In The Beginning
As Brenda Herchmer often explains, the path that led to the Campus for Communities was not only a long and winding one, it was one where the required track was often laid as the train was rolling.
In large part this was the innovative nature of the focus on a new kind of community leadership, however it was also the result of the push and pull between wanting to make a difference, and needing to be entrepreneurial in order to make it happen.
The challenges were also about the social innovation required for a big dream that needed to incorporate elements that were relevant to both the economic and the quality of life sectors, each of which has a very different measuring stick for success.
Typically the business sector measures success in terms of economic impact, whereas for nonprofits and governments, success is about being able to successfully address social issues. In other words, we've often had to stack up money versus humanity and compassion. Of course, we need both. And yet, it seems we separate the two with a very clear dividing line.
For the Campus this created the challenge of struggling to find an infrastructure that addresses the need for both economic impact and social innovation. And, is challenging as that was, it is what led to the Campus for Communities of the Future being built as a social enterprise that provides an online and on-the-ground collaborative space where local leaders can connect to share real world community building experiences, how-to’s, and programs designed to inspire transformative and lasting change.