Friday, October 22, 2010

Mzalendo Halisi Initiatives

Who we are, our objectives
  • Twenty Thirty Ventures Ltd. is a not-for-profit transformational Social Enterprise that aspires to engage in activities that are geared towards fostering a socio-cultural order that binds Kenyans by venturing in social cultural activities that are a celebration of being Kenyan. We believe that there is a strength that comes from diversity and from unity and it is time to channel it positively for the enhancement of our Nationhood.

     Inspired by the 4th Guiding Principle of the Kenya Vision 2030 that states “In the pursuit of economic, social and political aspirations, Kenyans shall formulate and adopt a core set of national values, goals and political ideology”, we aim to engage in social ventures that will aid Kenya in developing a universally accepted national set of values and social institutions that primarily foster equity, national unity and cohesion, and the attitude change necessary to combat the twin cancers of corruption and impunity.

    Twenty Thirty Ventures Ltd. recognizes that it is crucial at this stage of national rebirth to set a character benchmark with which current and future generations of Kenyans will vet appropriate leadership and patriotism for the benefit of all. Twenty Thirty Ventures Ltd. aims to primarily engage in programs that achieve the following objectives in Kenya:
    1. Define National Values
    2. Redefine Success
    3. Promote Cohesion, Unity and Conflict Mitigation
    4. Promote Justice, Equity, Equality & Fairness
    5. Promote Mentorship
    6. Promote Gender Parity
    7. Identify and Nurture Talent while fostering an environment where creativity, innovation and hard work are rewarded
    8. Promote National, Cultural and Social Pride and sense of Worth

    Activity Description

    Area of Implementation
    We are inspired by the recognition that unless we radically change the way we do things in this country then Kenya will surely burn as evidenced by the post election violence witnessed after the 2007 general election. Our outlook is national; we aim to roll out our activities in every corner of Kenya.

    Beneficially Community
    It is important to state from the onset that our initiatives will target both genders on a 50-50 basis with a commitment not to discriminate towards either.  While our activities are not specific to promoting gender parity, we intend to do everything in our power to address both genders equally while trying to rectify the situation today where most gender based programs, though noble, are slanted to favor the girl child. It is no secret that youths in violent gangs are mostly male and these need to be engaged in gainful employment.

    Our organization is born of the current state of chaos in the Kenyan society. Besides the post election violence of 2008, most relationships in our society are in a state of flux. This is true to business relationships, social relationships, leader vs the led relationships, teacher student relationships, relationships between parents and their children, spouses, religious leadership and their flock, name it! We boldly trace this breakdown to the lack of managed generational transition; from the first generation of Kenyans who were caught in conflict between modern and tradition norms to the current generation which has largely aspired for and adopted a western way of life. We have not defined methodology for mentoring the youth, and eventually handing over responsibility to them. We believe this situation is both accidental, and by design. We have as a society adopted modern norms wholesale while purging the good tried and tested social systems that exited and worked in our traditional society. There is general lack of respect and trust between individuals, communities and for institutions within the modern Kenyan psyche.

    It is true of Kenya that:

    1.      The education system favors book smart students and is geared towards white collar employment
    2.      Apart from athletics, there exists no structured sport development effort
    3.      There are no structured talent spotting and development efforts
    4.      We have not fully exploited social cultural and leisure activities as a source of livelihood and general wellness of our society
    5.      We have no universal national values and taboos
    6.      Meritocracy is lacking within majority of sectors in the Kenyan society, nepotism is the order of the day
    7.      There is a dire shortage of positive role models for the youth of Kenya be it in political leadership, religious leadership, business leadership, youth leadership, social leadership and all manner of leadership.
    8.      We do not have structured initiation into teenage and adulthood
    9.      There is no structured national mentorship effort for our youth
    10.  There is no structured effort to have youths of different communities interact and integrate, and the current education system that confines youth to their regions of birth during their school years makes it even worse
    11.  Most efforts to fight corruption are perceived to have largely failed
    12.  There is a worrying level of apathy and cynicism among the Kenyan population, especially the youth, towards participating in decision making and activism on matters that impact their daily lives

    For a long time the Kenyan society has emphasized book learning at the expense of other talents. We believe millions of talented youths are idle and living in despair because we lack professional support programs to identify, nurture and monetize these talents. Twenty Thirty Ventures Ltd intends to change this. We believe social cultural activities, recreation activities, entertainment and sports can provide much needed employment for our youth, while providing an outlet for pent up emotions and acting as agent of integration through interaction. We aim to exploit the Kenyan entrepreneurial spirit, the creativity of our youth while taking advantage of modern ICT advancements and prevailing corporate social consciousness of our corporate organizations.

