I developed a course four years ago called Global Forces in a Changing World. It was very exciting building that course because I had access to much information, and I selected the world forces that seemed to be the most powerful.
Now that I have taught the course a few times, I am experiencing an uneasiness. It took me a while to identify the cause of this uncomfortable feeling, but recently I think I made a breakthrough – and this relates to social entrepreneurship.
My course focuses on forces that are carrying our world to places without much intention. Yet, these forces are in motion, and we humans are along for the ride. What is ironic is that WE are what put the forces in motion.
Examples of fascinating forces that are changing our world are:
- Increased access to advanced technology nearly everywhere in the world creating opportunity for even poor countries to successfully compete
- Different stages of development placing nations in different situations regarding economic competition, such as advanced nations having an expensive labor force that encourages outsourcing to less developed nations with less expensive labor forces
- Reduction in resources along with increasing world demand driving costs of those resources higher and increasing world competition
- Modernization reducing differences between nations, a force making us similar to one another
What strikes me about the course I have created is that first, it is correct in identifying world forces, but second, my course seems to imply that we individuals in this world are so small that we are at the mercy of these mega-forces.
I think to some extent we normal people are at the mercy of some of these forces. But what my course is lacking is discussion of forces that show how common, everyday people can make this world a better place.
Through discussion with my Chinese friend and teaching colleague, Fu Run Feng, I now realize that “social entrepreneurship,” another of my interests that I have been working on totally separately from my global forces course, is a noteworthy global force that changes our world in a good way and in ways over which we have control.
This seems so obvious as I write this, but it has not been nor is it obvious to most people.
Think about how many nonprofits and NGOs there are in the world and the massive good they have done. In addition, I think nonprofits are poised to explode in the U.S. and across the globe in the next couple decades.
I am altering my global forces course. I am adding “social entrepreneurship” as a major force that is changing our world.
Thank you for reading my small blog.
Best wishes. – Keith