Dr. Trexler, JD has written the most philosophically profound piece I have seen on social ventures. He is well educated in many strands in our traditions, including comix, classics, law, philosophy, rhetoric, theology, and business. His analysis is deep and for me inspiring. He sees in social ventures, as in a university or church, a yearning (half articulate and embedded in confusion and delusion) towards what a city was to Aristotle, a form that reaches beyond individual interests to the good life in community with others. If you are seriously using a term like "social venture," or "double bottom line business," you really should read and reflect on Jeff's essay. Were there any justice in the world, Jeff would be heading up the Skoll Center at Oxford just long enough to shut it down, and turn it into a proper monastary, in the style of the true Oxford Colleges. I will be rereading Jeff's essay slowly, pen in hand, to underline, circle, and annotate the margins. I can imagine a test question that goes:
Which of the following titles for Dr. Trexler's essay might fit?
- Is Social Enterprise Sustainable? (actual title)
- Is the Buzz Word "Social Enterprise" Sustainable?
- Is Social Enterprise Risible or a Serious Business, or Both?
- Is Social Enterprise Logically Coherent? (If Incoherent, is this a Defect or a Feature?)
- Is Social Enterprise, like Flesh and Spirit, a Vital Paradox?
- Is Socially Responsible Business A Fool's Errand, or the Preferred Refuge of Knaves?
- Is Socially Responsible Business Poetry by Another Name?
- Is Socially Responsible Business the Work of the Holy Spirit, or The Devil's Playground?
For Extra Credit
Name Three Socially Responsible Businesses (ok if they are rinky dink hobby businesses, so long as they are virtuous and profitable). Compare and contrast from the standpoint of profit and philanthropy with three socially irresponsible Fortune 100 businesses. Give Special attention to the funders of this university and/or our endowment. (Answer to be read aloud by the supplicating Student for the BS in Venture Philanthropy. Wear Cap and Gown, or Cap and Bells, over sub fusc. Asses' ears are optional.)