Future-thinking entrepreneurs with both courage and a network of like-minded problem solvers are making a difference at nearly every level of an economy and culture struggling toward a more sustainable and humane future. Along the way, they’re proving that innovation, empathy, and business models based on regenerative and sustainable missions can also satisfy investors.
In this conversation, Aviv Shahar learns more about the origins and remarkable stories of the most innovative, forward-looking entrepreneurial ventures succeeding today from their founders: Court Lorenzini, founder of DocuSign, the global standard for electronic signatures, who invests in and supports promising startups; Grant Canary, CEO of DroneSeed, a company that restores resilient forests after wildfires and is making reforestation scalable; and Bryce Bennett, CEO of Solo, a platform empowering independent workers by solving gig economy challenges.
Among their insights and inspiration:
- The empathy mindset is a willingness to meet people where they are, not where you are. Opening our minds and hearts to other people's experience, without judgment; just listening.
- One of the most impactful things that young people can do to make a dent in the world is maintain an education that allows them to see problems in their broadest possible context.
- Part of the practice is asking all the hard questions about “why this will not work”. When you can no longer kill the business, it’s probably the right idea.
- I look at entrepreneurs, especially founder-inclined people, like modern-day superheroes. They take on the biggest challenges; if they're successful, they'll change the world.
- Solo is for millions of gig workers who start thinking that you can do this; you can have control over your time and finances, and take a different path.
- DroneSeed sees climate change as the problem that all other problems report to. Mitigate its worst effects, or risk social and economic systems falling apart.
This conversation is part of the continuing Portals discovery into what is emerging on the frontiers of human experience in this time of profound change. Information about upcoming special events can be found on the Events page. Also visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
A bigger worldview is—we all do better when we all do better. If you stop there and think about that statement for just a minute, it is unbelievably simple and elegant. If everyone is doing better, the entire world does better. So anything we can do entrepreneurially, financially, to support our peers and our fellow citizens is, for the large part, making ourselves more successful also.