Summer Reflections of a CRB Fellow
Liz Schassel on where her work, purpose, and contributions to the community collide.
When people ask me how my summer is going, I tell them I’ve found Ikigai—a Japanese concept that represents finding purpose and fulfillment in what we do. It is the overlap between what you love, what the world needs, what you are good at, and what you can be paid for. So what exactly am I doing? I am working with Obran Cooperative on two thrilling growth strategy projects to scale the solidarity economy. For those unfamiliar, the solidarity economy is a socio-economic framework that prioritizes cooperation, social justice, and sustainability.
It promotes inclusive ownership, democratic decision-making, and the well-being of humanity. It’s the future. 💪 How did I get here? Well, from the moment I saw the news about Yvon Chouinard shifting all of Patagonia’s voting stock to a purpose trust, I was inspired to spend my time in business school learning about alternative ownership models and ways we can use the tools of business to promote more equitable, sustainable outcomes at scale. Employee ownership is a great way to get there, and Obran’s innovative business model is making it happen. ☀ So what’s happening in this space? Global momentum, that’s what! In April, the United Nations ratified a resolution promoting the Social and Solidarity Economy for Sustainable Development. This resolution recognizes the power of the solidarity economy in achieving the SDGs and calls for strategies, policies, and programs to support its growth. Anyone who has visited my LinkedIn profile has likely noticed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as my background. As a lover of frameworks, I find the SDGs a clarifying reminder of where humanity needs solutions, and I agree with the UN’s assessment that scaling the solidarity economy will be an important step to finding them. 🌐 If you’re passionate
about using business as a force for good, I invite you to reach out. I’m helping Obran build something special this summer—a community of business-savvy changemakers keen on systems change—and you just might want to be part of it. 🤝 More to come. ✨ #Ikigai #SolidarityEconomy #SDGs #ObranCooperative #BusinessForGood #SustainableFuture
Liz Schassel is a 2022-23 CRB Fellow and CRB Student Advisory Board Member.