Posts Tagged ‘Ram Dass’

Brand Souls

Posted on: April 1st, 2014 by social venture network No Comments

Written by SVN member Jared Levy, Founder, Guru Media Solutions

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Several years ago the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are to be treated as individuals in the eyes of the law. I certainly don’t agree with that as it pertains to campaign donations and other issues of democracy, but when it comes to the new age of marketing I couldn’t agree more.

Corporations, more than ever, need to become brands. Brands that are individualized. That have souls and stories that people (aka: consumers, targets) can get invested in. Brands are now being morphed and pressured into becoming content creators, media publishers and thought leaders.

This is the logical evolution of our society where those sitting in the tallest buildings feel the obligation to lead. From Nation States to Religion to Business it has been an organic movement through the ages. This is a natural role for business to take and I believe brands are up for the challenge, but to keep the relationship with their loyalists symbiotic their voice must stay authentic, must provide some sort of value and they must not lose their soul as they carry out their role.

The form must fit the function. The content must be true to who you are as a brand. If you have nothing to say, then say nothing. We are knee deep in an age of information oversaturation and as we navigate this challenging landscape those brands that will win will be “conscious businesses that find their dharma,” said best by the great mystic Ram Dass from the Love, Serve Remember Foundation and Social Venture Network.

A Litmus Test for Entrepreneurs: Social Venture Network Continues to Inspire

Posted on: May 14th, 2013 by social venture network No Comments

Guest post by Joe Sibilia, CEO of CSRwire

The Social Venture Network [SVN] is one of the most underrated value propositions operating in the new economy. SVN has spawned so many organizations that trying to identify and qualify all the Network’s contributions to the movement toward a more economically just and environmentally sustainable society almost always leads to immense debate.

The number of enterprises that have germinated at SVN – and scaled their missions successfully since – would certainly qualify for a textbook. But, they don’t serve fools lightly.

An Innovation Hub for Startups

At one time, I was the longest serving Board member of SVN (before term limits and accountable bylaws). Before Mal Warwick and many others formalized and created the infrastructure for capacity building, SVN was spawning organizations through the intensity of their members’ interests. If there was energy and enthusiasm, a new organization, NGO or company was founded. Some of the organizations incubated at SVN include BSR, Net ImpactBALLE, and Investors Circle. Startups funded at SVN would certainly fill another volume.

Despite its contributions though, SVN has not received the credit it deserves. Over the years, as companies dithered on where they stood with corporate social responsibility and sustainability, SVN grew as the litmus test for innovative ideas. People with the most interesting, provocative, ‘outside Social venture networkthe box’ thinking, creative and courageous propositions had a voice at SVN. Many of these voices found comfort, confidence and camaraderie during an SVN conference.

Often, SVN was described as the ‘vanguard,’ facilitating the voices of the voiceless.

In the beginning, there was a consistent  ‘spiritual’ component to SVN led by Ram Dass, an American contemporary spiritual teacher and the author of Be Here Now.  Following Ram Dass’ stroke, the 2008 financial crisis and changes among the Board, the organization drifted away from its roots. For a while, the concept of integrating business, spirituality and community was lost as a focus.

However, as the economy gets back on surer footing and there is a renewed focus across businesses about their social and environmental footprints, it seems, spirituality, in the name of mindfulness and meditation, is back at SVN.

Albeit, this time it is being supported by scientific evidence and research, suggesting that a more conscious, mindful, and reflective business environment actually makes an organization better and more efficient.

Connecting Spirituality With Business and Community

Today, science is suggesting that we can actually change our minds to reflect a more positive outcome. The brain is elastic and will respond to positive and negative emotions. Once we are conscious that we can change for the better – we can and do change.

At this year’s conference, Mark Lesser and other executives from Google shared that the most popular Google internal course is not Search Engine Optimization or Engineering In An Era of Social Media but one quirkily titled ‘Search Inside Yourself’: a course that teaches Google employees how to meditate, Social venture networkclear their head, be conscious and ultimately realize that we are all connected and everything they or their company does, affects us all.

We’re on a spinning ball of energy temporarily disconnected by our own ignorance.  And, when we realize we are all related, we will begin to make decisions that affect the entire planet and not just our little world of consciousness. The lines between spirituality, business and community will be blurred.  Feeding our pockets, our soul and our community will be the combined focus.

Even though SVN lacks a spiritual compass today, it continues to lead the way in innovative thinking and must reestablish the connection between business, spirit and community on a consistent basis. I’m hopeful.

Finally, a word to all the other conferences.

