It’s hard not to feel inspired by all these idealists, but their service religion does have some shortcomings. In the first place, many of these social entrepreneurs think they can evade politics. They have little faith in the political process and believe that real change happens on the ground beneath it.
David Brooks writes on how social entrepreneurs today need a healthy dose of cynicism in his article "Sam Spade at Starbucks."
But, Mr. Brooks (sidenote: he was my commencement speaker at Georgetown) don’t we have enough reasons for cynicism today, between wars, global famine, an increasing disparity between rich and poor, an economic slump, a lack of jobs and political corruption? That we social entrepreneurs remain relatively unjaded is in fact pretty amazing, all things considered. Of course it’s important to recognize the larger ecosystem in which we work, but with a political system that’s failed us and our brothers and sisters around the world, shouldn’t we at least try to create change however we can?
After all, if my generation becomes as cynical as yours, do we really have any hope for change?