Social Entrepreneurs Learning Game Manifesto

I’ve been thinking about nonprofit social entrepreneurs making a learning game together for so long, I finally decided to blog about it.  A game that will solve the mystery of earned income profitability.

And, not just blog about it.  I have set up a wikispace for us to DO IT!  Its called “selearninggames” too. 🙂


There are over 550,000 social entrepreneurs in the U.S. – nonprofit organizations who are starting and growing earned income ventures to support their missions.

Surveys indicate that slightly less than half of these ventures are profitable. That’s good news – and bad news. It’s good news because so many are profitable. And its bad news that so many are not.

A bevy of “consultants” (I confess, myself included) has grown up around the nonprofit social entrepreneur movement. Many of these consultants (myself included) take an educational approach to assisting nonprofits to start and grow a venture successfully. Several formal educational institutions have established social entrepreneurship courses or programs to teach nonprofits how to start and grow venture successfully.

At this point, my theory (grounded in my professional experience) is that the strength of the nonprofit social entrepreneur movement has evolved a depth and breadth of experience that is sufficient for us to ‘teach’ ourselves.

The, by now classic, principles of knowledge management within a community of practice suggest that through conversation, sharing, and collaborative content creation – we can discover the tacit knowledge (stuff we don’t know we know) hidden in our collective experience, and make it explicit. From that collective knowledge, we can identify patterns that are effective solutions to the challenge of profitability. Then, each one of us can apply those solutions to our own venture’s success.

The emerging principles of learning games suggest that discovering the hidden strategic patterns that lead to social entrepreneur venture profitability can be FUN!

Game playing and – even more so – GAME MAKING – are activities grounded in discovering and applying pattern solutions to common challenges. All we have to do it do it. We can make a learning game together that will accelerate profitability for each one of us.


6 Responses to “Social Entrepreneurs Learning Game Manifesto”

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