Who are your favorite changemakers?
Dr. King. Nelson Mandela. Oprah Winfrey.
What are the qualities that made them successful?
Integrity, strength, and courage.
All three of these figures gave their lives to make the world a better place. They are extraordinary examples of leadership. The magic of leadership has to do with the way a leader makes the rest of us walk a little bit differently in the world. All three of these icons are amazing examples of how leadership led to serious normative shifts in terms of what we consider to be right and just.
What can the social entrepreneurship sector learn from those changemakers?
To achieve wide-scale social change we have to engage the world of politics – this is what Dr. King and Nelson Mandela did so well. You are never going to get to the level or scale of change that is necessary unless we engage the political realm. But so much of the social entrepreneur’s narrative is, “We do our work because the government can’t do it.” But by always linking social entrepreneurs to government dysfunction, we put an unnatural barrier between social entrepreneurs and government. Social entrepreneurs can be critical, we can be skeptical, but we must engage.