Thought Leadership is a phrase that points to the voices that are heard and listened to in the world of blogging and internet communication. Any subject of interest to ‘many’ is found on websites and blogs every day around the world and many a great idea springs from the meeting of so many minds.
So it is with the creation of REBSEA, the Real Estate & Business Social Enterprises Association, a concept and an entity that has emerged from the dialogue about the relationship between business and its responsibility to serve the unmet needs of the community it serves. ‘Old School’ is that businesses pay taxes so government can provide a safety net for its citizens. ‘Old School’ is that wealthy individuals and well meaning citizens donate to non profits in a myriad of ways in order to pick up where the government leaves off. So why are so many homeless still homeless? Why do 40,000 people a week around the world die because of the absence of clean water ? Why do so many children in the wealthiest countries in the world still go to bed hungry ? Why so many unmet needs extracting such a human toll ?
Oversimplification is necessary to even approach an answer to such questions. How about ….there is not enough money available to meet these needs? How about ….the infrastructure that exists to meet these needs is inefficient and, worse yet, a ‘relic’ of the past approaches that have left so many unmet needs still unsatisfied ? And how about politics where the ‘talking heads’ debate endlessly the pros and cons of whether to ‘hand out fish’ or ‘teach them to fish’ ?
Thought Leadership is emerging that suggests that there is an answer at hand. It is emerging from our leading universities and it is emerging spontaneously from the Grass Roots as well. In the universities, the MBA programs and the Public Policy programs are professing that Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurship are significant answers to the question of how best to apply the resources of our society to its unmet and dire needs. A huge trend in every community is the multitude of businesses who, of their own volition, support the homeless and address the abuses to women and children and animals as well. “HELL ! If nobody else is going to do it”…….”HELL ! Somebody has to step up”………… Human instinct and humanitarian sentiment has spontaneously arisen in all of our communities to fill the void left by our ‘Old School’ solutions.
Thought Leadership. The intellectual contribution coming from our universities is IDENTICAL to the instinctual solution coming from our Grass Roots !!!
Social Enterprise, defined as combining a for profit business with a social benefit, is neither a liberal nor a conservative idea. It is a ‘giving a fish’ AND a ‘teaching how to fish’. It is not a Democratic or a Republican idea. It is just a GOOD IDEA !!
The conservative position on the role of government. Is that the states, the people know best how to deal with their own issues so government should step aside and let this happen. Well, certainly the people in every community can see first hand what are the unmet needs around them and they can prioritize them using their personal beliefs and values. This is what we are seeing in the spontaneous eruption of businesses Giving Back to their communities.
REBSEA is just one more piece of the puzzle……..how to organize ALL of the Real Estate Agents and ALL of the businesses who already support the non profit organizations in their communities into an effective network so that more of this can happen. NPOs can use this network for direct fundraising. The creation of a national Membership Directory can inform the public which businesses of ALL types in their communities contribute to meeting the unmet needs that they see and experience first hand.
Thought Leadership. Here is the absolute bottom line: there can be enough money available and going to the organizations best able to address these needs if……..the public CHOOSES to do business with the people and the companies who contribute part of their revenue directly to these NPOs. If awareness of this CHOICE can be raised to a significant level then it is reasonable to expect that this PREFERENCE on the part of the consumer will be sufficient motivation for more and more businesses to participate. CONSUMERS, MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY, WILL START TO LOOK FOR THOSE WHO GIVE BACK, BEGIN TO EXPECT IT, AND BY ‘VOTING WITH THEIR DOLLARS’, THEY WILL BE DEMANDING IT !!! This is the future we can create by simply organizing and raising awareness of these possibilities by offering the public the opportunity to CHOOSE to do business with people and companies who participate. REBSEA is dedicated to making this happen along with countless allies who are already Giving Back and just waiting for the Thought Leadership to help them do more by organizing.