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Socap Soul: Fair Trade Condoms, Money, Meaning and Business

At one time, the soul of business was a part of the agenda for all conversations.

Submitted by: Joe Sibilia

Posted: Mar 14, 2013 – 08:51 AM EST

Tags: sustainability, mit, mind and life institute, socap, jeffrey hollender, spirituality, andy ferguson, religion

 
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By Joe Sibilia

SOCAP continues to strengthen their franchise of innovation. Although I was expecting a deeper view into the soul, the conversations reflected an interest in a slightly different topic: whether we can really connect our values to business.

Using Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] as the venue lent the subject of the soul in business a more practical pedigree. MIT and the Mind and Life Institute (www.MindandLIfe.org) are establishing a multi-disciplined approach to make the connection between scholarship, neuroscience, philosophy and economics. Together, they are researching and demonstrating the connection between negative and positive emotions and the impact one or the other has on individuals’ quality of life. Some call this the soul.

Doing good work feeds the soul and the body. And, a healthy body and soul keep the money flowing (at least that’s the theory).

SOCAP Soul wants to connect technology, business and spirituality – align our values with resources.  It’s not a new topic but the people listening are. It was an unlikely partnership between the Episcopal City Mission (Church), Impact Assets (Nonprofit financial services) and Village Capital (Peer-driven entrepreneurial educational venture fund) to bring a number of spirited speakers to Boston on a Saturday afternoon following a major snowstorm.

Fair Trade Condoms: Jeffrey Hollender Leads the March

Jeffrey Hollender opened the ceremonies with a crash course on condoms.  That’s right, the former co-founder and CEO of Seventh Generation is now pushing fair trade organically grown and produced condoms. He was captivating as an audience of social entrepreneurs, students and a sprinkling of investors followed him on his journey from social entrepreneur to CEO to consultant to a fair trade advocate. 

Not too long ago a friend of mine, Andy Furguson, co founder of Veris Wealth Partners, returned from an extensive stay in India and China, and wrote the seminal article titled Buddhism and the Bottom business and spiritualityLine, which ultimately became The Spirit in Business conference. 

At one time, the soul of business was a part of the agenda for all conversations. Excepting SOCAP Soul, the subject lost its luster in favor of ‘The Business Case’ for CSR/Sustainability”.

However, the attendees at SOCAP Soul confirmed that the Soul of Business is back. 

We're All Connected…Believe it Or Not

For thousands of years, religious traditions have attempted to tell us that we are all connected.  Even Apollo's view of the Earth from space did little to convince us of this connection.  But, today there can be no denying that we are connected.  The Internet and social media have made it possible to instantly recognize child labor or civil unrest in far away places.  Technology has shown us the connection.

And there is even an attempt to create a ‘stress test’ for the entire city of Boston.

A mass challenge enterprise will attempt to map out where the greatest ‘stress’ is in the city, at what time, by whom and try to figure out the reason.  Imagine a stress test for the Planet?

With sessions like: “Can money and meaning really exist,” has the time arrived when people think that there is more to life than money? The new players think so and I agree with them.

Why does the most competitive, quintessential capitalist society (U.S.A.) have the greatest economic disparity, crime and poverty of the developed nations? Is there a connection? Is competition a lower form of collaboration? 

These are some daunting questions.

I believe we have a soul and our soul searches for meaning. I believe business is the most powerful force on the Planet. Connecting business with our soul will give business more meaning. More meaning means being less mean. Let's be good, do well and improve conditions through the conduct of business - for everyone.

We are, after all, all connected.

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by CSRwire contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of CSRwire.

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