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The State of Social Consciousness, and the Future of Global Responsibility

Optimism about positive social change is waning but it shouldn't be.

In recent years, social change has made its way mainstream. No longer are only a select few dedicated people or groups shining necessary lights on worldwide issues of injustice and inequality, but rather a heightened sense of social consciousness has taken hold of populations on a global scale. Plain and simple, positive social change is becoming increasingly inherent to both the way we think and the way we choose to live our lives.

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The Jobs Act has disrupted the way startup finance in America is conducted, and while plenty of funding platforms have surfaced since its passage, very few focus on mission-based enterprises. It is apparent that social entrepreneurs lacking access to support structures need to be able to leverage this new method of raising investments now more than ever. It is also apparent that those at the other end of the capital-raising equation—investors—are just as influential in catalyzing social change as the ventures they support.

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Sex, Food and... Generosity?

A landmark study from the Harvard Business School shows that generosity-and its benefits- are deeply ingrained in human nature.

Can money buy happiness? Possibly. Especially if you give your money away. Generosity may be a psychological universal according to a new study from the Harvard Business School. That is, generosity appears to be an evolutionary trait akin to sex and eating that provides benefits to individuals (and our species as a whole). From the study:

This research provides the first support for a possible psychological universal: human beings around the world derive emotional benefits from using their financial resources to help others (prosocial spending). Analyzing survey data from 136 countries, we show that prosocial spending is consistently associated with greater happiness.

In contrast to traditional economic thought—which places self-interest as the guiding principle of human motivation—our findings suggest that the reward experienced from helping others may be deeply ingrained in human nature, emerging in diverse cultural and economic contexts.

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