1/22/14 – Andy Kumar attended the 2013 Net Impact Conference, and recently graduated from the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA program at Colorado State University.
Every day, programmers, engineers and, forward thinking technologists of Silicon Valley continue to do what they do best: innovate. However, for one short weekend of the recent past, they shared the innovation stage with mission-driven business thinkers from around the planet. Student and professional Net Impact members from every sector of business came together to share ideas and methods to account for ‘silent stakeholders’, and in some cases generate wealth across the triple bottom line.
Based on breakouts sessions, panels, and conversations over meals and drinks, the general buzz was about corporate social responsibility and entrepreneurship. CSR dialogues focused on metrics and intrapreneurship, and while I find this to be fantastically interesting, I must expose my bias – that of an impact-driven entrepreneur. I was much more concerned with the energizing people and practitioners of the enterprise space that were present.
From keynotes to coffee talk, the entrepreneurial message was the same: find a direction that you are passionate about, and persevere. Sticking with what lights your fire, challenges your mind, and feeds your soul creates a situation where you can thrive personally and professionally while driving impact. The words of Jim Collins and Paul Graham ring in my head from intense semesters of GSSE work with a caring cohort of clever and dedicated students, as I mull over the relationship between passion and perseverance.