A Benevolent Perfect Storm for Progressive Organizational Movements

by cv harquail on April 16, 2009

“A Benevolent Perfect Storm.”

Isn’t that a lovely image? It comes from David Ellwood, dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, as quoted by Steve Lohr in his NYTimes article “With Finance Disgraced, Which Career Will Be King?” Ellwood hopes that one outcome of the collapse of social and monetary incentives to take a job in finance will be more graduating students chosing careers in “public service”.

Ellwood mentions (1) the economy, (2) other long-range policy issues and (3) the new administration as features of this Benevolent Perfect Storm creating a new set of career opportunities.

In addition to the features that Ellwood mentions, there are three others — more prominent than ever — that add not only the ‘push’ to this perfect storm, but also the ‘pull’.

1.  The rise in Progressive Organizational Movements increase the number of different causes people can work and connect with.

2.  The increasing profile of CSR, social entrepreneurship, sustainability, diversity, and other movements within organizations themselves increase the number of jobs available. And,

3.  Sites and networks where organizations can post specific job and career opportunities, and individuals can post resumes and profiles, make it easier to find opportunities and match them with individuals.

justmeans logo.jpg Expanding beyond our earlier understanding of ‘non-profit careers’ or ‘public policy careers’, we are now seeing “Jobs for Good” and “Responsible Careers”.

Here’s just one example of #3, a site that that helps to link “Just job”-seekers with organizations working for social, economic, ecological, global good:  JustMeans.

JustMeans is an online community for people and organizations interested in social responsibility. One of the services that JustMeans offers is a job posting page, where organizations (and executives) looking to hire people with specific goals & values, as well as skills, can post their opportunities to an interested community. (Disclaimer, I only know about JustMeans what anyone can tell from their site. No inside information…)

There’s a nice match here, between the push of the economy, policy, and political leadership, and the pull of specific job opportunities and career networks. Add that to the increasing number of graduating students looking for jobs where they can pursue larger goals and reflect their personal values, and yeah, I’d say that’s a perfect progressive storm.

Please let me know of other, similar job&career sites for individuals and organizations focused on a progressive purpose.

{ 1 comment }

Susan Mazza May 12, 2010 at 6:31 pm

That is most certainly a lovely image, one that is full of hope for our future!

While financial gains have been the primary driver of our brand of capitalism, the flaws in that system when it comes to creating a socially and environmentally sustainable world are all to obvious. That which does not adapt and evolve is likely to die or destroy itself. Perhaps these trends are a sign that we are actually evolving.

Not only are these kinds of opportunities becoming more prevalent but doing work that matters is “fashionable” and sustainability in the broadest context is proving to have a significant financial upside. Seems to me that these two trends at the same time bode well for our future although there is a long way to go.

Although not specifically the kinds of resources you asked for, a few examples of people whose life’s work is being fueled by (and fueling) these trends come to mind. Christopher Lazlo has written a number of books with great case studies demonstrating the financial case for sustainable practices. Helping companies to do business responsibly and sustainably is his business. Jamie Cloud created the Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education over 12 years ago and her organization is growing because of the increasing demand around the world to infuse curriculum that teaches children to think systemically and act sustainably.
.-= Susan Mazza´s last blog ..Leading “You” Begins with Leading Me =-.

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