We are part of a big family
This week I participated in Critical Mass, the conference for anyone interested in social value, investment and innovation. In three words, the event is designed to share, learn and encourage participants to achieve social change regardless their position, but certainly, the event does more than that: it creates an atmosphere of inspiration, significant learning, network and mutual respect that shapes a sense of family in a way that only those who were there can feel. That is what this blog is about; it is about the main ideas, thoughts, quotes, and lessons that during 2 days led us to become a family, as the keynote speaker pointed out on the opening plenary. That powerful concept was reinforced by the idea that, like a family: “we might disagree in several aspects in doors, but outside, we must cover each other’s backs”. Based on that premise I divided my main thoughts of this blog in two different sections: inside the door, in which I share the lessons that I have learnt and are applicable to our daily basis as a social entrepreneurs, and outside the door, in which, based on how do we spread our ideas and share our vision of Critical Mass to a world who is in need of a real change.
Inside the doors: We need to understand, as creators of social value, that we need to disagree, argue and accept that there are significant differences among us. We need to realize that, in order not to give up on our purpose, we must improve daily. We need to become more sophisticated, learn from each other, share thoughts, tips, measurement methods and dreams, because all of us face the same challenges and are driven by the same values. As a Critical Mass family we were encouraged several times to be humble, avoid the self righteousness and accept that our job is not easy, and there are times when we just want to give up. We concluded that we must avoid the hype and that there is a strong feeling that academia is just not getting into it and we insisted on the need to change the educational system in all it is different layers, ¨that is the way the real change could be achieved¨ some said at the conference. But certainly, and perhaps even more important, we were exposed to an inconvenient truth: nothing of this will be done if we do not focus on measuring our impact, if our decisions are not driven by data, if we not are able to understand that we need to walk the extra mile to get the extra resources, and that it is useless to be motivated if we are not equipped to face and overcome our challenges.
Outside the doors: family members not only cover each-others backs but also move things forward together. We are a movement focused on achieving real change into our societies and we won’t stop until we get it, we truly believe that quotes that says: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead. We are that group of citizens; we are not willing to settle in a comfort zone, we want to inspire generations to create a massive impact. We are a Critical Mass ready to size the opportunity that is given to us, we don´t worry about the haters, we just focus on doing, but doing on a professional manner and including the new and powerful generations. It is our time to get what belongs to us and build the society that we need. We do not accept the dogmas or traditional approaches of consumption, we demand brands who really focus on the things that really matters, we recognize the importance of the economics but we also agree that GDP is not enough so we need to encourage a social progress index as well. We as a family, we are committed with keep doing significant changes on the government and society and to make everyone part of this Critical Mass Generation, based on trust and empathy, just as family does.
To conclude this entry, I would add that we are tremendously lucky, because on the contrary of traditional families, we all decided that we wanted to be part of this one: that’s our privilege and responsibility. We are also lucky because we cannot say “bye” to our family bonds, they stay with us until the very last day. My desire is, now that the event is over, to continue working in our family business, taking care of each other, living the lessons and accomplishing the goals that we have set. We have a job to do: make this world a better place. We are Critical Mass, we are a proud family.