social justice

Leadership: sprint, marathon & relay race

A colleague once said to me, “I stand on your shoulders.”  I replied, “We all are part of a chain of progress that stretches far behind us and will continue long after us.”  This is how I view leadership in general and women’s leadership in particular. Research by McKinsey, Harvard, Columbia, and myriad other consultancies, think tanks and universities show that organizations with diverse leadership are 35% more likely to have better financial returns.  So, advancing women’s leadership is a vital business imperative.  And, I hope men will share with all your male colleagues why “women in leadership” is not just a women’s issue. What's valid for women’s leadership applies to all of us, if we can break out of long-held but... more

The best of times, the worst of times

In his 1859 classic, A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens compared life in Paris and London before and during the French Revolution when he wrote “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”  And if you look at the history of humankind at any time – particularly when we’ve made tectonic global transitions: the Agrarian Age, the Industrial Revolution, and now the Digital Revolution – you also see the best and worst simultaneously. There always have been opposing forces: “dark” (e.g.: nationalism, tribalism, fear and hatred of “the other”) vs. “light” (e.g.: empathy, bridge-building, inclusiveness and striving for freedom and human dignity of all human beings). It’s no different now: we live in a time of... more

Reconciliation Defeats Revenge

by beCause Associate Robi Damelin - While watching the bereaved African-American mothers on the stage at the Democratic Convention, I thought just how much we mothers, who have lost children, have in common, regardless of color, creed or national identity.  I thought that all bereaved mothers in the world should rise up together and say, "Enough! Stop the killing! Let our children live out the course of their lives.  We cannot continue to have the dreadful task of burying our sons and daughters and of continuing our motherhood by tending to graves and pretending that planting flowers and plants brings solace." I promise you, as one who has lost a child, the pain never goes away.  Yes, we put on our... more

A Woman of Conviction

A Woman of Conviction

Guest post by Cynthia Lardner who interviewed Nadine B. Hack -"I had the opportunity to interview a woman I admire tremendously and we had a wonderful conversation about how she came to be a woman of conviction respected globally." CL: What influenced you when you were young and who were your role models? NBH: My grandmother was an extraordinary woman, dedicated to helping others.  She immigrated to the US from what was then Russia (now Ukraine) to escape Tsarist pogroms.  I grew up in an building where our extended family lived (her brothers, sisters, their children and grandchildren).  She taught me that when I went to the bakery I should ask the price of today and yesterday’s bread: then, after... more

Compassion: Wisdom in Action and Association

Guest post by Dr. Surendra Soni -- Indian philosophical wisdom, especially in the Sāmkhya school of philosophy and the Bhagavad Gita, describes that our lives operate under the influence of an admixture of various modes of energy. We are not under the influence of the same mode of energy all the time. This varying blend of energy has an overwhelming impact as much on our relationships as it has on our actions and performance. This energy, which has a certain quality of consciousness, flows into our actions and our relationships and goes on to mould and shape them. These varying modes of energy lend charm and colour to human life and pursuit, but they also have us swing between harmonies and... more

Telling stories: transmedia activism

beCause Associate Lina Srivastava interviewed by Henry Jenkins, Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at University of Southern California - As my student Geoff Long likes to say, transmedia is an adjective, not a noun, and as such, it needs something to modify. Much of the conversation here has centered around transmedia entertainment, transmedia storytelling, or perhaps transmedia branding and transmedia learning. But, when the word transmedia modifies activism or mobilization, there is no more important voice in the world today than Lina Srivastava. In her hands, transmedia becomes a verb — something we do to make a difference in the world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiOKsv_1wRo#t=22 I first met her in Madrid several summers ago when we were both speaking at a gathering of thinkers... more

Sustainability Leadership: Disruptively Smart Business

by beCause Global Associate Andrea Learned - Why have the topics of sustainability and gender balance still not become key priorities for smart business leadership? And why does coverage of business “disruption” still seem to focus solely on the clever, the hip and the solely technological when culture demands organizational change to a whole other level? As someone with marketing to women roots and a now deep passion for sustainable business, perhaps I take lack of attention to these less exciting topics a tad personally? It’s possible. But, no matter what is behind my irritation, sustainability and gender balance have never gotten their due, and by now, any discussion of them seems like “old news.”  Still, we best not leave it there.First, a quick look at my own path as background for my perspective: Earlier in my... more

Social entrepreneurs engines for SDGs

by beCause Global Associate David Wilcox, founder ReachScale and Dr. Amit Kapoor, Honorary Chair Institute for Competitiveness India - The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), deadlined for completion in 2015, have given way to the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), launched in September at the UN General Assembly and an array of other events including the SDG Business Forum, the Social Good Summit and the Clinton Global Initiative. In evaluating over 100 presentations at these events, I was struck by: Few presentations gave any indication of serious learning from the wins — and losses — during 20 years of MDG work. A delineation of the models that work (i.e. more sustainable and scalable) is missing. In the absence of learning frameworks, presenters reiterate the same problems, now expanded to... more

Alternative tool for access to justice

by beCause Global Associate, Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, Chairman Africa Dispute Resolution Company, acting judge High Court of South Africa, who served as Commissioner on Truth & Reconciliation Commission and President of Black Lawyers Association: transcript of remarks he gave at 4th International Africa Peace And Conflict Resolution Conference *** It is my singular pleasure and honour to address an occasion such as this, when luminaries from the African continent have been marshalled for the next TWO days to be here in JOHANNESBURG, a city which the Mothers and Fathers thereof, like to call a “world class African city”, whatever they mean by that. The Conference is organized by organizations BOTH of which are in the business of PROMOTING PEACE and seeking to... more

Why do we have fewer Good Leaders?

by beCause Global Associate Ravi Chaudhry, CEO CeNext Consulting, author of Quest for Exceptional Leadership: Mirage to Reality , former Chair / CEO of four Tata Group companies - People all over the world wonder why there are so few good leaders who command trust and deliver results. Has the quality of leadership declined or have we become more demanding? Most likely, a bit of both. Those taking on the mantle of leadership in society and business today need to acknowledge that we are moving on to a new phase of human enterprise, driven by increased demand for social consciousness and the need to function in sync with society and environment. Several potent forces are accelerating this process, stemming from the rise of ‘knowledge-based... more