Presentation to Symposium at Princeton University, New Jersey
The paper that Cam Donaldson and members of his research team presented at the CIT symposium focused on that second theme: ‘social enterprise’ or ‘social business’. The basic notion appears to be that the best way forward to improve the health and well-being of the poorest and most deprived members of any society – including our own – is through community-based programmes in business enterprise which are not profit-led.
The paper that followed – the work of the team of researchers – was rigorous and detailed in describing the nature of social enterprise and how it might be defined, developed and assessed. Academic and scholarly, the paper’s language and expression remain throughout those of the professional social science researcher. For the non-expert reader, this can become something of a challenge.
For public and private money to be invested in the social enterprise schemes that the Yunus Centre researchers describe, minds and hearts have to be won over. I suspect that MPs, MSPs, editors, commentators, and business leaders need to come on board. To my mind at least, this would be more likely to happen were Cam Donaldson and his excellent team to come up with a way of humanising their programme – of illustrating in immediate, individual terms how social enterprise could transform and enhance the health and well-being of actual, deprived communities.
See review by Andrew Hook here