Magic, Soul, and Inspiration

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Conventional business is not serving the greater good. We can do better and we must — our survival depends on it. The Magic, Soul, and Inspiration track will delve into the science behind what makes us well and how it can be applied to building businesses and an economic system that lifts all boats. Part A will offer a peek into the nation’s first Well-Being in Business Lab currently being convened by 40 entrepreneurs and business leaders in Oakland followed up by an interactive session led by members of the Eileen Fisher management team. Part B will engage participants in a case study session for an open-source social entrepreneurship curriculum being deloped by Etsy.org and BALLE.  

Track Facilitators: Michelle Long, Mark Nicolson


PART A: Well-Being in Business

In February of this year, 40 entrepreneurs in Oakland came together for the nation’s first Well-Being in Business Lab . For five months they are engaging in personal practice and experimentation with business innovation centered around well-being. Unlike the underpinnings of “business school 101”, which emphasizes me vs. my competitor, the science of well-being shows us that kindness is our very nature and that connectedness is the only path to our own deep well-being. The business leaders in the lab have an intention to align their enterprises with the four areas shown to make all humans deeply well. They are experimenting with models that lead with generosity, optimize for connection, inspire reverence, and cultivate connection with purpose. Most importantly, they are instituting personal and organization practices that open their own hearts to our fundamental interconnectedness so innovation along these lines can more naturally occur.

In this session, we’ll be guided through some of the techniques and leadership practices used inside Eileen Fisher by lead members of their management team.

PART B: Business As Extraordinary

Etsy.org, a new Foundation created and endowed with Etsy.com stock is launching this year and needs our counsel. Founder Matt Stinchcomb shares our recognition that we must move beyond less bad, beyond sustainability, and towards regeneration. He recognizes that social entrepreneurs taught “business as usual” are likely to build business as same, and that the evolution we need right now isn’t vanilla to vanilla bean, nor even vanilla to chocolate, but more like vanilla to music.

Etsy.org, in partnership with BALLE and others, is committed to creating an open source entrepreneurship curriculum, rooted in deep wisdom and aligned with well-being. In a foundational step towards developing this curriculum, Etsy.org will pilot a local regenerator program in the Hudson Valley next year that aims to connect entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors to collectively build and support enterprises that regenerate the local communities where they are placed.

In this case study session, we’ll provide counsel on the creation of this curriculum and its related regenerator program. From honoring intuition and finding mission-aligned community financing partners, to creating local “economies of scale” and cultivating our ability to lead with love – we’ll dive deep into what entrepreneurs for this era need, in order to best align with who we are and who we want to be as a society.


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