I landed in San Francisco late Saturday for the SOCAP pre conference Accelerator experience for Entrepreneurs. First day, we did speed dating, instagram video making, and visualization meditations at this cool permanent HUB of startups in downtown San Fran. I could have stayed free at a hostel, but am dreaming big now, so I went for a booking.com deal when I first learned I won the spot here. I got a great deal on the Westin a couple of blocks away. Magically, circumstances evolved that landed me in one of their beautiful preferred suites on the 18th floor. The view is amazing in every direction.
More incredible even than my perch above the city is the gratitude that I feel to find myself in the midst of the amazingly creative social entrepreneur. Remarkable, bold people, envisioning solutions for sustainable fuels, solar energy packs for rural hospitals, turning dirt into bricks for building adobe homes. The problems we face are so plentiful that even as I sit and listen to the solution makers, I am aghast as the life and death planetary problems that are waiting for solutions.
I had no idea that the coral reefs demise was in part linked to the harvesting of tropical fish for American aquariums. Who knew they used cyanide to catch the fish? I became convinced as I listened to the collection of voices from around the world that if things were ordered differently and investors had to be approved by entrepreneurs, the value question would be settled once and for all and we would all collectively be the beneficiaries.
Even as I sit amidst all the classic projections of return on investment, I resist the challenging constructs that demand proof of value in basic and ultimately financially viable models of lifting up the down trodden, providing basic resources, food and medical care to the millions who were left behind in the futuristic and dysphoric technical revolution that defines daily living in the West.
How do we make world poverty issues feel as personal as the health crisis of our sister, neighbor or friend?
My mission at Good Clean Love has expanded into an urgent wake up call of the dangers of petrochemical lubricants on sexual health around the planet. Although I don’t know exactly how to proceed as the main conference opens up tomorrow, I feel confident that allowing gratitude and intention to guide me will bring me to exactly the right people.
Hanging out with rooms full of people looking for a better way, spending their time and resources to make things better in places most of us wouldn’t vacation to, clarifies for me who should be the leaders in this evolutionary challenge that the world is presenting in a million ways. I am relieved that there is a tribe of us. Impact investing is about letting the leaders lead.
Can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow.