Humane Gone Mainstream: The ESG Generation Arrives

Humane Gone Mainstream: The ESG Generation Arrives

Humane Gone Mainstream: The ESG Generation Arrives

Saturday February 27, 2021, by Ayman El Tarabishy, President & CEO, ICSB

As we think about the coming months and the start of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are important lessons to consider regarding the global economy’s revitalization. This specific period of volatility will subside, but it will be replaced by a permanently shifting economic landscape in the face of climate change. Investors, specifically micro-small and medium-sized enterprises, have weathered the most challenging moments of the past year, but there is minimal safety net left. There will be an ever-increasing need to invest strategically and frugally, with magnified consequences for those who fail to adapt to emerging market trends. Therefore, the most important factors to consider are and will continue to be sustainability and frugal innovation.

How do we incorporate these ideals into the increasingly volatile business ecosystem? Morgan Stanley Investment team addresses this in a recent investment report,

“A holistic approach to sustainability—concerning disruptive change, financial strength, environmental and social externalities, and governance (also referred to as ESG)—helps us identify investment opportunities. The Global Opportunity Team has been investing since 2006 with continual evolution and innovation.”

This focus on ESG shows a significant shift underway that emphasizes human-centered (humane) investment and begins to change the emphasis on business development from quantity to quality. Finding ways to standardize these practices and create opportunities to expand at scale will be crucial in capitalizing on this emerging market.

However, the ongoing change within the business world cannot be confined to strictly environmental factors. We are on the cusp of an era that is pressured by younger generations with radically different ideas about the future than the people who have come before. The emergence of social media and the creation of “going viral” has permanently altered the business world’s fundamentals and how we relate to one another.

The increasingly prominent role that business schools play in university settings reinforces the coming generational shift and thought revolution. The rise of a new age of business ideas and the development of humane and sustainable investment strategies are inextricably bound to the explosion of business schools across the country, and the increasing role business and finance have in popular culture. Business found a way to go mainstream, and we’ve seen the consequences of this unfold, most recently with the Wall Street Bets and the un-traditional exploitation of the stock market by a group of individuals on the internet. The next step is finding ways to use the incredible grassroots energy and exposure to push humane, sustainable business and investment strategies instead of risky short-term stock blitzes. The education sector will have a pivotal role to play in discovering and standardizing methods like ESG.

These factors show that there is a desperate need for a new and innovative way of approaching investments. The individuals and businesses that can take advantage of these innovations will be positioned to succeed despite uncertain times ahead. Growing evidence suggests that ESG factors, when integrated into investment analysis and portfolio construction, offer investors long-term performance advantages. But people must be put in a position to succeed. I believe in creating space for like-minded individuals and businesses to collaborate on mutually beneficial ways of re-creating the business ecosystem in a more just and humane image.

Let us welcome the ESG Generation powered by Humane Entrepreneurship.

I have been anxiously waiting for you.

Quote from: https://www.morganstanley.com/im/publication/insights/investment-insights/ii_esgandthesustainabilityofcompetitiveadvantage_en.pdf

Author

Ayman El Tarabishy

Ayman El Tarabishy

President & CEO, ICSB

Digital Distinction with Hybrid

Digital Distinction with Hybrid

Digital Distinction with Hybrid

Saturday February 20, 2021, by Ayman El Tarabishy, President & CEO, ICSB

If you ask the average entrepreneur what lessons or skills they have learned and developed over the past year, there is one answer that comes up again and again—ZOOM (a.k.a. flexibility.) There is no flexibility in the modern business world without a digital presence. The tools exist for small businesses to create an online, global platform that can work towards various societal needs with very few input resources. The future of education is digital and tying your business’s investment in digital presence to skills training or other educational opportunities is a smart, cost-effective way of growing your footprint.

COVID-19 and the resulting changes to the day-to-day operations of millions of people worldwide have accelerated this shift towards digital infrastructure and technological competency.  At ICSB, we believe that this transition to a more global and digitally connected environment provides opportunities for all small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and sustainable entrepreneurs to increase their knowledge and to network through a collection of digital conferences.

