On Friday evening, Greg Dees, professor at Duke University's Center for Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship and who many call the godfather of social entrepreneurship, introduced a group at the Pacific Northwest College of Art to the concept of what he calls the open solutions society. The concept, which I believe will soon be laid out thoroughly in book form, is an all hands on deck approach to collectively solving the issues we face.
The lecture (more of a conversation) was hosted by PNCA's Collaborative Design program and Portland State University's Impact Entrepreneurs. Prior to the conversation, there was an open house at the Collaborative Design space where we learned about three projects that current graduate students in Don Harker's Social Entrepreneurship class are working on. Three groups presented their projects that proposed collaborative design solutions to the opportunities of urban connectivity in East Portland Neighborhoods, the re-purposing of tsunami debris washed up on Oregon shores, and the introduction of systems thinking to the education of our educators.
Dees framed the conversation of the open solutions society with the economic notions that: (1) The world's history is of constant adaptation. (2) Entrepreneurs, risk takers, innovators, must be able to test new ideas. (3) There must be institutions and systems in place for new ideas to be supported and absorbed.
So what does an Open Solutions Society look like? Greg Dees posed the following questions to spur the conversation.
What do you think?