The Hospitality Suite

The soul of SVN manifests itself in a place called the Hospitality Suite, run by Rob Thomas of Social(k) and Scott Leonard and Matt Reynolds, founders of clothier Indigenous Designs. The Suite is a place open 24 hours during the conference, supported by SVN members, and provides a safe space for conversations between attendees. In fact, many members have told me that the four hours between midnight and 4am are the best times to forge new relationships. Think of the Hospitality Suite as SVN’s version of the four-hour golf game.

Have you considered hosting a Hospitality Suite? If you are creating a community at your event, consider a non-judgmental place where new, controversial, provocative and innovative expressions are met with acceptance and love. You might meet a new friend, an instigator, an investor, a collaborator or just hear some interesting music or poetry.

It’s a good vibe that inspires.

View the original article on CSRwire

Top Ten Things You’ll Hear at SVN and Ram Dass Steals The Show

Posted on: May 4th, 2012 by social venture network No Comments

Written by Guru Media Solutions

The Young Mavericks session opened up the Members Gathering with an emotional bang as Jared Levy of Guru Media Solutions and Jocelyn Kay Levy (Wee Yogis Play) spoke to “the young and the young at heart” members of SVN. Inspiring stories of the role that SVN has played in these young leaders lives let newcomers know the kind of impacting weekend they were in for.

Ram Dass, an original pioneer of SVN with Wayne Silby and Josh Mailman 25 years ago, was originally included to maintain a level of spirituality throughout this community of successful business leaders. Twenty five years later he inspires a new generation of SVN through this interview conducted by Jared Levy in which he speaks about the importance of SVN in our world today. Watch the video here:

However, it wouldn’t be SVN without some fun mixed in and so they broke out a top ten (ala David Letterman).

TOP TEN THINGS YOU WILL HEAR AT THE SVN CONFERENCE:

10. “Nice to meet you. Are you okay with a hug?”…”I’m a hugger”

9. You have 2 minutes with a total stranger to share your life long goals and dreams.

8. How late do they serve breakfast?

7. I actually have hope for the world now.

6. If you examine the capital investments in the emerging economies of South America and pair this with a collaborative horizontal supply chain model learned from our friends to the East then you start to tap into a new paradigm where…..

5. “I really need to take a nap, but I can’t miss this session”

4. “You know ‘so and so?’… I worked with their sister solving the water problem in Mauritania last spring”

3. I’m right down the hall from the hospitality suite (with enthusiasm)

2. I’m right down the hall from the hospitality suite (dragging with nothing left)

1. I’ve NEVER seen people dance like that before

“SVN has changed my life and sent me down a new path where I can use our powers for good.” – Jared Levy, CEO, Guru Media Solutions

Top Ten Things You’ll Hear at SVN and Ram Dass Steals The Show

Posted on: May 4th, 2012 by social venture network No Comments

Written by Guru Media Solutions

The Young Mavericks session opened up the Members Gathering with an emotional bang as Jared Levy of Guru Media Solutions and Jocelyn Kay Levy (Wee Yogis Play) spoke to “the young and the young at heart” members of SVN. Inspiring stories of the role that SVN has played in these young leaders lives let newcomers know the kind of impacting weekend they were in for.

Ram Dass, an original pioneer of SVN with Wayne Silby and Josh Mailman 25 years ago, was originally included to maintain a level of spirituality throughout this community of successful business leaders. Twenty five years later he inspires a new generation of SVN through this interview conducted by Jared Levy in which he speaks about the importance of SVN in our world today. Watch the video here:

However, it wouldn’t be SVN without some fun mixed in and so they broke out a top ten (ala David Letterman).

TOP TEN THINGS YOU WILL HEAR AT THE SVN CONFERENCE:

10. “Nice to meet you. Are you okay with a hug?”…”I’m a hugger”

9. You have 2 minutes with a total stranger to share your life long goals and dreams.

8. How late do they serve breakfast?

7. I actually have hope for the world now.

6. If you examine the capital investments in the emerging economies of South America and pair this with a collaborative horizontal supply chain model learned from our friends to the East then you start to tap into a new paradigm where…..

5. “I really need to take a nap, but I can’t miss this session”

4. “You know ‘so and so?’… I worked with their sister solving the water problem in Mauritania last spring”

3. I’m right down the hall from the hospitality suite (with enthusiasm)

2. I’m right down the hall from the hospitality suite (dragging with nothing left)

1. I’ve NEVER seen people dance like that before

“SVN has changed my life and sent me down a new path where I can use our powers for good.” – Jared Levy, CEO, Guru Media Solutions