We want to emphasize that while the potential value of digital conferences and the broader expansion of technological advancement, we believe that in-person conferences and opportunities to meet and socialize remain the most ideal for a robust exchange of information and perspectives. However, in a world that continually asks us to adapt, we must continue to be ready to do so.

One of the main attractions for a digital conference is location neutrality. Conferences can be hosted from wherever, and it becomes exponentially easier for distant parties to attend events that would ordinarily have been very difficult in regular times. This approach also centers on disabled actors and other parties that require a different set of accommodations. When we say we want to build a more equitable and just world, these are some of the smaller, more complicated things we have to pay attention to.

Additionally, a digital conference’s environmental impact is a fraction of the average ecological costs that come with long-distance travel and other amenities of an in-person function. We must emphasize sustainability and consider expenses that we have historically ignored.

While this age of digital conferences and events is relatively new, there are ways to maximize your event’s effectiveness. As Lawton (2020) writes, some of the key considerations include:

  1. Timetabling of speakers should be optimized to account for the different time-zones in which speakers and participants are located.
  2. Presenters should be taught how to use the software before the conference, including optimizing their environment, lighting, positioning, and digital broadcast clothing.
  3. Audience participation via asking questions and voting in polls is essential to keep the audience engaged and scrutinize presented material.
  4. Technological failures are distracting and time-consuming. There should be a dedicated team assigned to troubleshooting and contingency plans when the issue cannot be resolved.
  5. Decide how recorded content will be made available and whether this will be restricted to registered participants or open to a broader audience.

The details will change according to the specifics of certain events. Still, we believe a foundation that emphasizes preparedness, audience engagement, and technological competency is a definite beginning as we continue to evolve our practices to meet the times’ challenges. Additionally, we believe incorporating these strategies will create a special and unique experience that does not merely look to replicate the features of a traditional, in-person event. Digital conferences and circumstances are individual and offer their own set of pros and cons. We believe we must lean into these challenges if we want to continue to succeed.

Welcome to the ICSB Hybrid World Congress in Paris, July 12-17.

Sources

Lawton, A., Harman, K., & Gupta, A. (2020, July 19). Lessons learnt transitioning to a Digital conference during the COVID-19 pandemic. Retrieved February 14, 2021, from https://adc.bmj.com/content/early/2020/07/19/archdischild-2020-319560

https://icsb.org/toptrends2021/

Ayman El Tarabishy

President & CEO, ICSB

Equity beyond just a conversation

Equity beyond just a conversation

Equity beyond just a conversation.

Saturday February 6, 2021, by Ayman El Tarabishy, President & CEO, ICSB

Equity beyond just a conversation.

“Equity” is something we talk about in the business and entrepreneurship worlds. Despite this focus, discussions around equity have primarily remained just that — discussions. We have failed to prioritize the action that makes too long equity possible. With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the business ecosystem’s foundations have been disrupted. We have a unique opportunity to remake the entrepreneur’s world in a more just and equitable way. We sit in a memorable historical moment, where there is an unprecedented desire for fundamental, wide-reaching change. Here at ICSB, one of the priorities we have set for the coming year is a renewed focus on equitable embodiment.

One of the core concepts in our understanding of equitable embodiment is empathy. Empathy is often thought of as the “starting point of design thinking,” and it seems perfectly reasonable that this would be a guiding principle in reimagining and reshaping our new world. We must then consider the past mistakes within this restart and rectify them. It is imperative to understand the characteristics of humanistic management, with empathy acting as an essential “driving factor for employee engagement and communicative business culture, leading to a better understanding between organizational members and stakeholders.” Empathy has been overlooked as a potential solution to fundamental issues we face, and we are committed to an empathy-centered approach here at ICSB.

