Economic capital and social capital

We know about the butterfly effect, some seemingly insignificant decimals over time that can translate into massive changes. In 1961, meteorologist Edward Lorenz developed this concept that explores the relationship between the gentle flapping of a butterfly in Bali and the raging hurricane in Mexico.

That flutter full of creative energy is just what we need. Being able to recognize that there are portraits that become collective with tremendous positive impacts can make all the difference. It is impossible not to think of the synergy generated by exchange spaces such as the International Meeting on Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ETM DAY) organized by Daniel Dacaret, which brings together thousands of entrepreneurs and creates a multiplier effect throughout the Chilean entrepreneurship ecosystem.

We are already beginning to experience the consequences of climate change, and confronting them means taking responsibility for the human impact on the warming of the atmosphere, oceans and land. This same human influence can stop the damage and change history. We need fast, bold action, and we all get involved. This means questioning our mental models, moving from false comfort zones and creating by betting on the value of the community to nurture the common and thus ensure life.

If we search the news of the world, we find hope. In Rome, you can pay for the metro by using recyclable bottles; In the village of Piplantri in India, the birth of each girl is celebrated by planting 111 trees to secure her future and raise awareness against fetishes; In the Netherlands, bus stop roofs are planted with flowers that attract bees, and in the UK the Animal Welfare Act has been passed, listing octopuses, lobsters and crabs as sentient beings with the ability to feel pain.

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In Chile, in business, there are also good examples that move in the logic of undertaking projects with positive impacts. Betterfly is a health benefits platform that rewards healthy living and good habits. The service is contracted by companies, but it is people, who record sports activities and healthy lifestyle habits, who produce the “gamification” of the experience. Benefits can be used to donate to social causes, cash prizes, and services.

The beginning of the road, but with similar entrepreneurial strength is the platform Which offers a family-friendly alternative to buying in bulk, but at factory prices. Instead of the consumer paying the cost per square meter, refurbishment machines, ATMs and all associated services, the proposal is for families to get to know each other, organize themselves, and receive products at home. As Jorge Gordillo and Sebastian Deutsch say, the power of bonding and rational buying has economic and environmental benefits, and generates social and economic capital. Both are a key factor in times of inflation and social upheaval. Given that the average Chilean goes to the supermarket 11 times a month, this purchase by volume could, combined with family savings, reduce carbon emissions by 2/3 due to travel alone.

There are many examples, but no one can grow by just being a good idea. It requires an ecosystem that facilitates entrepreneurship and innovation. Governments that seek to support innovative initiatives, companies that risk going beyond what is warranted, universities that promote free-thinking creation, and investors aware of the positive impact their heritage can have and a society permeated by a culture of exploration and community creation.

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Gonzalo Jimenez seminar

Executive Director – Management, Governance and Influence

Professor of Engineering at the University of California

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