    Twenty Thirty Ventures Ltd. believes that the paramount driver for national cohesion, integration and accelerated growth will be a total attitude change among our people. This attitude change will only be achieved if processes for nurturing and rewarding hard work, creativity and innovation in the Kenyan society are proactively made fair/just and seen to be fair/just.

    In this regard, our proposal tackles the following key areas:
    ·         Conflict Mitigation and Reconciliation
    ·         Good Governance
    ·         Civic participation
    ·         Workforce Development


    Our first ambitious initiative will be the leveling of the playing field. We aim to create a value system for defining the rules of the game by which we will judge the players. 

    Who are the players?
    ·         The Kenyans who go about their daily business to earn an honest living
    ·         The Kenyans who have various unexploited talents
    ·         The Kenyans who yearn for honest servant leadership
    What is the game?
    ·         The creation of sustainable enterprises
    ·         An assurance that effort, creativity and innovativeness in all sectors of our society will be recognized and will be rewarding
    ·         An assurance that corruption and impunity will not be applauded
    ·         Restoration of a sense of hope, togetherness and well being for the Kenyan people
    ·         Restoration of a culture of paying an fair fee for services rendered/elimination of the culture of expecting handouts

          The particulars/specifics of our strategy are currently classified as TOP SECRET. We will post them here presently as we roll out our initiatives.

          These are unchartered waters, but we are determined, and we believe we have the support and the will of progressive Kenyan people is our sail. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Big Ideas: J. Gregory Dees makes the case for social entrepreneurship

Starting today, we're going to check in regularly with big thinkers in the field of social innovation. We want to know what they're working on, what questions they're wrestling with, and what opportunities and challenges they see up ahead for the sector.

First up, J. Gregory Dees—professor at Duke's Fuqua School of Business, director of the school's Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship, and often referred to as the "father of social entrepreneurship education." He's the coauthor and editor of several books on social innovation, and he's at work on another, due out next spring. Read on for highlights from our conversation.

On why social entrepreneurship is essential for solving social problems: "Social and environmental problems tend to be shifting and complex. To solve them you need context-specific knowledge—as well as creativity and motivation—which is scattered among private citizens. Social entrepreneurship allows us to tap into that."

On government's limitations as a problem-solver: "We don't know in advance what's going to work, which solutions are going to be most cost-effective, which are going to work best in which circumstances. The only way to know that is by have lots of different experiments going on, and that's something governments are ill-equipped to do."

On businesses' limitations: "Many of the large firms that make up our markets are investor-owned and have a responsibility to deliver profits to their investors. But most of the experiments to find solutions to social problems are not going to meet that financial threshold, and that's where we need social entrepreneurship—to fill the gap."

On his current project: "I'm writing a book that argues that social entrepreneurship is just as important to the health of society as business entrepreneurship is for the health of the economy. It's for anybody interested in helping create a healthy environment for social entrepreneurship—and that includes policy makers, funders, educators, and citizens."

On the need (still) to make the case for social entrepreneurship: "Those of us in the field may not realize it, but there are still a lot of folks out there who see social entrepreneurship as nice but not that significant, maybe even as a passing fad. And a related worry I have is that, as new as the concept is, it's old for some folks, and they're looking for the new, new thing—something else, like, say, impact investing. We still have a case to make for why social entrepreneurship is essential."

On social entrepreneurship's Catch-22: "If people assume that social entrepreneurship is marginal, that it doesn't really scale, then they don't make the effort to do the policy changes to get large-scale successes. In other words, they're not going to invest in the ecosytem to support them. And that's a problem. We're going to need the ecosystem if we're going to have large-scale successes to point to. It's a bit of a Catch-22."

On the ecosystem for business entrepreneurship (a telling contrast): "How many businesses would start from scratch and go to scale if we didn't have venture capital? If we didn't have banking and financial infrastructure to support business growth? If we didn't have business schools? We have a very elaborate support structure for business entrepreneurs. How well would they do without it? My guess is not so well. Without something similar for social entrepreneurship, we can't expect to see the same kind of scaling and impact."

On the need for better ways to measure social impact: "We badly need greater clarity and transparency in performance evaluation and assessment. That would give skeptics confidence that we're achieving the impact we're claiming to achieve. But that's a small piece of a larger puzzle. We need improved legal structures, better financial mechanisms, better pipelines for talent, and more directed education and training. We need all of that, and a culture that understands social entrepreneurship and supports it."

On the idea that the U.S. lags behind other countries in social entrepreneurship: "I don't know how to do those comparisons. We're talking about very different contexts, very different social problems and needs. There are some very exciting things going on outside the U.S., and to some extent the pressing needs in other places may open the door to new kinds of innovation, like the use of cell phone technology to solve problems related to rural poverty and to link it to microfinance. But there's a lot of creative, exciting stuff going on in the U.S."