In a world where business models dominate, and an economic engine to required for an initiative’s sustainability, that is too often the dark cloud that blocks our vision of what’s possible. Financial pressures like that govern the running a media business, like a magazine, that’s usually advertiser-supported. This Editor’s Note in January 2011 issue of Koream Journal describes the situation::
It’s true that our magazine—due to the pressure to sell issues, remain afloat and cater to a broad readership—must often headline the VIPs prominent in their respective fields. And those familiar with our annual gala also know that we do tend to indulge the Asian American red carpet. The media—even ethnic, independent outlets such as ours—must be mindful of the business aspect of our enterprise. It’s not the perfect model, but it’s the reality.
But money doesn’t have to be the limiting factor for something that could be done, should be done, and needs to be done. 2 other viable options must be more of the conversation about how ideas can become reality. 1 is the whole non-profit sector. Granted, that has challenges of its own wrt to financial sustainability.
The other is the world of open source. Our internet-infused world enables humanity to build some incredible things collaboratively, and this is the sector that excites me the most. You’ve heard of them: Wikipedia, Firefox, Quora, Linux, Creative Commons. In the church world, the fuel that keeps the organized institutional church sustainable is volunteerism and charitable donations.
What keeps all of that going, the open-source kinds of efforts that don’t have paid staff & organizational infrastructure (e.g. overhead) to keep them going? Mission. Meaning. Community. Faith.
Sure, in the real world, most of us have to be responsible & concerned for putting food on the table, paying the rent (or mortgage), buying gas for the car (or tix for public transit), etc etc. There are other ways to get the bills paid. There’s much to be done that consumerism, business, and finances cannot address.
The profit motive and self-interest do not define who we are as human beings and the things we do with our time, energy and effort.
Think different. The world can be a different place. Call me idealistic. I’ll say it. I am idealistic. And I do dream of a world that’s better and free. And I’ll do my part towards that reality.
photo credit: Andrew Magill