarding is an executive function skill-toning activity that replicates the emotional control, grit, perseverance and goal-directed persistence needed in other parts of our lives. Riding the wood planks on rolling wheels in special skate ‘flow’ parks remains a novel, repetitive and fun, Olympic-sport deemed exiting by scores of youth, and an alternative for those who may want to try something different to the traditional sports available in their communities. Bringing strenuous mental and physical challenge into our lives is so important for setting the stages later in our lives on how we will perform in our personal and professional lives.
Recognizing this need and seeing the life skill value in it, I am in the midst of hustling to bring about the American Originals Skateboard League into existence, and am succeeding with great speed. A social enterprise venture, last year it saw the creation of one school and this year that school has begun operating again, with a second one starting in early May in the same county, plus talks with three other towns and centers to launch skateboarding schools there. I am planning a summer tour of skateboarding parks, including one in Manhattan. Nothing worthwhile is easy, but worthwhile ventures as this one are worth it. The goal of the skateboarding league is to teach:
- technical skateboarding to typical youth and those with special needs (differentiated instruction)
- build social peer-mentoring bridges between these typical and special needs youth
- tone and explain the executive function skills being strengthened
- bring members of the community together, irrespective of their socio-economic strata
- to model the uniting of business and civic duty
- send students to the Olympics and Special Olympics to compete in skateboarding
‘Go Big or go Home’
More so than an incredible idea such as the massive start of a nation-wide program to build large, quality skate ‘flow’ parks across the United States of America is building ‘machines’ that generate ideas such as this one. Don’t give people jobs, show them to be job-creators. Don’t teach people just how to be engineers, but to be engineers who know how to market their skills to do social good and also earn paychecks.
A great and constant issue in America is our unemployment and the looming threat of economic recession. It seems that when times are hyped as ‘good’ that the bottom rungs of the working class never really feel that difference. Prosperity does not readily trickle down through a society but is attached to those who persevere in working smart, apply their knowledge deftly and network well with the right kind of others. Prosperity does not just land on people’s doorsteps if those people are not actively working to bring about greater economic prosperity for themselves. In this current socio-economic story system have, millions upon millions of people who do not attain an education beyond 12th grade get locked out of having the ability to manifest a greater economic reality for themselves.
1. Is it possible to level the playing field in creating social entrepreneurship technical schools that go beyond 12th grade?
These programs can start in elementary school, right on through high school and into universities. Civic duty, plus business should be a requirement for all Americans. This is how we get people to change their perspectives on what it takes to really change AMERICA FOR THE BETTER. We need to create generations of people who view the need to bring their hearts, raise their passions and make a buck, while creating jobs for others all at the same time. I believe that given the right guidance and supports and the ‘know-how’ to succeed, we would be, in effect, empowering people to start their own social-economic story adventures of social good.
In creating social enterprise factories from coast to coast and making such private and public schools appealing to the citizenship we can move the socio-economic social story that seems to be a ‘Groundhog Day’ for America… that out of 320 million people, only the top 1-3% enjoy relative prosperity, while the rest live week to week and month to month. What is more, the direction of America is mostly created by these 1-3%. Why not move and shake to do all we can to wake up the fires in each of our souls so that more are manifesting their own destiny in economically positive ways that do good for the community the wallet and each other?
- Technical schools can spring up in neighborhoods across the land,and given stringent standards of excellence, receive government-support like FAFSA, which could help ease entry.
- Private and public universities can create their own Schools of Social Entrepreneurship.
3. Public and private schools for children can begin business/ civic programs that are built-into the academics starting in first grade.
The greatest challenge in the manifestation of wide-spread social entrepreneurship school creation across the land will be the vision and passion people bring to the idea. It is a fine idea to make money with the aim of improving our communities. People are brought out of the ‘bubble thinking’ on how they are going to get rich into how they are going to enrich the community through their projects. The mental health of the people of the land would improve proportionate to those who are effecting such change as the American game changers of business. Scale this social good beyond a national level so that all kinds of people have access to the social enterprise machine that is about helping oneself as one focuses on helping others. The United States of America could export its armies of social entrepreneurs across the globe and our positive disruption would only be boundless. This kind of business is exciting.
I believe there are a great many of us who want to see a change in the social American story (and that of the world) and bring it not back, but forward closer into what it was meant to be… a place where dreams are possible. Where consistent and focused smart work, applied knowledge and a perseverant spirit are the tickets needed for success.
Our Mayflower ancestors who shared a special dinner hundreds of years ago with our other ancestors, the North American Native Americans and realized that divided and focused on our own selves we will fall, but united in gratitude seeking the safeguarding of the welfare of each other we shall stand. These pilgrims and people of the land understood that we are all connected to each other and the land. Was their thanksgiving dinner fancy?
Yes, it is possible to live your whole life just minding your own business. But what is it all for? How much did you love your brother and sister? If great power was given to you, what did you do with it to make things better for others? We don’t need to throw our money away to do social good that lasts, we just need to bring our intellects, with willing and able hearts to making smart moves that trailblaze empathic, civic-minded business models.