As we consider ways to implement a more empathetic approach, special attention must be placed on the failures that have led us to this moment. Too often, people in charge want to talk about change without disrupting any of their current operations. This leads to an environment where the same people who have refused to create an equitable environment are responsible for implementing change with very little oversight. Going forwards, there must be increased transparency, real checks on power, and methods of accountability for those who fail to live up to the new standard.

The easiest and most efficient way to start this process is to place historically marginalized actors into actual power and institutional influence positions. At ICSB, we have seen the success that businesses and entrepreneurs have when they rely on the experiences of those who have been traditionally overlooked. These groups bring fresh perspectives on issues and the appropriate responses to them. They are often more innovative and frugal because of the restraints that have historically been placed on them. As we navigate a new and emerging world, there is much we can learn from these groups that have too often been ignored.

We understand that the process towards equity in the business and entrepreneurship ecosystems is uneven, and there is no one solution to the issues we face. But we firmly believe that empowering individuals and groups within our network is a simple, righteous step that will have enormous benefits down the road. If done correctly, these bold and straightforward ideas will create a self-sustaining, positive cycle that will continuously reproduce innovative and equitable solutions to past issues, as well as new and emerging ones we have yet to face. With unique perspectives and ideas, putting actual people into positions of power and influence will accelerate progress and show people a real change.

That is why today, I am proud to announce a new and exciting opportunity for those who want to make an actionable impact in these atypical actors’ lives. Today, we are opening up sponsorship opportunities for the ICSB WE program. WE Sponsorship will allow us to bring the education, space, and visibility to women entrepreneurs that they deserve. I invite you all to look at the many sponsorship options available so that you can actively show your contribution to womenpreneurs worldwide.

Join us.

Ayman El Tarabishy

President & CEO, ICSB

Real Essence of Sustainable Growth

Real Essence of Sustainable Growth

Real Essence of Sustainable Growth

Saturday, October 17, 2020, by Ayman El Tarabishy

Empathy and connection are the foundations of our human experience as they are and will continue to be even more so as the foundations of our entrepreneurial experiences.

About a week ago, members from the ICSB family joined together to create a pre-conference workshop for the upcoming AIM Digital conference. Winslow Sargeant, Vicki Stylianou, Ahmed Osman from the ICSB Board of Directors, and Andrew McDonald from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and myself entered into a discussion about the small business reality in the world today. Centering our discussion on the AIM Digital event, “Reimagining Economies: the Move Towards a Digital, Sustainable, and Resilient Future,” the conversation covered an array of topics. Today, however, in reflecting this Saturday, I would like to explore further the more significant notion of connection regarding the end of the status quo and the present and future of Humane Entrepreneurship.

The concept of empathy is bedrock and determinant of one’s ability to enact a culture of Humane Entrepreneurship. Empathy is, as noted in Kim et al. (2018), “the extent to which a company shares emotions and information with its employees.” We can extrapolate this idea from company to city, region, country, and the international community. We can imagine how organizations and individuals who value empathy might share and exchange with their colleagues in thinking about this definition. They might also practice transparency, care, and understanding for their customers and the communities in which they work and inhabit. To practice and work in an empathetic manner is to connect with those around us actively.

A significant purpose of empathy, as well, is that it is not the usage or implementation of empathy as a means of an end to greater wealth. Instead, it is the practice of being human, which includes being empathetic, which works virtuously with other humans to create something deemed as valuable for the world. That which is considered valuable then becomes something profitable so that it becomes something that works sustainably, cyclically, or continuously. When we can recognize the expansiveness of wealth, we will finally understand sustainability on a deeper level.

Sustainability is undoubtedly about generating money so that not firms can function entrepreneurially. They can ensure that their employees find themselves in quality and well-paying positions that care for them and their families. More broadly, however, sustainability is about creating sustainable patterns of interest and investment. We might ask the questions: “Are employees working in conditions that allow their creative and innovative humanity to shine?” or “Is this company able to adapt to change in a way that allows the company, their employees, the community (often including the employee’s families) to be sustainable?” Sustainability is genuinely a more significant connection of firms to their employees and communities and employees to their jobs, their families, their communities, and a greater consciousness that recognizes the humaneness in all people.

