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.

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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.

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