The Two Rules of Ernesto Sirolli

I just love this talk. It is perhaps one of the most important TED talks ever related to the field of ethics and doing good. Ernesto Sirolli's work as an enterprise facilitator is well known around the world. In this talk he shares both his early experiences in what doesn't work in Africa, as well…

YOU are your business

A wise teacher said to me recently, "You are your business"; and seldom has a truer thing been said. We live in a world where we celebrate building things outside ourselves - companies, campaigns, architecture, change. Yet on some level these things are not outside of us, they are outward expressions of our inner lives.…

The ethical alignment of mission, strategy and investment

I had an interesting conversation the other day with Nick Moraitis about the ethics and alignment of mission, strategy and investment in social change. Very often social entrepreneurs will possess incredibly ambitious goals about what they want to achieve. This may include eliminating poverty, stopping global warming, or reducing unemployment amongst a certain part of…

The Ethics of Competence in Social Change

It is a basic ethical standard in most professions and industries for one to operate within their field of competence. This is true in law, medicine, psychotherapy, financial advice and more. Professional bodies will often dictate what the minimum standards of competence are, and codes of ethics require or suggest that professionals operate within the…

Ethics for robots

I'm going out on a limb here to talk about something I have very little idea about. I came across this story earlier in The Economist called "Morals and the machine", which explores the development of robotics in certain fields and the emergence of "machine ethics". The article outlines a bunch of areas where robotics…

The ethics of rescuing food

I want to explore the idea of rescue as an approach to changemaking, and why some aspects of the 'rescue industry' have hidden ethical challenges. This is a follow on from my post on how to rescue a racehorse, which explored a new rescue-based idea to tackle problems in the horse-racing industry. Rescuing others is…

How to rescue a racehorse

About a month ago a guy pitched me his idea in an elevator (yes, it actually happens). His idea was to 'rescue a racehorse'. Actually, he wanted to not just rescue one racehorse, he wanted to rescue thousands of them. He explained to me what he saw as a problem of racehorses being slaughtered for…