today are living in a world where the choices they make have an enormous power
to make a difference in the lives of people in developing countries, former
Australian Democrats leader Cheryl Kernot told young business leaders at the
Jesuit Social Services Just Leadership Breakfast last week.
one of three keynote speakers exploring the topic of social entrepreneurship at
the fourth and final breakfast in Melbourne on 8 October.
more than 190 people in attendance, Kernot said the only way to get markets to
reflect the values that we hold as a society is to become more discerning
our markets to value reciprocity and the common good, and they don't do that at
the moment. I think we're going to have to work harder to say that we want
markets to have a different role in our lives', she said.
last five years, Kernot has been program director for the Skoll Centre for
Social Entrepreneurship at the Said Business School at Oxford University, and
is now the Director for Teaching and Learning at the Centre for Social Impact
in New South Wales.
consumer campaigns work, and that is highlighted by the recent decision by
Cadbury to source the cocoa beans for their dairy milk chocolate range from
fair trade cooperatives, providing an enormous boon for farmers in countries
Other initiatives, like www.kiva.org, allow
people to directly provide loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries
really fortunate. We're living in an age where individuals can bypass the big
institutions that we've relied on for all our lives and have a global, systemic
Leadership Breakfast coincided with the Social
Enterprise World Forum, held last week in Melbourne. Guest speakers Andy Kuper, from
the UK, and Lillian Masebenza, from South Africa, shared their on-the-ground
experiences of launching social enterprise activities that have made a
difference to thousands of lives.
The director of the
innovative microinsurance firm, LeapFrog UK, Kuper said business and
political leaders are beginning to see the benefits of investing in and working
with communities in developing markets.
seeing a lot of innovation come out of serving low income and vulnerable
people', he said.
leaders, he said, were people who had a vision to see what was possible and who
could make the personal connections to see initiatives realised.
where there is an opportunity to make an impact, and trying to think of the
systemic solution, the market-based solution, is very powerful', he said.
Social Services CEO Julie Edwards said the Just Leadership Breakfasts this year
had been a great success. Each had engaging speakers, and helped provide
impetus to a new generation of socially conscious business leaders.
She thanked the sponsors for the
series - NAB, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, BP and the City of Melbourne - and said there
were already ideas for building on the series next year.
‘I think everybody being here today
is a sign that we have a shared vision', she said.
Click here to listen to excerpts from the three talks.
Lillian Masebenza shares the story of Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Networks, South Africa.
Andy Kuper from LeapFrog UK.
The talks were followed by reflection and discussion at the tables.
Photos by Michael McVeigh, Jesuit Communications Australia.