ICSB strives for this reality. Do we miss the mark sometimes? Of course. We are human, and failure is a natural part of the human experience. It is, however, our ability to adapt and evolve continuously that ensures our survival in recognizing what we value, our community of members, and ensuring their wellbeing and prosper, that we can overcome the failings of our missteps to continuously center the connection of this small business and entrepreneurship community.

At the end of our pre-conference workshop, I asked Vicki, Winslow, Ahmed, and Andrew for their rapid reaction to specific terms, one being Humane Entrepreneurship. Their reactions included the following: “social infrastructure,” “the new way of the economy,” “sustainable growth,” and “getting it done on an equal basis.” I believe that we can truly build a beautiful world when we allow the principles of Humane Entrepreneurship to guide our actions in our communities, nations, and world. Empathy and connection are the foundations of our human experience as they are and will continue to be even more so as the foundations of our entrepreneurial experiences.

It is here we will advance. It is here where entrepreneurship lies.

article by:

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy,

President and CEO, ICSB and Deputy Chair of the Department of Management, GW School of Business

Evoking Ecosystems: As Nature Intended

Evoking Ecosystems: As Nature Intended

Evoking Ecosystems: As Nature Intended

Saturday, October 3, 2020, by Ayman El Tarabishy

There is essentially no framework, which we can construct, that can truly describe a “framework” for ecosystems because an ecosystem’s success is typically based on its ability to capture the least common denominators of a community, or the groups typically left out of the discussion.

In the process of becoming in this new status quo, we hear a lot of reference to creating, (re)building, and maintaining entrepreneurial ecosystems. Session two of the New Professor program elicited a need to further our discussion of not only what an ecosystem is and what it necessitates, but additionally, the parts of entrepreneurship that affect (or determine) success or lack thereof within these ecosystems.

Ecosystem, originally a biological term, describes a community or environment in which organisms (or entities) interact with each other and their physical environment, or the structure that creates the confounds and limits on that particular system. We can find ecosystems practically everywhere; nature is and consists of many ecosystems, there are ecosystems within our institutions, and we can even find ecosystems within and throughout the inner workings of the human body. There seems to be, however, one specific commonality that holds for all of these ecosystems, and that is that they do, operate, and functions better, more efficiently, and more progress when they are left alone.

As the entrepreneurial community seeks to find a way to curate these ecosystems artificially, I must question why a need is there and from where it originates. There seems to be much energy being allotted to the research and construction of a “framework,” or collection of similarities with which we can manipulate and build ecosystems worldwide. Yet, I must bring light to this particular confusion.

We are spending time and money looking to create something artificially that can occur naturally in our societies.

Is the problem truly that we do not have enough or enough well-built ecosystems, or is it instead of that our institutions and we are not ready to recognize their problematic nature? Throughout the discussion on ecosystems, Humane Entrepreneurship, and more, we hear time and time again, the need to center the entrepreneur, or “place the entrepreneur in the driver seat.” We want to intensely and deeply return the natural balance to our communities, so we speak of focusing on the human as if it is a hard thing to do. Humans focus on humans. Seemingly a simple equation, but for some reason, a much more complex formulation.

As we take so much effort to center the entrepreneur and their needs in this artificial system we have made, we must question, What is an entrepreneurial ecosystem more than the act of removing our institutions and organizations to get them out of the way of the entrepreneurs?”

I want to note that, of course, we have spent centuries building the society in which we now inhabit. However, I would like to postulate that the need for entrepreneurial ecosystems has advanced as a need to “return to our roots” and find a more natural and organic balance within the ecosystem. Similar to the havoc being placed on the Amazon by humans, the ecosystem will survive when we stop pretending that there is anything that we can do to enable entrepreneurship and empower entrepreneurs, other than give them the space to do just that.

