As I think about my inheritance, it’s only reasonable to start with the elephant in the room and acknowledge my white privilege. When I was a child and a young person, I didn’t fully understand the ramifications of that inheritance, but fortunately with time, training, and education, I’m fully aware and passionate about helping change the systemic inequalities that are deeply rooted within our systems.
My first business was a shoe shining business when I was 5 years old. I walked ¾ of a mile to Tony’s Star Market where I would try to shine the “mega-huge” boots of the bread men and milk men that would make deliveries to the store. This is where I learned about rejection and I suspect resiliency too. Certainly, there was an entrepreneurial/marketing/sales spirit within me which I believe also colored my perspective in my early days believing that “everyone” can hustle and make things happen (aka: making money). It was not until later in life, that I learned and understood that while yes, everyone can hustle, but, hustling with a “100-pound brick” tied on your body, tends to slow you down and make it nearly impossible.
My work today is dream-like…full time academic role and part-time consultant! I study theory, share it with young people, and apply it to real world problems all in an effort to #makeabetterfutureforall. In the process, I’m passionate about continuously sharing love, laughter, and learning.
The Commons, not viewed in the usual context of “the commons”, that I’m currently working on, is the Commons of Compassion. As I work with young people and emerging leaders in organizations my focus is on helping leaders achieve what I refer to as healthy employee engagement within their teams. One of the critical leadership ingredients for that is compassion and listening to understand. Given our current climate, I personally find it easy to argue that compassion and our treatment of humanity as a commons has significantly deteriorated.
As we are in the early stages of the 4th Industrial Revolution, I believe it is critical for us to learn from the first 3 revolutions, and discover new ways (e.g. shared-ownership) to enable more people to participate in the wealth creation and experience less of the negative impacts that will undoubtedly result from the further automation of organizations and our lives. As artificial intelligence, such as Sophia (https://www.hansonrobotics.com/sophia/) and her family members are advanced, the changes in our organizations and communities will be significant. I also think it is important to note that no industry will be untouched by disruptive changes in the 4th Industrial Revolution. Even hospitality, that I think it is easy to think would not see much change, will see many changes. Note that there already exists the Henn-na Hotel in Japan that is operated by AI Robots (https://www.therobotreport.com/henn-na-hotel-a-strange-hotel-staffed-by-robots/). I want to invest my time, labor, and money in creating a 4th Industrial Revolution that is enjoyed by the masses instead of only by a tiny minority.