In last week’s blog I mentioned our new research project with the National Science Foundation. We are excited about this and are trying to figure out ways to talk about it simply, concisely, yet compellingly.

We tossed around ideas for an elevator speech during our Jekyll Island trip, and serendipitously, we had an opportunity to test it on our way back to the airport. Lynda, our EDWARD Shuttle driver, asked us what we do. After noticing Kim’s quick glance that said, “Okay, girlfriend, you’re on!,” I gathered my thoughts and replied. “We have created a locally-based crowdfunding company with the intention of using it to fund social enterprises and help communities build ecosystems where these types of businesses can thrive.”

Linda was effusive — saying it “made her day” to learn about businesses dedicated to being a force for good. She even called us “her heroes.” That felt great, but it was also a bit embarrassing, because we know the real heroes are all the social entrepreneurs who are working hard to make our world a better, kinder and more beautiful place. If this describes you, we invite you to connect by introducing yourself in the comment section below.

sidney lanier bridge with blue sky

Crossing the Sydney Lanier Bridge on our way to Jekyll island with Robert, one of our awesome EDWARD Shuttle drivers.

Kim and I recently had the opportunity to speak at the Electric Cities of Georgia Forum. We met great folks from Georgia’s communities (including our own Sadie Krawczyk from Monroe!), and squeezed in some walking/talking time along Jekyll Island’s awesome beaches. We talked about our new NSF research project and how excited we are to work with social enterprises. These innovative companies are transforming business into a force for good and activating a culture of caring—caring for one another, for community, for the planet, for our future.

Diane Sontum on stage giving a presentation

One of the speakers at the ECG Forum helped us to crystalize our thoughts. Mayor Tommy Allegood of Acworth, GA challenged everyone to identify the one word that describes their organizational culture. Instantly I knew the answer for TLC—a word that our initials have been hinting at since we began—Care. We have always been TLC; but our new NSF work, and my own personal journey, have made us acutely aware that Tender Loving Care is an intention we want to deeply explore, live and amplify. If our culture really is the “stories we tell ourselves about ourselves,” then this story, the story of human beings caring for one other, may be the most important story we’ll ever tell.

selfie of Kim Vincent and Diane Sontum on a beach with ocean behind
blue box with quote from anthropologist Clifford Geertz