Ubuntu Economic Development


It is the name my son Owen’s daycare. Also, the name for an operating system that dad (me) enjoyed learning how to install right alongside Windows on laptops. The true meaning of Ubuntu, however is, “I am what I am because of who we all are.


It’s actually so much more, a long forgotten idea with deep African roots. It’s a beautiful concept that informs what we should do for others, how we should engage in the world, put best by Elizabeth Frawley Bangly, former Secretary of State, “In understanding the responsibilities that come with our interconnectedness, we realize that we must rely on each other to lift our World from where it is now to where we want it to be in our lifetime, while casting aside our worn out preconceptions, and our outdated modes of statecraft.”

It reminds me of the EShip Summit and Growing Entrepreneurial Communities Summit before it. It reminds me of recent conversations with Conveners, the Social Enterprise Alliance, Co.Starters; it reminds me of our most base instinct in economic development that should exist today, but sadly does not. That at it’s core, what we do with entrepreneurship-led economic development, is really, human capital and connectedness development, ever so important for our rural communities.

You see, supporting your community’s entrepreneurs, means supporting your community. One has to look no further than NetWork Kansas, Loudoun County, KCSourceLink or any of our many affiliates to feel this impact. When communities invest in their entrepreneurs, we all win. We in this work are the entrepreneurs that we support; we are Ubuntu.

Keep building and hold your Ubuntu close. We certainly do.