What’s the Problem?

Most emerging market social enterprises don’t achieve the change their leaders envisioned. Americans have a heart to help vulnerable people around the world but this is a complex goal!

This website helps social entrepreneurs grapple with the impact of cultural differences and assumptions on their work. There’s no finger pointing here, just stories and questions designed to challenge our thinking.

We often operate with faulty assumptions when working in a different culture, assumptions that exist because culture is an extremely powerful but often invisible factor in relationships.

Who I Am

I’m a social scientist, author, program evaluator, and strategist who’s studied cross-cultural dynamics for two decades. I’m currently finishing a book that is based on over 90 interviews with emerging market and American social entrepreneurs. It’s tentatively titled, Building another’s dream: The complex work of flourishing through social enterprise. 

Questions I’ve Asked

As I’ve explored the power of social enterprise with a variety of players, I’ve asked tough questions:

  • What does it mean to flourish?
  • What are your people’s deepest felt needs?
  • What’s the problem that needs to be solved?
  • What is the most valuable contribution Americans could make in solving this problem?

I’ve received very different answers depending on the cultural context.

The Blogs

My blogs give voice to emerging market social entrepreneurs and hopefully to questions that each of us asks about life, meaning, and purpose.