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.

Democratization of Knowledge

Democratization of Knowledge

Democratization of Knowledge

Saturday, September 12, 2020, by  Dr.Ayman El Tarabishy and Dr. Elias Carayannis 

“Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy… cities will never have rest from their evils — no, nor the human race as I believe…” (Plato)

As theory grows and develops in its ability to encompass the more greatly faceted institutional pillars of Government, University, Industry, Civil Society, and the Environment, we can imagine how our movement from the information age to the humane age provides the world even more excellent opportunities than before. People are no longer left responsible for the choice between human-focused work and progress, but rather our society is taking the necessary steps to change our perspectives to see how the invitation of technology will quickly lead to a more human-centric society. The concept of Quadruple and Quintuple Helix Innovation systems offers us a systemic perspective for knowledge and innovation, meaning that we can use the model of these institutional pillars to see knowledge and innovation in an entirely new light that allows humans to both feel enabled and empowered by technology to more fully act as democratic agents in the greater society.

This theory, which demonstrates balance amongst the major world systems, allows for new modes of profit by the way that creativity thrives on helping with the interaction and synergies between innovation, entrepreneurship, and design thinking. Therefore, one action informs the next. Through this approach, we can “adopt a much more complex approach to considering our surroundings and dealing with challenges” (Carayannis, 2020). In broader terms, each pillar or facet of the model allows for more advanced opportunities in knowledge and innovation, which beholds the possibility to completely alter how we participate and embody the subsequent usage of power coming from this participation.

Democracy and our empowered participation in it are said to be a “requirement for the further evolution of knowledge and democracy,” demonstrating that we will not progress or succeed in our ability to reimage a better application of knowledge and democracy until we accept the requirement of our full participation in our current forms of knowledge and democracy. Yet, if we can maximize the interfaces and intersections between the pillars of the Quintuple Helix theory, then we might be able to introduce an expansion of the Democratization of Knowledge to attain Society 5.0 ultimately.

This unique opportunity will allow for the spread of knowledge to reach unprecedented levels, migrating to a system with which everyone has full access to knowledge and, therefore, revealing a populace who is empowered and liberated to participate in creating a better world for themselves. As mentioned above, this transition will not come until we activate this participation in our current systems, leading those to demand the dissemination of knowledge to further limits at this moment. Once everyone has access to the knowledge — and the societal hierarchy that decides who has access to which information is abolished — people will have equal access to the very knowledge that will help them create real and actionable solutions for the world. By engaging with the knowledge available in this technocentric age, we will initiate a workforce transition, meaning that the widespread usage of technology will transform jobs rather than replace the employment of human beings. This will provide an entirely new and important platform from which humans can begin making innovative and creative decisions to facilitate the care for the human person and our surrounding environment.

Dr. Elias Carayannis foresees a world in which we embody Society 5.0, where:

“Every project… should always have the quintuple helix in mind when calling for proposals; all projects should have our common good as the foremost goal. We should, therefore, always ask ourselves how does this project supports democracy and protect the environment, and that is a Quadruple and Quintuple Innovation Helix framework thinking approach to policy and practice” (Carayannis, 2020).

The migration towards the democratization of knowledge and the subsequent collaboration with technology will offer an unbelievable opportunity to look clearly at society as it is and begin changing our chosen “either/or” approach to one that allows for “both/and.” In pursuing more powerful platforms to engage with the democratization of knowledge, we will all become enablers, participants, and protectors of a democratic world. With democracy, we will be able to create solutions to the missing pieces throughout the complex issues that plague our world today. Let us all be active participants in creating a next level society that finds the humane by engaging with tech solution advances for our collective future.

Article by:

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy and Dr. Elias Carayannis 
President & CEO, ICSB
Deputy Chair, Department of Management, GW School of Business
Editor in Chief of the Journal of Small Business Management (JSBM)

 

Dr. Elias Carayannis, Full Professor of Science, Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, as well as co-Founder and co-Director of the Global and Entrepreneurial Finance Research Institute (GEFRI) and Director of Research on Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, European Union Research Center, (EURC) at the School of Business of the George Washington University in Washington, DC.

