Conservation Entrepreneurship/Resources

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Links[edit | edit source]

  • You can find the 'Social Capital' Index and related resources on social capital at this site.
  • A related conferenceon Social Capital Markets is worth exploring.
  • You can see the wiki from the 2008 Social Capital Markets conference here.
  • The lingo page of the wiki gives good, succinct definitions to many basic social capitalism concepts.
  • Interesting Washington Post article on Wal-Mart's innovations in terms of providing health care benefits. Page 2 talks about some of Wal-Mart's Corporate Social Responsibility and reputation concerns. Page 3 describes how they assessed employee needs, analagously to how retailers assess customer needs in order to meet needs and provide value.
  • The Education Life supplement from Jan 21, 2009 NY Times has a section on student innovations, including several environmental ones.
  • In the dreamers and doers article they state "A report issued last year by the Kauffman Foundation, which finances programs to

promote innovation on campuses, noted that more than 5,000 entrepreneurship programs are offered on two- and four-year campuses -- up from just 250 courses in 1985. Full-scale majors, minors or certificates in entrepreneurship have leaped from 104 in 1975 to more than 500 in 2006. Since 2003, the Kauffman Foundation has given nearly $50 million to 19 colleges and universities to build campus programs."

Lichenology 20:56, 2 February 2009 (UTC)jay

  • A search on for "conservation entrepreneurship" had some interesting results! The second on the list was this, from our very own university.. It is about a project a group of students did for a course and for a competition. They were successful in adding "infinite" value to a re-used bottle of water. See how they did it! with love, Bp 14:09, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
  • SOCAP International is a society of customer care professionals. This is the site of the 2008 SOCAP international conference. This page has many power point and other exhibits.

'Interesting Blogs'

Joel Makower on greening business.

TreeHugger focuses on green consumption.

Literature[edit | edit source]

Peter Drucker, The Essential Drucker

Chapter 1. What is Management? Motivation and goal setting. • Origins and development • Goals of management • Management vs. entreprensuership • Management in and for non-profits First reading under management.

Chapter 2: continuation of chapter 1; short. Three goals of management: mission, workers, social impact.

Chapter 3. Abstruse / philosophical treatise on profit (I didn’t understand). BUT, second part is good (pp 20-27); recommend only this part. • Defines innovation • Define the customer – who, where, what is utility he wants • Parts of a business plan (objectives in different areas), but rather dense p. 37 on social responsibility is interesting; combine with Chapter 5.

Chapter 4. Non-profit management. • Mission – motivation … difficulty yet importance of measuring results • Board • Volunteers

Chapter 5. Social responsibility. Gives limited support: • Good when can be a business opportunity. • Bad if goes beyond business’ competence / authority

Chapter 6. Eclectic. • Assumptions vs. Paradigm • P 77: managing people. Theory X vs. Theory Y (McGregor 1960) • P 92: management x entrepreneurship • National x multi-national • Focus on own technology x importance of technology from other industries (e.g. tradeoffs in having company’s own research lab)

Chapter 7. Information. Linking accounting to results ⇒ Difficult in service / knowledge industries (but necessary).

Chapter 8. Management by objectives.

Chapter 9. Hiring. Excellent.

Chapter 10. Entrepreneurship. Read early in course. Focuses on how big companies can develop an entrepreneurial (innovative) part: answer = separate (intrapreneurship).

Chapter 11. New Venture. Management of a start-up. Apply to case studies such as Jupara’. Important nuts and bolts in this chapter; chapter 12 is more the philosophy behind it.

Chapter 12. Strategy; good overview of strategy. Could be read together with 10 and 11. Not sure how applicable to small or community enterprises (focus is on how to dominate an industry). But an excellent overview of business strategy, with many household name companies as examples.

Chapter 13. Effectiveness is a habit. The habit of focusing on doing “the right thing”. Chapter incomplete; needs to go together with 14.

Chapter 14 (read with 13). Effectiveness is based on looking outward to ask what is needed by others to achieve organization’s goals. (= Proactivity, Covey’s Habit 1).

Chapter 15 – strengths, how you work, values ⇒ where you belong. Could do as exercise in class (or for class). Maybe towards end of term (or do mid-term anonymously, and share at end of term).

Chapter 16. Time Management. Complements Covey. Key is time log exercise. Doesn’t give much on specific techniques.

Chapter 17. Decision-making. Interesting but abstruse; lengthy. Not sure how much students will be able to relate to it, but is thought-provoking.

Chapter 21. Not too relevant for course (more relevant to middle-aged professionals). Human life cycle. Second career.

Chapter 22. Interesting discussion of “western tradition” and “educated person”. Great quote p. 292.

Chapter 24. Entrepreneurial society – to replace welfare state.

Chapter 25. Social sector. Community, citizenship, social change.

Chapter 26. Knowledge vs. machine power.

Afterword – same basic idea as chapter 26.

