As part of the ongoing conversation at Social Good Summit were three “Master Classes.” These were similar in format to the mainstream conference, but on a much more intimate level. Speakers spoke to about 30 people as opposed to an auditorium. Different groups got to hear and ask questions of various executives, movement leaders, spiritual leaders, etc.
The best news I heard at the Master Class was that big companies and organizations are finally starting to listen locally. In other words, thinking globally, yet acting locally. While many big organizations are in the infancy stage of this process and are still planning, they have recognized the need for increased flexibility in their approach to philanthropy. While this includes both for profit and nonprofit organizations, it is the for profit organizations that are finally starting to catch on to how to make a difference. If done correctly, with their vast resources, big companies can help move us closer to #2030NOW.
The reason for this needed perspective and approach change is that in to be engaged in the local communities, there is a need to be more flexible than in the past. Engaging people more on a local level is absolutely necessary. Working only with governments is no longer a viable or beneficial option. Bringing in civil society is how to make the biggest difference, because they are the ones directly affected. They are the ones who care the most.
This ties in well with another concept that has been brought up numerous times over the past couple of days: getting the global south more involved. Consider climate change, the global north consumes and pollutes, and then thinks they need to come in and save the global south from all the harm. The irony is that the global south wouldn’t be in the predicament if the global north weren’t so irresponsible. Moreover, the global north tries to solve problems that are not their own without considering the people affected. Not only is this not helpful, but can even be harmful. The more involved the global south becomes, the better the results will be.
As Atlas Corps says: Change your perspective; change the world!