References:

Carayannis, E. (2020). Research Reconfiguring and Innovation Constellations. Personal interview [European Union’s Horizon]. Available at http://riconfigure.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Interview-with-Elias-Carayannis_2020_Final.pdf

Reference video: The Ecosystem as Helix: Towards Industry and Society 5.0 via the Quadruple/Quintuple Innovation Helix Lens. Featuring Dr. Elias Carayannis:

Humane Entrepreneurship in Action

Humane Entrepreneurship in Action

Humane Entrepreneurship in Action

Saturday, August 29, 2020, by Ayman El Tarabishy

In guiding our actions towards Humane Entrepreneurship, we can be an organization that does not only preach about Humane Entrepreneurship but one that also practices it.

Following our reflection last week discussing the “End of the Status Quo,” we think it is time that we seriously share and discuss the steps that ICSB has and will continue to take as we endlessly strive towards a more humane-centered way of acting entrepreneurially in this world. Over the past couple of months, we have reflected upon the theory and practice of Humane Entrepreneurship. Now, it is time to move beyond thinking and imagining; now is the time to model Humane Entrepreneurship.

As promoters and upholders of Humane Entrepreneurship, what an excellent opportunity we have to exemplify the practice ourselves! Given the perspective-altering moments of the past couple months, ICSB has been able to genuinely narrow in on what is important to us as an organization, including our values, the organization’s sustainable practices, and our collective community. Flowing from this reflection, ICSB has worked to center all of our programmings around the interests of our members as well as new and pressing topics that we see as crucial to the formation of our community. We are centered around the human, being empathetically oriented to the whole person and not just the sliver of our members’ lives, which pertains to ICSB. We have attempted to curate an empowering environment, working consciously to open up opportunities to women and younger entrepreneurs. Enablement has and continues to develop as we formalize programs, bolster the ICSB Gazette, and continuously try to discover new and enticing opportunities for our members. ICSB models the equitable work of Humane Entrepreneurship as we provide discounts for members from developing nations, ensuring that all voices are brought to the table, and work to promote MSMEs for the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

As we are continually attempting to show up as our best selves for this community, we recognize that we have a way to go to reach the peak of the Ideal orientation for our Humane Entrepreneurship categorization. Reaching for this Ideal status, at ICSB, we are focusing on ways that we can formalize our desire to promote a human-focused conscious while creating sustainable patterns of growth. It is from this place of discovery; we have created the ICSB Resiliency program.

This program focuses on supporting the individual. It combines ICSB’s top-level programs into one calendar and cost so that you can fully engage with the learning available to you. Finishing with an ICSB diploma and a heightened understanding of your entrepreneurial interests, this formal connection to ICSB offers and opens clear pathways of communication with ICSB leadership, which will be ever more critical as you become be a vital role in leading the ICSB community as well as the local community to the 2021 ICSB World Congress in Paris.

Being the first of its kind, the ICBS World Congress will bring Humane Entrepreneurship to “l’Exposition Universelle,” so that entrepreneurship and SMEs can take the lead in ushering the world into peace, prosperity, and happiness. This event works innovatively and creatively to bring together all voices throughout the field of entrepreneurship so that we can pull down the unnecessary walls that keep communication and support at a distance from the people that need it the most. In moving into Humane Entrepreneurship, we are building a resilient community that can succeed no matter the circumstances.

We look forward to you joining us on this journey to and with Humane Entrepreneurship. ICSB recognizes the necessity to both offer and realizes a humane-entrepreneurial orientation (H-EO), meaning that we are concurrently advocating and partaking in the widespread adoption of HumEnt. In knowing that “large-scale organizational performance effects are more likely to occur as a result of shared cultural values and beliefs that are accepted by organization members,” we must work individually for the greater collective. In guiding our actions towards HumEnt, we can be an organization that does not only preach about Humane Entrepreneurship but one that also practices it.

References:

Kim, K., A. El Tarabishy, Z. Bae (2018). “Humane Entrepreneurship: How Focusing on People Can Drive a New Era of Wealth and Quality Job Creation in a Sustainable World,” Journal of Small Business Management 56(S1), 10–29.

Article by:

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

The End of the Status Quo

The End of the Status Quo

The End of the Status Quo

Saturday, August 22, 2020, by Ayman El Tarabishy

In creating sustainable and continuous cycles of growth, our enterprises must see themselves as part of a greater whole.

As transparency increases and the global population stands firmly and united in their demands to promote a just and green economy.

