How can you find some middle ground to bring together businesspeople and those that work for nonprofit organizations to contribute to society?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would think that one particular way in which both ends are unified is by stressing the idea that one needn't force a choice between both.  The capitalist and now globalized vision of business is one that can encompass both business people who are driven by profit and individuals who are committed for not- for- profit ends that help to sustain different ends of society.  There is room for both in the current economic configuration.  Moreover, I would say that there is a demand for both given the "boom and bust" nature of capitalism.  Given how globalization has take capitalism around the world, there is a greater need for individuals who wish to drive profit and make the marketplace more profitable.  At the same time, it is equally important for there to be more outreach for individuals who find themselves challenged by the capitalist configuration in which for every "winner" there are more who lose.  Both are needed and I would suggest that being able to articulate how both can be seen as part of the current economic condition would be one way in which common ground can be forged.

At the same time, I would also pivot to suggest that common ground can be found in for profit businesses who find a sense of the greater good as being important to their mission as business endeavors.  Consider Starbucks Coffee in this category.  Starbucks seeks to create environmentally friendly as well as worker friendly positions on a variety of issues.  In this, one can see how a for profit business is able to generate a social conscience in their work, bringing both realms together in a form of common ground.

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