Monday, November 28, 2011
The New Field of Cacao Farming
It's all about operating for more than one's own personal economic benefit. Rather than the traditional bottom line of "profit," it's about the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. The sustainable benefit of all these three are the goal.
Some of the hallmarks of social entrepreneurship is sustainability, systemic thinking, and innovation. We're finding creative ways to solve the world's most pressing problems by developing systemic solutions that have a cascading impact on interconnected communities, industries, and eco-systems.
For me personally, I wanted to help find broader, innovative, systemic solutions to social and environmental challenges. For the past five and a half years, I've founded and operated a non-profit organization called the Catalyst Network of Communities that creates spaces for individuals and organizations to connect, to collaborate and to share resources as an effort to combat the fragmented, competitive, and redundant atmosphere among community organizations. We are a network of over 90 community organizations and businesses but we measure our impact by the number of participating partners.
As I help Catalyst establish a solid foundation for its mission, I've been wanting to embark on new ventures. I wanted to create a social enterprise with a for-profit model that helped people. So I'm exploring the new field of cacao farming. Cocoa! Chocolate! But how can I create a cocoa business that helps people?
That is what I'm about to figure out. This blog will help me chronicle my journey, process my thoughts, and share my research.
I am currently a graduate student at Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education and Psychology working towards a Master of Arts in Social Entrepreneurship and Change. As part of the program, I am doing research and will participate in a global internship experience. I get to choose the country, the social issue, and the organization to work with.
My choice of study and exploration will be Cacao Farming and Cocoa Production in the Philippines. I'm still searching for (securing) a host organization.
This will be fun!