by Colleen McQuade, U.S.A.
Since the beginning of my academic and professional career in the field of peace and conflict resolution I have felt a tension between ideology and business. Being a former hippie myself I have always understood the ideals of and vision of my friends. Dreams of nonviolence and the ability to envision a world that looks drastically different then the world today has served as a springboard and source of inspiration. On the other hand, all of my professional experience is in the corporate world. Today, Raymond Shonholtz validated the combination of both ideals and business.
Through both his lecture and the simulation I felt as if I gained practical information that will to transform my own ideas in to realities. Discussions on how to build your legitimacy as an organization, the steps to creating a center, and the process of mediating an agreement left me feeling that I had gained some palpable skills and new framework for analyzing ideas. Social entrepreneurship is not a new idea, however the integration of a business model into initiative and projects led me to a greater appreciation for my own experience.