Grads: lead with audacity, boldness and passion, says Cheryl Dorsey

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By Camille Jensen, Axiom News

Published 5.31.13

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Cheryl Dorsey

As Presidio Graduate School students celebrate commencement June 1, Echoing Green  president Cheryl Dorsey has a special message: it’s your audacity, passion and boldness that will chart a new course to solving some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Dorsey is Presidio’s 2013 Commencement Speaker, and says it’s the above traits that she feels privileged to witness from the helm of the global social venture fund, Echoing Green.

The venture fund has awarded over $30 million in start-up capital to over 500 next generation social entrepreneurs worldwide since 1987.

Dorsey, who has also served in two presidential administrations as a White House Fellow, says business is an important part of the solution to the complex and interconnected problems facing the planet.

“We need more young leaders to take on leading businesses that blur the boundaries between civil society, government and the market,” she says.

“There are no better people to lead on these conversations than the grads of Presidio.” 

The time is now, she adds. Dorsey was an Echoing Green Fellow herself in 1992, and says in the last 5 years social enterprise has grown to the point where it’s truly a global social movement, ignited by young people who see themselves as next-generation social change agents.

“That’s really exciting to see,” says Dorsey. “It’s a global phenomenon.”

Adding to this, a number of exciting shifts are happening that will help graduates achieve new heights.

Dorsey says she’s watching innovative and game-changing social venture proposals coming from emerging markets. That means Presidio grads will be entering an interconnected work force and world.

Presidio grads are also graduating at a time when impact investing is set to take off. The possibility of leveraging capital markets to solve social and environmental problems at scale is within reach.

Dorsey says Presidio grads are well placed to understand the potential of these trends, and act on them. These trends will only grow over time, she adds.

Having known Presidio president and CEO William Shutkin for many years — Dorsey and Shutkin were both Echoing Green Fellows — Dorsey says she feels honored to be speaking in front of young leaders committed to positive change.

I’m looking forward to it,” she says. “It is important work that Presidio is doing; continuing to train a new breed of leader, and it’s setting an example of what we will all be doing in the future.”

Cheryl Dorsey presented her speech at Commencement on June 1st. Watch the video:

Camille Jensen, Axiom News

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