Opportunity for Collaboration – Transparency in Competition

Ethical Markets SRI/ESG News

Social entrepreneurs need to be transparent to cooperate (that’s the social part), but they also need to rely on opacity to compete –we are entrepreneurs, after all. How can we cope with such dual personality?

Our friend Peter Deitz started the conversation two years ago with Competition or Collaboration? Now is the time to revisit the question and add another dimension to it: transparency vs. opacity.

Indeed, we can’t cooperate without being transparent –to those we serve, to our colleagues in similar ventures, and to our funding sources. But as we also need to compete for funding and visibility, do we really want to share it all?

These questions are not just theoretical –they have some pointed practical implications. For example, we need to decide whether we will cooperate with those who cover a parallel sector of the same geographical territory, or with those who adopt a highly similar approach to ours in a different part of the world.

Tell Charles (Hipbone) Cameron “to which aspect of the cooperation/competition dance we need to lend our energies.” Then travel to Mexico where Jonathan Lewis is hosting Opportunity Collaboration for the third consecutive year.

He writes from Ixtapa: “Our gathering is predicated on the powerful idea that out of fragmentation can come collaboration, from diversity can come unity and from cross-fertilization can come innovation.”

The words are lofty, but the work is hard. Let’s all find opportunities to collaborate.


Join this Week’s Live Discussions

Competition, Transparency and Cooperation

Social entrepreneurs need to be transparent to cooperate (that’s the social part), but they also rely on opacity to compete –they are entrepreneurs, after all. Charles (Hipbone) Cameron helps you deal with your dual personality.

Understanding Social Impact
How do you evaluate impact: with metrics or with stories? Right brain or left brain? Maybe we need to use both sides of our brains in the process, says Melanie Moore. Don’t be a half-wit and join her in the conversation.

Have We Lost our Moral Compass?
Will the social entrepreneurship community provide the high impact and scalable solutions needed to effectively address human rights? Help Spencer Ton, with the University of the Pacific, remain optimistic.

Impact Investing as Transformation
Antony Bugg-Levine and Jed Emerson, authors of “Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money While Making a Difference,” share their vision with Cathy Clark. Tell us what your role will be in this new movement.

Disruptive (Social) Innovation in Higher Education
A few universities are becoming more entrepreneurial in what they teach and how they operate. But are higher education institutions re-engineering their DNA fast enough? Join Erin Krampetz and Jacqueline Smith in the conversation.

Is Charity for Sale?
A non-profit is sold to a for-profit. A community is turned into a corporation. Is this legal, ethical, moral? Charles (Hipbone) Cameron explores a complex and controversial issue.

Cross-Border Social Innovation
With common challenges in many parts of developing world, how do we best create and share innovative solutions globally? Join Selen Uçak and Matthias Scheffelmeier to discuss what is needed for greater cross-border social innovation.

Corporate Capital for Social Enterprises
Should social enterprises enter into a commercial relationship with large corporations to generate revenues? Irrespective of the risks, Rod Schwartz, CEO of ClearlySo, thinks this is an option we cannot ignore.

Early Stage Investment
If entrepreneurship is the most important force for sustainable job creation, the developing world needs early stage investment now, writes Join Charles (Hipbone) Cameron. So why is it so often overlooked?