Is it Kepler Time?
2022 is ICSB’s Year of Revolution. We have been witness to no less than four Copernican revolutions in how to develop entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. In each case, we have already had our Copernican moments. But would Copernicus be Copernicus without those like Kepler who fought to prove their essential value? As a field, the time has now come to find and support our Keplers.
Copernicus proved what many had already suspected: The earth travels around the sun, not vice-versa, despite our evident lived experience. A great triumph for science, yes, but his insights did not change the world until Kepler figured out how to make it actionable by demonstrating the regularity of planet orbits.
Entrepreneurship has already had our Copernican moments; the time has come to empower a generation of Keplers. Everywhere we look, we see “entrepreneurs” and “entrepreneurship” – yet in reality, the quantity of entrepreneurial activity has been in decline for decades.
TESLA for our time: Taking Entrepreneurship Seriously by Losing Assumptions[iii]
Our own lived experience about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship is often as wrong it is about celestial mechanics. Entrepreneurship is both a consequence and driver of complex dynamic adaptive systems where simple linearities are rare. To use an apt analogy, local economies are far more like a messy rain forest than a tidy, organized farm.[iv] Too often, our experiences lead us in the wrong directions. Just as the persistent myths and misconceptions about entrepreneurship resonate too often with our intuitions, the critical leverage points for growing entrepreneurs can be maddeningly counter-intuitive. That means letting go of well-entrenched assumptions about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. Losing our most cherished beliefs is never easy, but the rewards will be brilliant.
There are no less than four Copernican revolutions in how to grow healthy entrepreneurs and healthy entrepreneurship. Yet entrepreneurship is lionized but not embraced. Each month I will take a deeper look at these:
1) Entrepreneurial education and learning
2) Lean startup, design thinking, etc.
3) Bottom-up, outside-in entrepreneurial ecosystems
4) Social and sustainable entrepreneurship
We need to embrace all four if we are to realize the entrepreneurial potential of our communities – all of our communities. That we need to embrace if we are to realize the entrepreneurial potential of our citizens – all of our citizens.
We will likely have to storm a few barricades for the entrepreneurial revolution to succeed. Will you join ICSB and friends? Then, we will give John Lennon the final word: Don’t you know it’s going to be all right?
ICSB Entrepreneurship Revolution series continues with Dr. Norris Krueger.
[i] Lennon, J & McCartney, P (1968) “Revolution”. Sony Music Publishing (with apologies for the liberties).
[ii] Stay tuned for a “Keplerian” entrepreneurial update of this Beatles classic…
[iii] ICSB CEO Ayman El-Tarabishy has dubbed me the “Tesla of entrepreneurship”; it seems only appropriate to leverage the meme
[iv] e.g, Hwang & Horowitt’s seminal 2012 book, The Rainforest; also Brett’s 2020 Admired Disorder)