I want to stop for a moment to remind everyone that these pieces are specifically written to make us pause. These ICSB Reflections are released for the challenge and encouragement of “questioning the system.” Let us not fall claim to an idea just because it receives much attraction; let us, instead, better understand a concept and see it as a possible solution to aid us in advancing society.

Therefore, it is here that we will “refocus” on Humane Entrepreneurship. Dr. Norris Krueger and his ecosystem gurus are urging us to do so. As these experts release their reviews on thriving and failing ecosystems and the phenomena of ecosystems at large, I cannot help but notice the “humane” in all of it. They provide a solution to help institutions, regions, and governments better understand how the human must sit first and at the forefront of all our decisions around entrepreneurship.

The New Professor’s second class ended with a view of the group’s takeaways. They were all (unsurprisingly) focused on the human. Simultaneously, person after person reiterated ways in which these organizations and institutions that need to get out of the course are made up of individuals. If we change our thinking — from the entity in which the people exist within to the people themselves, then we will be simultaneously creating solutions in two frameworks of understanding: HumEnt and that of entrepreneurial ecosystems.

In both theories and practices, two essential concepts can hold true in both our natural and artificial systems, being bottom-up and intangible. In nature, ecosystems are created by the symbiosis of microscopic living organisms working synergistically together. The masses (bottom-up) are responsible for creating and maintaining the system, while it is inexplicable energy (the intangible) that provides the conduction of an ecosystem’s seamless flow.

We can think of the intangible in an entrepreneurial ecosystem, or frankly any human ecosystem, as the culture. Culture works as a significant driving force that, although very difficult to describe, guides an ecosystem. Culture — created, accepted, and perpetuated by the people — decides the parameters of success, failure, and an ecosystem’s ability to flow seamlessly. I want to pose that this might be a missing piece in the discussion of ecosystem building. There is essentially no framework, which we can construct, that can truly describe a “framework” for ecosystems because an ecosystem’s success is typically based on its ability to capture the least common denominators of a community, or the groups typically left out of the discussion. The ability of an ecosystem to adequately engage with the women, children, and disenfranchised will change depending on each culture. Yet, it is a guiding and determining factor for the prosperity in every entrepreneurial ecosystem.

As always, I hope that this reflection will illicit much thought and discussion going forward. This is not a comprehensive review but rather a call to the greater narrative we are all taking part in. We can easily find contradictions in all theories and most practices, and therefore, it is our responsibility to find our seat in the uncertainty of the gray area.

It is here we will advance. It is here where entrepreneurship lies.

article by:

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy,

President and CEO, ICSB and Deputy Chair of the Department of Management, GW School of Business

The Origins of the term Sustainable Development

The Origins of the term Sustainable Development

The Origins of the term Sustainable Development

Saturday, September 19, 2020, by Ayman El Tarabishy

We have imagined tomorrow’s world. It is a world that celebrates and nurtures the essential diversity of life, cultures, and peoples.

In declaring an end to the status quo, we are simultaneously admitting and choosing to move towards sustainability, human-focused efforts, and ecological endeavors that uplift the human-Earth symbiotic relationship. In our efforts to seek sustainable efforts and to foster sustainable practices within and throughout entrepreneurship, we must first define the term, so that we can more greatly embody its cyclical, caring, and forward-focused nature.

On an unassuming day in November 1998, in Fontainebleau, 25 miles outside Paris, one of the most significant environmental conferences of the 20th century was finding its conclusion. During the previous three days, 350 inspired leaders, policymakers, and scientists from around the world had gathered to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and to reflect on the organization’s historic achievements since its founding in 1948. During the conference, however, rather than focus solely on past successes, IUCN positioned itself as a visionary among conservation organizations by bringing attention to the future under the theme of “Imagine Tomorrow’s World.” In doing this, IUCN laid the foundations of the developing concept and understanding of the “Ecozoic Era,” a period of enhanced human-Earth symbiosis beginning at the commencement of the 2nd millennium and continuing into the present day.

