What does an RSE need to know?

The details of your own RSE project are up to you. You are the innovator.

But a few principles can go a long way.

  1. RSEs understand that yesterday’s social entrepreneurship projects, while steps in the right direction, are not enough to solve today’s major problems. Physical technology and the internet are wonderful tools, but are also not enough. RSEs understand that new projects must challenge the rules and systems of our social world. They must innovate in law, governance, community, education, and culture.
  2. RSEs understand that the world is complex and the future is uncertain. So they take a position of humility and tolerance toward ideas. This uncertainty also means that they do not take any paradigm or institution for granted, because all things can change. The knowledge that nearly all things are open to innovation and entrepreneurship is one of the greatest assets of an RSE. They are not stuck with the old, static outlook of their competitors.
  3. RSEs are not motivated only by profit. They have a higher mission and understand that short-term profit is not worth sacrificing their long-term goal. But they also understand that in a healthy system, profit is a sign of good decisions by an RSE. Financially sustainable projects are powerful tools for their mission.
  4. Finally, RSEs understand that the power of their projects is based on openness and consent. Social innovation will occur by finding clever and new ways for people to voluntarily come together. This means RSEs use the power of ‘win-win’ techniques, where all people involved choose to take part and gain from the project. So RSE projects rely on trade, collaboration, and honesty — not coercion, cronyism, or fraud.

For more, check out our section on social theory.

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