Over the next few months, The Responsibility Project will be working closely with Slate on an innovative user-generated initiative called the Hive. As Slate’s editorial team describes it: “The Hive begins with a single, challenging problem, a problem that is difficult and important but not so abstruse that ordinary, intelligent people can't understand it. It should be a problem that, if we managed to solve it even a little bit, could genuinely improve the lives of people around the world.”
After much collaboration, we’ve arrived at an important topic discussed often on The Responsibility Project: the need for entrepreneurship in our society, and the opportunities for people to invent their future amidst uncertain times.
We want inspirational stories, real world tips and honest advice and insights to help answer the following: What are the real, actionable ways we can best prepare our society – in the classroom and beyond – to embrace entrepreneurship opportunities? Our goal is to create a national dialogue that helps this next generation reshape the economy, and their own futures.
To solve for this need, Slate has issued an open call for ideas from now until November 14th. For further context, here’s some of the thinking that informed our Hive…
Radical shifts in the economy, magnified by the Great Recession, have upset the traditional path from college to the corporate ladder. Recent graduates and even professionals who thought they were established are facing the worst job prospects in 75 years. You can’t count on finding a job and, if you do, there’s certainly no long-term security. You have to invent a career. Becoming independent, productive and responsible now requires that you have an entrepreneurial capacity to chart your own course. You might need to patch together multiple part-time opportunities, or volunteer in an organization you admire, or launch your own venture. All of us, not just recent grads, have a stake helping the un- or underemployed succeed in this “Me, incorporated” world.
Following the submission period, readers will be encouraged to vote on their favorite ideas, and we have also enlisted a panel of expert judges. Together, the judges and voters will select a dozen finalists before revealing a winning entry in January 2012.
Submit your ideas here, and in the meantime, we invite you to read a sampling of previous articles featured on The Responsibility Project that explore inspirational stories of entrepreneurship.
“A New Life for Medical Supplies” - Danielle Butin created the Afya Foundation to give new purpose to discarded medical supplies.
“Translating Joy into Business Success” - A Q&A with CEO and author Chip Conley on how serving higher needs can help a company flourish despite hard times.
“Building a Nest” - Through a system of “micro-bartering,” Rebecca Kousky’s international nonprofit Nest is helping women in poverty earn a living selling their handmade crafts.
“What's Really in a Product?” - Imagine scanning a product’s barcode to instantly determine its full effect on our health, the environment and society. Imagine no longer.
“Weaving Humanity” - One woman's quest to create a more humane, sustainable Nepalese carpet industry.
“Stilettos for a Cause” - Pam Rosenkrans runs In Her Shoes, a California-based boutique shop that donates 100 percent of its profits to international women’s rights.
“Top Java” - For the owners of Equator Coffees & Teas, making “good” coffee means keeping good practices with the land, plants and people of the Panamanian rainforest.
“Click to Give” - Charitable giving has found a new boost online through BiddingForGood, where PTA moms and corporations alike can use quick and easy ways to donate.
“Licenses to Rock” - Matthew Covey runs Tamizdat, a successful nonprofit that helps foreign musicians navigate the difficult process of securing U.S. work visas.
“Getting Into Gear” - Recycle-A-Bicycle doesn’t just keep tons of metal out of city landfills – it helps teens build important skills and give new life to bikes.