Can Social Business replace government?

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrongs giant leap for mankind to the moon,culminating a decades effort and millions in spending by the US government, both represented an historic scientific achievement and reflected mankinds enduring exploration of the unknown.

To also push scientific and physical boundaries, Felix Baumgartner jumped 24 miles (about four times higher than the altitude of a typical airplane flight) from a balloon in near-space on October 23, 2012. The successful parachute drop represented the highest manned balloon flight and the highest and longest free fall. It was also the first time that a human body had broken the sound barrier.

Once only governments could have put together the scientific, funding and other resources required to pull off an achievement like a moonwalk or fall from space. In fact, the previous holder of the highest parachute jump was Joseph Kittinger, who jumped from 102,800 feet as part of a US Air Force program research high-altitude bailouts in 1960. (Col. Kittinger, who was an mentor and advisor to Baumgartner at 84, later served three combat tours in Vietnam and was a prisoner of war for 11 months.)

But as governments have pulled back from pushing boundaries because of financial and other constraints, the private sector has stepped forward. (Even the signature achievement of government space exploration as been outsourced to the private firm SpaceX.) Such private sector involvement has made up for the scale of government by relying on collaboration with other companies.

In other words, they have applied the collaborative principles of Social Business to achieve their feats.

For example, Baumgartners $50 million effort (the helium alone cost $65,000) was primarily sponsored by the energy drink Red Bull. But other collaborators included Zenith watches, Riedel Communications, Airtec, Larsen and Brusgaard, 3g, QinetiQ, FlightLine Films and others. An important part of Social Business is delivering social value. Reflecting that imperative, the Red Bull effort included the Wings for Life foundation, which supports research into spinal cord injuries.

Posted in Landscaping Post Date 12/19/2019


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