In December of 2019, ICSB provided a message to its entrepreneurship community, indicating the foreseeable “End of the Status Quo.” ICSB was expecting the need for a great upheaval of our past societal structure to meet the needs of an advancing world. With the growing demand for employment opportunities, attention to global health trends, and humanitarian justice, we can no longer ignore how our status quo has failed us. At the turn of the decade, we understood a need for change, and, now, almost 9 months into this Decade of Action (United Nations), it seems complicated to imagine how we managed to exist within that ancient platform.

Welcoming in this new paradigm, brought on by the need for change and subsequent crises that forced that change, we might find it challenging to articulate precisely where we are. Luckily, as always, with entrepreneurship, we can choose with which perspective we wish to engage in. Without ignoring the struggles and challenges presented by the current status of our global community, ICSB would like to participate with the new and exciting changes, unearthed by the recent crises, which can no longer be ignored. From significant alterations in education systems and the digitization of the entire world to discussions around a universal basic income, we can choose to capture the opportunities from these events. In thinking about the dramatic changes in the political world, the rise of the gig economy, and constant changes in national and international relations, ICSB has spent time reflecting on the major themes emerging from this moment.

Over the past couple of months, we have pressed ourselves to create a weekly reflection on Humane Entrepreneurship. During the struggle of the COVID-19 induced lock-down and border closures, we were uncertain of any resemblance of the present and the future. However, we felt that it was essential to build a presence that embodied our aspired future. Therefore, we have spent months creating content about the theory of Humane Entrepreneurship as we were sure that, regardless of our future, we wanted it to involve the guiding principles of care and protection for the human person as well as for our shared environment. This theory bridges the current entrepreneurial ecosystem and the ideal and future one by providing guidelines through which we might categorize enterprises. These reflection pieces have been incredible in helping shape our understanding of who we are, as an ICSB community, and where more effort and impact is needed.

The status quo is no longer enough, and in building our world anew, we might consider that we do not wish to create a new status quo, but rather that we can, instead, define our current situation through the trends it exhibits. ICSB considers four guiding themes that will push us forward into the future. The themes, being forgiveness, frugal innovation, Humane Entrepreneurship, and resiliency, represent the important topics with which we, as a community, must engage to step freely and gracefully into our future world.

In creating sustainable and continuous cycles of growth, our enterprises must see themselves as part of a greater whole. Enterprises who start to view their ventures through the perspective of frugal innovation will consequently create solutions for more people without utilizing additional resources. The businesses who are willing to honestly admit their missteps regarding employment policies, working conditions, and environmental exploitation will be able to incorporate an application of forgiveness and subsequently transition towards more virtuous practices. This execution will be part and practice of focusing on the human-specific theory of Human Entrepreneurship (HumEnt). HumEnt will ultimately leverage a firm’s, an organization’s, or a nation’s ability to create quality employment opportunities and therefore sustainably increase their wealth, which will generate patterns of resilience in the face of crisis.

As transparency increases and the global population stands firmly and united in their demands to promote a just and green economy, ICSB sees the smaller entrepreneurial units as key players in these transitions. When we begin to see the positive effects of putting an end to our past status quo, we will no longer stand for the same injustices. Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) have an incredible capacity to incorporate these strategies and themes into their structural DNA to promote an equitable future for all more greatly.

Please follow with us as we expand our reflection series to include all players in the “End of the Status Quo.”

 

Article by:

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

The Changes in Wealth

The Changes in Wealth

The Changes in Wealth

Saturday, August 15, 2020, by Ayman El Tarabishy

We must think about if our output is wealth for wealth’s sake, where does that leave our world, our human community, our humanitarian systems, and the ecosystem?

Altering Perspectives with Humane Entrepreneurship

In the introduction to our paper, “Humane Entrepreneurship: How Focusing on People Can Drive a New Era of Wealth and Quality Job Creation in a Sustainable World,” Dr. Ki-Chan Kim, Dr. Song-Tae Bae and I posed the question, “Where — exactly — is the wealth of nations?” We lead from this specific question because it demands that we alter our perspective before even engaging with a theory of Humane Entrepreneurship (HumEnt). This purposeful act of expansion and openness allows readers to set aside their preconceived ideas and judgments that may prevent them from fully connecting with and receiving the ideas of HumEnt.

Returning to the idea of wealth, we must discuss how this expansion and change take place and what these might resemble. Going back to the basics, we will return to the World Bank definition published over 10 years ago describing wealth as “a complementary indicator to gross domestic product (GDP) for monitoring sustainable development in a country.” This definition demonstrated to the masses that wealth is not solely about specific amounts, a surplus of financial or physical resources, nor richness. Wealth now has grown to include the management of “a broad portfolio of assets,” including those that are “produced, human, and natural resources.”