The commemoration’s concluding “Appel de Fontaintainebleau,” or the Fontainebleau Challenge reflected the tripartite attention of the organization: human consumption, ecological conservation, and our interdependent communities. In their universal appeal to the attending chiefs of state, IUCN declared:

We have imagined tomorrow’s world. It is a world that celebrates and nurtures the essential diversity of life, cultures, and peoples. It is a world in which we will embrace a new environmental ethic that recognizes that without nature, there is no happiness, no tranquility, no life…Our challenge is not just to imagine, but to build a world that values and conserves nature and that is confident in its commitment to equity.[1]

IUCN’s historic challenge to its members established an organizational philosophy of connectedness between humans and the earth and, thus, ushered in an enhanced understanding of sustainable development. Out of many heads of state in attendance, the commitment of the French government, specifically, to bridge conservation initiatives with sustainable ecological management was cemented through the attendance of Jacques Chirac, the French President (1995–2007). President Chirac gave opening remarks at the conference, and the French Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin (1997–2002), concluded the event with an endorsement of the ICUN’s work.

Amongst all of the speeches and remarks were given by key world and environmental leaders, the history-altering moment was surprisingly mentioned as an off-hand comment during a reception and tour of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. In his welcoming remarks, Henry de Lumley, former Director of the Museum from 1994–1999, mentioned the term “development durable,” meaning sustainable or resilient development, which happened first to be used at the Museum 1920s. The employment of this term came as a surprise.

Those who participated throughout the preparatory process for the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, or the so-called “Earth Summit,” in Rio de Janeiro had assumed that the term originated from the Brundtland Commission in the 1980s. By 1983, the UN had documented growing worldwide environmental degradation over the previous ten years, affecting both human and natural resources. Out of a need to rally UN countries to commit to unified preventative actions against a worsening environment, the UN established the World Commission on Environment and Development, which ultimately became known as the Brundtland Commission, to recognize former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland’s role as Commission Chair. During the next four years, the Commission documented, analyzed, and formulated action plans to tackle environmental challenges, culminating in the publication of a landmark report in 1987, titled Our Common Future. Through the report, the term “sustainable development” became an accepted term in the international development lexicon. An oft-used definition taken from the report defines sustainable development as “a process of change in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development, and institutional change are made consistent with future as well as present needs.[2]

Our Common Future fundamentally changed the way development work was both engaged with and experienced. By pivoting the focus of development from isolated economic actions to a holistic process, the needs of the present community — both human and other — are met “without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”[3] Through research, it has not been able to find any proof to validate Director de Lumley’s reference to the term sustainable development dating back to the 1920s. However, his statement has permanently imprinted itself into the minds of many due to the remarks singular importance spoken in the exact place that demonstrates how natural and human worlds can appropriately exist together.

The National Museum of Natural History serves as a place that, compellingly, draws us back through millennia while simultaneously propelling us into the future. With its unique ability to communicate publicly through its exhibits, the National Museum of Natural History allows visitors to understand how we, humans, developed as a species on earth, tracing the origins of life and our development as a species from the Cenozoic, Mesozoic, and Paleozoic eras into the present day. In drawing these connections, visitors can understand our intrinsic connection to the world around us and the cosmos, while realizing that we have entered a new era: the “Ecozoic Era” as coined by Thomas Berry, a cultural historian, in his 1989 book The Universe Story, co-written with Brian Swimme. The “Ecozoic Era” can best be described as the “geologic era in which humans live in a mutually enhancing relationship with Earth and the Earth community.”[4]

Berry’s writings, ruminating on humanity’s relationship to the natural world, were provoked mainly by the environmental crises he witnessed during his lifetime in the 20th century. He urged his fellow humans to recognize their unique position on a planet within a vast and complex ecosystem and evolving universe. A quote from The University Story best represents his philosophy, “The world is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects.”[5] Berry’s philosophy aligned closely with the Brundtland Commission’s model of sustainable development in that it recognized the mutually entangled benefits of ecological conservation to environmental and human populations.

