Transformative Philanthropy Not For ‘Rockstars’
7 May 2013 at 10:01 am
While becoming a social entrepreneur may be the ‘cool thing to do,’ having a ‘rockstar’ mentality is not the right mindset when solving social problems, a Transformative Philanthropy Forum in Melbourne has been told.
The Forum heard that collaboration rather than working alone as a high powered individual in these areas is the key to success.
Today, it’s “cooler to be a social entrepreneur than a ‘tech’ entrepreneur,” Fors said.
“But change is a team sport. It requires more players.
“A ‘rock star’ mentality doesn’t help.”
Chair of Social Venture Partners International, Lance Fors from the Silicon Valley in California delivered the keynote address at the Australian Communities Foundation forum focussing on how financial, program and human capital work to achieve social change.
Fors said that leveraging human capital was really important and it’s not all about making money.
“People will solve problems, not money,” he said.
Fors was the founder and CEO of Third Wave Technologies, building it into a leading publicly-traded biotechnology company, which made products that enabled the early detection and treatment of cervical, colorectal, liver and other cancers. Since selling Third Wave for $600 million, Lance has focused on social change and entrepreneurship.
He is chair of Social Venture Partners International, a board member of Growth Philanthropy Network and Jumpstart, and lectures on the potential of Not for Profit boards to provide transformational leadership.
According to Fors, Venture Philanthropy is ultimately about “unleashing human potential”.
“You don’t go to business school to become a venture philanthropist.
“You only learn by doing. It’s an apprenticeship model,” he said, relating it to “experiential learning”
He said that a social venture is for people who “actually want to add value with their time and talent, not just their money”.
For programs to be successful, it involves collaboration with a donor circle who are interested the long term goal of solving problems.
“There needs to be a focus on impact,” he said.
“It’s not the quantity of money but the quality of the impact.
“We have to place fewer, deeper and longer bets.”