Written in the 1910s when the Levant was under Ottoman rule, this poem by Gibran still rings too true.
Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion.
Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave, eats a bread it does not harvest, and drinks a wine that flows not from its own wine-press.
Pity the nation that acclaims the bull as hero, and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.
Pity the nation that despises a passion in its dream, yet submits in its awakening.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice except when it walks in a funeral, boasts not except among its ruins, and will rebel not save when its neck is laid between the sword and the block.
Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a juggler, and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.
Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpetings and farewells him with hootings, only to welcome another with trumpetings again.
Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years and whose strong men are yet in the cradle.
Pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation.
Gibran Khalil Gibran
The garden of the Prophet (published 1934)
Celebrating the 101st International Women’s Day by sharing some of my favorite links:
Here’s to hoping that the need for this “celebration” soon becomes laughably obsolete.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them (Colossians 3:19)
Quick addendum to the last post.
The “Fail fast, fail often” mantra is good advice if you’re prototyping in your lab. It is not a good idea if you’re rolling it out to the vulnerable communities you’re trying to serve. The unintended negative consequences of a failed experiment can be substantial. So, make that “Fail fast, fail often – responsibly”.
A version of this article was originally published on Wamda. Thanks, Nina for the edits!
Inclusive capitalism, disruptive innovations, triple bottom line, scalability… My head is abuzz with catchy expressions after spending the past weekend at the 13th Social Enterprise Conference* at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
The crowd of 1,500 young, passionate (and caffeinated) attendees bounced around the hallways between panel discussions, hands-on workshops, and the much-anticipated Pitch for Change Competition. The excitement and entrepreneurial spirit were palpable. When meeting someone, the question was not the usual “What do you do?” with which East-Coasters usually strike up conversations, but rather, “What’s your idea?”
Change the F*ing World
Daniel Epstein of Unreasonable Institute set the tone of the conference by opening the keynote address with a reminder of what unites all attendees: a deep desire to Change the F*ing World (take note of the newest acronym on the block: CTFW). He was joined on stage by Kavita Shukla of Fenugreen, Lauren Bush of FEED, and Taylor Conroy of Destroy Normal – three young social entrepreneurs making an impact.
One of the topics discussed was fundraising. Taylor’s advice: the most effective way to raise funds for your project is to reach out to people you personally know, ask for little (microgiving), show them the tangible impact of their gift, and finally, acknowledge them (a little recognition never hurts). Lauren’s FEED Project which has sold over half a million bags, providing 60 million meals in the process, perfectly illustrates the last two points: every FEEDbag features a printed number on it that indicates how many children are being fed by your purchase.
I spent the past weekend at the great 13th Social Enterprise Conference at Harvard University (you can find my impression of the conference here). Of the two-day gathering, one moment was particularly interesting: ex-chairman of SKS Microfinance gave a humbling talk about failure during Saturday night’s networking reception.
Akula during the Social Enterprise Conference 2012 | Photo cred: @RxFogarty | Check Rob’s beautiful work at www.dearworld.me
This post also appears on the Women and Public Policy Program of Harvard Kennedy School wire.
Last week, 2,600 of the world’s most powerful gathered in the recluse ski resort of Davos for the 42nd World Economic Forum - and I was lucky to be there. Amidst the lavish parties (Mick Jagger!), limousine/helicopter rides, and icy sidewalks, the general mood was a somber one.
“Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women. […] We never call boys bossy. Any of the women in the room who as a girl were called bossy? If you got to Davos you were called that. I was!”
~ Sheryl Sandberg, on women as the way forward.
“I have succeeded so much in life because I only had to compete with half the population.”
~ Warren Buffet, on gender equality.
K. Lost both parents to the war at age 13.
Taught me how to play a card game called “AK47“.
J’aurais aimé être avec toi aujourd’hui. Aussi fort que j’aurais aimé être présente le jour de ton départ le 4 Décembre pour te dire adieu en bonne et due forme.
A défaut, j’honore ta mémoire à distance, dans mon petit studio de Boston. Je sais que tes autres petits fils font de même, de Londres, Dublin, San Francisco, les Alpes, Montréal, Illinois, Dubaï, Bogota, et Paris. Tu vois, Jeddo, ta semence a fait le tour du monde.