From the Founder’s Desk
Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience was published in 1849 but may be even more relevant today. He begins this classic with: “I HEARTILY ACCEPT the motto, — “That government is best which governs least” and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically.”
In many respects we have become to dependent on our government and not taken ownership of our role as citizens and the power that is attached to it. As a Republic, the power resides in and with the people of the United States but along with the power comes responsibility. Of course as citizens we have rights and when in our favor many are quick to tout them but too often we hear or see little of the responsibilities that are inextricably linked which include:
- Support and defend the Constitution.
- Stay informed of the issues affecting your community.
- Participate in the democratic process.
- Respect and obey federal, state, and local laws.
- Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others.
- Participate in your local community.
- Pay income and other taxes honestly, and on time, to federal, state, and local authorities.
- Serve on a jury when called upon.
- Defend the country if the need should arise.
While we consider this often as the rights and responsibilities of individuals we should also consider the role of business and the application of the phrase Corporate Citizenship. In this context I like to remember the words of Thoreau who wrote “ It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience. “
I’m pleased to have been asked to participate in a panel discussion: CHANGEMAKERS: THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL ENTREPRENUERS IN THE UNITED STATES
Visitors are invited to the United States under the auspices of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Their program is arranged by Mississippi Consortium for International Development (MCID Washington).
This Multi-Regional Project will examine the rise of social entrepreneurship in the U.S. and how innovation can drive social and environmental change. Social entrepreneurs identify social problems and apply market-based solutions to organize, create and manage ventures that engage the community to solve social problems. This project will focus on the concept of social entrepreneurship, as well as government initiatives that support civic engagement and innovation. Through examination of successful models of social entrepreneurship, the participants will explore the impact of new and social media on traditional methods of fundraising, grassroots mobilization and strategic collaboration.
• To examine the role of social entrepreneurship in the United States, focusing on what makes these ventures sustainable and self-sufficient;
• To introduce international social entrepreneurs to their American counterparts for discussion of best practices and innovative approaches to social change affecting poverty alleviation, public health, and the environment;
• To discuss current trends and developments shaping social innovation, including the impact of strategic collaboration, youth initiatives, corporate social responsibility, and combined non-profit/for-profit enterprises;
• To explore the impact of new and social media in the promotion of social entrepreneurship.
It is great to have the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy take the lead in this and I applaud their efforts. These topics are so relevant in today’s economy and society.
Comments and inputs are as always most welcomed.