Business As Ubuntu

Time For Reflection
I think the current climate gives us time to reflect on how we can do things differently on all levels.

I’ve been researching the African philosophy of Ubuntu and it has really struck a deep chord with me.

The most common direct meaning is, “I am, because of you”. It is about a deep reverence and respect for the importance of community, compassion, connection, friendship and sharing.

Business As Ubuntu or Ubuntonomics
Translating it to business that often deals with tangible bottom-line economics, this concept may seem a little grey to hard-core entrepreneurs. But nonetheless can hold real cache, value and importance I believe.

I see real possibilities unfolding as we begin to support more our local small businesses such as our little cafes over multinational corporations.

Many of these local small businesses know their clients on a more personal and intimate level where there is a deeper sense of connection beyond a mere exchange of goods and services. Many of these small businesses who are intimately connected with their communities give back in many ways such as supporting local community organisations and sporting groups.

…I think we will see more of this growing AND evolving as we stay ‘closer to home’ and experience a greater need for connection.

Imagine doing business with more Ubuntu?

How would this look like?

I can see our local shopping centres being even more integrally connected with their local communities on many different levels.

I can see as we all adapt to our current and future changing economic climate that different ‘think local, act local, help global’ business models become more prevalent, such as:

• more business collaboration where retail businesses engage local artists, and small businesses, maybe a curatorial showcase model?

• shopping centre landlords and tenants sharing risk but also reward/profit sharing…in essence they are business partners.

• smaller footprint nimble and low cost businesses that may either be very niched OR  are hybrid businesses combining different goods and services

• syntropic enterprises that run their businesses on multiple values including people, community, profits, planet and wellbeing.

…the possibilities and permutations are exciting.


What incredible “ubuntunities”…I mean, opportunities, could this open up?

Business could become an even more powerful force to create deeper intimately connected compassionate communities, cultures and societies.

I’m excited about exploring the possibilities of how businesses with Ubuntu can help to ‘lift us all up’, after all, “a tide lifts all boats”.

What are your thoughts?

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