Barry’s sustainable philosophy was deeply influenced by the teachings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French philosopher, geologist, and Jesuit Catholic priest. They theorized the relationship and evolutionary development of both the material and the spiritual world. While Teilhard’s writings were rooted in his greater belief in a divine presence, his various works became, after his death in 1955, a catalyst for developing the concept of the interlinking enhancement of humanity, the natural world, and the cosmos as a whole. A key component of Teilhard’s work was the notion of the noosphere, which he envisioned as a body of knowledge, human consciousness, or mental activity surrounding the earth, similar to the atmosphere, which worked to influence the biosphere and to continue its evolution. This concept has origins in the research of biogeochemist Vladimir Vernadsky; however, it differs in that Teilhard’s understanding of the noosphere stems from theology rather than science.

While initially considered to be a new age theory by established scientists, the creation of the Internet, which so to speak, surrounds the globe with a body of knowledge, as well as the more recent research connecting human ecosystems to the human impact on the biosphere has led to renewed interest in the noosphere theory. Despite its scientific flaws, it is clear that Teilhard’s early emphasis on sustainability and desire to find harmony between human and biological actions is critical to our current understanding of sustainable development.

Since Teilhard’s earliest philosophical writings, we have come full circle as a society in confirming the interconnected nature of humans and the world around us and the need for heightened development of sustainability. Being reminded of that memorable statement, made almost 22 years ago, in a setting that took usback through geologic eras and forwards into our present and ever-developing civilization, we are hopeful. We only now realize the significance of the National Museum in Paris, the Ecozoic era, and our collective understanding of “resilient and sustainable development.” In a time of pandemic and uncertainty, the idea of a shared future and harmony between humanity and nature brings hope and resolve to carry forward through our efforts towards sustainable development.

In the realm of entrepreneurship specifically, then, where does this leave us? As we walked through the overwhelming chaos and left the status quo behind, we made the decision, intentionally or unintentionally, to choose the path of the human. This is not mistaken as something that ignores our surrounding nature, but rather human-centered entrepreneurship is sustainable development. When the earth is cared for and respected, the human population becomes healthier, more active, and more empowered to make a further change for their species and others. It is the practice of Humane Entrepreneurship, which will one day transition from company culture to a global, cultural force that ensures both inputs and outcomes are grounded in sustainable ways. From the care of the environment and attention to the ozone to ensuring adequate standards for food quality and equitable opportunity for all, Humane Entrepreneurship is the vessel that will carry us into our sustainable world.

As we prepare for the upcoming 2021 ICSB World Congress in Paris, we are focusing on moving beyond Humane Entrepreneurship as a concept to be discussed but as one to be practiced. By making the conference exceptionally inclusive, we will share and learn how organizations are acting sustainably and how we, as a community, can act as a resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs around the world to implement and advance in their practice of Humane Entrepreneurship to nurture a sustainable and more resilient environment for all.

article by:

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy, President and CEO, ICSB and Deputy Chair of the Department of Management, GW School of Business

Mr. Richard Jordan. Founder & Co-CEO of World Harmony Foundation

[1] “Annual Report IUCN 1998,” IUCN, 17.

[2] “Our Common Future,” World Commission on Environment and Development, 9.

[3] Ibid, 8.

[4] Allysyn Kiplinger, “What does Ecozoic mean?” The Ecozoic Times. 16 Sept 2020. https://ecozoictimes.com/what-is-the-ecozoic/what-does-ecozoic-mean/#:~:text=The%20term%20%E2%80%9CEcozoic%20era%E2%80%9D%20was,Earth%20and%20the%20Earth%20community.

[5] Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era — A Celebration of the Unfolding of the Cosmos (New York: HarperCollins, 1989), 243.