How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas. By David Bornstein. 2007. This book tells the story of Bill Drayton, the Ashoka Foundtation which he founded, and a wide selection of Ashoka Fellow Social Entrepreneurs. Chapter 11 describes the involvement of McKinsey consulting firm, and gives the perspective of a management consulting firm on Social Entrepreneurship, all in the context of Ashoka Fellow Vera Cordeiro who developed a comprehensive health program for favela children (Rio de Janeiro) who were hospitalized, to avoid the constant rehospatilization. In Peter Senge terms, she helped to treat the whole child (and the family-system in which the child is embedded), as opposed to the traditional approach of treat the parts (symptoms), release the child, and wait for the child to return with a new emergency. Chapter 12 gives Lessons Learned and tries to synthesize common approaches taken by successful Social Entrepreneurs, using various Ashoka Fellows as examples. Chapter 13 was a very inspiring example to me, a US Social Entrepreneur who founded College Summit to mentor talented high school students from underprivileged backgrounds. Chapter 16 was the best general chapter, relating Social Entrepreneurship to successful businesses.

Green, Inc.: an environental insider reveals how a good cause has gone bad. 2008. Christine Macdonald. The Lyons Press, Guilford, Conn. A journalist and former employee of Conservation International has written this supposed "inside account" of how large environmental organizations have sold out to large corporations. She describes various corporate and economic initiatives, including conservation easements, green building, REDD, corporate social responsibility, timber and fisheries certification, charitable contributions and marketing partnerships. Only about 20% of the text is actually about specific NGO activities. She raises some areas of legitimate concern, such as high executive salaries, but there is just not that much specific information here. In my opinion the few interesting cases that are presented have limited credibility because of the author's obvious and unsubstantiated presumption that any kind of compromise is unethical and illegitmate. For example, her assertion that NGOs only got concerned about Global Warming in 2006 when it appeared that there would be conservation payments available is outrageous. I also found her repeatedly calling Brazil's savanna ecosystem "El Cerrado" worth a chuckle. Rbusch 20:38, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Example of a friends Organic Agriculture Org:[edit | edit source]

This week I thought I would share a bit about a friend of mine who I would most definitely call a conservation entrepreneur. Since I first met my friend Molly in college she has been nonstop in her efforts to support social and environmental initiatives. While in college she supported a number of causes related to farm workers rights in Immokalee to sustainable agriculture and development on campus. However it wasn’t until after college that she really stepped up to the next level of entrepreneurship. Following college she spent a year in Fiji on a Rotary scholarship working to develop the foundation for organic sugar production. That experience led to the creation of The Fiji Organic Project (, a project that was eventually picked up and supported by the Fiscal Sponsor NGO Earth Island ( Her organization has since made huge steps in helping Fiji transition from unsustainable non-organic sugar production to much cleaner organic methods.

You can read a recent article concerning Fiji’s movement towards organic sugar written by Molly here:;col1 ).

Recently Molly has moved on to run her own organization (independent from a fiscal sponsor). With The Fiji Organic Project up on its feet and largely run by Fijians, she has since moved on to create a sustainable agriculture NGO in her home state of Missouri called EarthDance. For more information about this endeavor you can visit her organization’s home page here:

Here’s a short biography of Molly that was put together by our undergraduate college. I think it does a good job at highlighting her entrepreneurial spirit:

Over the past 6 or 7 years Molly has been extremely helpful in supporting me in my pursuit of creating a similar socially/ environmentally aware organization. I am positive that if anyone has any comments or questions concerning her organizations or how she went about building them she would be more than willing to answer them for us.Lynch 21:36, 30 January 2009 (UTC)


I got interested in this concept while reading about Equal Exchange, the coffee and chocolate company, which it itself a worker owned cooperative. A number of the ideas discussed in The Fifth Discipline seem to point towards worker owned cooperative structure, particularly ideas such as harnessing the "intrinsic motivation" of humans and creating a creative work place where all are equally valued and feel empowered. Worker owned cooperatives seem in some ways better positioned to embrace many of the ideas proposed in the Fifth Discipline, as the guiding ideas, theory/methods/tools, and infrastructure are all from the outset designed to promote being learning organizations and the management-worker divide is not so pronounced.

In summary the most important characteristics of worker owned cooperatives are:

  • They are cooperatives democratically owned and controlled by workers-owners.
  • "Pure" worker cooperative- All shares of company owned by work-owners (one worker-one share).
  • Less pure- Majority of workforce owns shares and the work force owns the majority of shares, but some shares may be owned by outside investors
  • Direct worker control- All members meet regularly to collectively make decisions, non-hierarchical structure
  • Indirect worker control- Workers elect Board of Directors, who hire management (who are subject to removal by workers), hierarchical structure.
  • Profits (or losses) earned by the worker's cooperative are shared by worker owners. Instead of "profit", there is a "surplus" that is divided among worker-owners
  • Low ratio between lowest to highest paid workers.

The wikipedia page on Worker Owned Cooperative is very good and worth looking at it. It has an interesting comparison of Corporate vs. State Owned vs. Worker Owned enterprise structure. (

Also there are a number of interesting profiles of worker owned cooperatives on the website of The United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives ( On this page they have a PDF of WHAT IS A WORKER OWNED COOPERATIVE?, in which they point out:

  • "Some worker cooperatives have what’s called a “multiple bottom line” - that is, they evaluate their success by

looking not just at the money they make, but at things like their sustainability as a business, their contribution to the community, and the happiness and longevity of their workers."