What gives us hope for the future? Right now, we stand before a massive, once-in-a-400-year opportunity: to create a world where we are fundamentally trusting and co-creating the systems we live in. It is a time of reimagination for us all — but to make the most of this opportunity, we have some serious challenges to overcome.

As Vinod Rajasekaran, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Future of Good, took to the stage at Connect Money Impact 2023 to deliver his keynote presentation, “The Massive Opportunity of 21st Century Social Change,” the room was buzzing with hope, fear and, most importantly, an eagerness to take action. 

Below are our big takeaways from Vinod’s keynote, which you can watch in full here:

Reimagining Our View of the World

Taking action starts with understanding the challenges ahead of us, the biggest being our view of the world. The world is highly relational, but we have compartmentalized it, placed everything in boxes, and commodified it. 

As a result of oversimplifying the inherent complexities that shape our world, we are surrounded by copious knowledge gaps and band-aid solutions. The truth is that there is no singular approach, and these imperfect solutions diminish the potential for system-level shifts and skew our understanding of what is really needed to scale impact that is effective for everyone. 

We now have an extraordinary and unique opportunity to fix that. The question is: will we do something about it or not? 

Recognizing Our Connections

Some people are here to give us answers and some people are here to ask us questions. Today’s opportunity lies in deep questioning of ineffective policies and approaches and coming up with more effective alternatives. 

To find these alternatives, come up with solutions that address the complexities of the world, and create greater change, we need to realize just how connected we are and take advantage of those connections.

We see changes happening in small rooms and communities, where people act on their interconnectedness, but we still lack high-level policy shifts. Change needs to happen from the top down, not just the bottom up.

Telling impact stories and sharing them is one way we can expand change beyond our small circles and take hold of today’s opportunity. Stories are one of the oldest learning tools that we have, they have a massive role to play in driving systemic social change, and they help change minds. 

Stories deepen our connections with and understanding of one another, so we can come up with solutions for us all.

Justice Seekers and Future Builders in the Social Sector

Within the social sector, there are two types of supporters working hard to provide solutions: justice seekers and future builders.

Justice seekers promote equity and focus on improving equality in existing systems while future builders model, build and experiment with alternatives to the existing systems that would make these existing systems obsolete. 

Funders and policymakers have prioritized justice seekers over future builders; however, what we need is a balance. 

To take advantage of the opportunity in front of us, we need to be open-minded so we can harness all possible drivers for system change. We need to connect the justice seekers and the future builders, and work together.

A Collective Urgency to Act

There are many issues we need to work together to address. To wrap up the keynote, Vinod Rajasekaran zeroed in on one in particular: consumption. Then he posed an important question: what should be unownable? 

Circularity is certainly one significant answer to this question, but IndigenEYEZ provided another thought-provoking response: everything should be unownable; the reasoning being we all will leave this earth, so we shouldn’t own anything individually, and instead, there should be a sense of collective ownership.

Collective ownership ties back to the relational nature of the world and the interconnectedness needed to take advantage of the massive opportunity before us. 

By the end of the presentation, the room filled with a palpable sense of urgency and a desire to take hold of this opportunity together, so it does not pass us by.

That gives us hope for the future.

 

This is the second in a series of blog posts about Connect Money Impact 2023 created for Purppl by Sparx Publishing Group, a purpose-driven full-stack marketing agency on a mission to make the world better. 

The Sparx Publishing Team

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