As we know today, it is not just about the outcome of doing business, achieving performance outcomes, or leading a nation. Still, rather global trends tell us that it is more about how we carry out these activities. The recent and ever-evolving health and humanitarian crises have very much illuminated that if we do not make this necessary shift to achieving a virtuous and continuous ‘how,’ our world will not be able to continue caring for and housing the same amount of inhabitants that it does currently. Therefore, in other words, we must think about if our output is wealth for wealth’s sake, where does that leave our world, our human community, our humanitarian systems, and the ecosystem?

That is why we first must push for wealth to include the effort and resulting outcomes of the pursuit of sustainable development, as the World Bank indicated, as well as to initiate a conversation about protecting what we already have.

We have fallen so quickly and so easily to the charm of agile development that we have forgotten the value of the resources that we have. Luckily, Humane Entrepreneurship calls for heightened importance in the person and the community, so that with HumEnt we can begin to practice frugal innovation, which demands us to look at what we have, admit that it is enough, and use that to strive to provide equitable products and services for those who our system has systematically excluded.

Neither the evolution of our definition of wealth nor the complete acceptance and transition towards HumEnt will come first. These are two noble goals that we can think of as working collectively. Their combination will help us reframe and repurpose our business pursuits so that they have higher outcomes that involve sustainable and equitable change for all.

Let’s get started.

Article by:

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

SDGs and Humane Entrepreneurship

SDGs and Humane Entrepreneurship

SDGs and Humane Entrepreneurship

Saturday, August 8, 2020, by Ayman El Tarabishy

We as human leaders, employees, businesses, etc. must, in fact, change ourselves and our attention in order for the SDGs to work.

Being the Change, You Wish to See

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals seem to be the most united and comprehensive guide in which our global community might simultaneously survive and heal its inequalities that have been plaguing our world. Resulting from historical injustices, the world is far from equal. As mentioned earlier in this series, the concept of Humane Entrepreneurship (HumEnt), regarded on a large scale, poses our only survival mechanism to enable the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, one grand mistake that we are collectively recreating in regards to sustainable change and promotion of the SDGs is that we forget that we as human leaders, employees, businesses, etc. must change ourselves for the SDGs to work.

More clearly, the achievement of the SDGs is not solely a means to create a more just world; however, more so, they are the end, the results of our ability to highlight and focus our attention on the humane, or to care for our fellow humans. Currently, many, but certainly not all, enterprises are focusing on profit. They forget the power of benefit, meaning the potential benefit an enterprise could have on its community, its customers, and the environment. That is why I pose that the SDGs’ success will be determined by our ability to instill, or at least introduce, the principles of Humane Entrepreneurship to our students, mentees, and future leaders in their formative years.

By nurturing future and current entrepreneurs, and in so doing, exhibiting the principles of HumEnt ourselves, we might be able to demonstrate a tangible image of how the Sustainable Development Goals will be achieved. Teaching the Sustainable Development Goals is much more than sharing the 17 goals and understanding how they work interconnectedly with each other; it is about helping learners understand how they both affect and are affected by the Sustainable Development Goals. It is in seeing how we are part of the same system for which the SDGs were created that will ultimately allow us to move beyond accepting the current injustices of the world as just “how it is” and understanding how, by refocusing our values, we might create the world anew.

It is for this reason that ICSB has concurrently launched the SDG certificate program and the ICSB Educator 300. These two programs are dependent on each other. In building the Educator 300, ICSB is committing to gathering a group of educators who are ready to evolve so that entrepreneurship education can adapt to societal changes. However, to prepare educators for the future ahead, training in the study and practice of HumEnt is essential. The SDG certificate program complements this new educator platform as it both helps to provide educators with the necessary knowledge of today while introducing the results of including HumEnt in program design and instruction.

Humane Entrepreneurship is not only for the boardroom. It is a lifestyle choice. To center empathy, equity, enablement, and empowerment in our teaching and leading is a decision that we must make for ourselves. The future is bending towards HumEnt, and we, at ICSB, want to prepare all our members for this mighty change. These changes are right at our fingertips, let’s decide to welcome these future changes, and in turn, be the changes we are so accustomed to studying. The future begins with us. 

Let’s get started.

Article by:

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