The Entrepreneur Podcast
The Entrepreneur Podcast

Episode · 5 months ago

Community-centric Entrepreneurship

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In May, 2021, Zita Cobb became the first social entrepreneur inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. As a social activist, she was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2016, for her hand in revitalizing the community of Fogo Island. Not too bad for someone living out their second career.

Above all these accolades, Zita Cobb is a community builder. After a fast-paced career in the technology space, Cobb, retired in her early 40s before founding the Shorefast Foundation in 2013, based in her hometown Fogo Island, in Joe Batt's Arm Newfoundland. Shorefast has a mission to create a diverse economy on Fogo Island through a variety of social businesses, including the Fogo Island Inn, a luxury hotel, outfitted by local craftspeople, and featured in international media outlets like National Geographic, GQ, and CNN.

In this episode, Eric Janssen speaks to Zita Cobb about entrepreneurship for the purpose of more than just profit, asset-based community development, why community is important and how one can build it - All of which seem incredibly relevant in an age when almost two thirds of millennials feel disconnected from community (a sixth not knowing their neighbors names), and almost 70% want to be more active participants.

...mm. Mhm. Yeah. You're listening to the entrepreneurpodcast from the western Morrissette Institute for entrepreneurship poweredby I. V. In this series. Ivy entrepreneur and ivy faculty memberERic Jansen will anchor the session. Zita Cobb can be described in manydifferent ways. An entrepreneur having been inducted into the CanadianBusiness Hall of Fame in 2020. A social activist, having been made a member ofthe Order of Canada in 2016 for her hand in revitalizing the community ofFogo Island. But in addition to that and perhaps above all else, she's acommunity builder. After a fast paced career in the technology space said aretired in early forties, she stopped just in time to catch your breathbefore founding the Shore Fast Foundation in 2013. Based in herhometown, Fogo Island and joe batts arm Newfoundland. Sure Fast has a missionto create a diverse economy on Fogo Island through a variety of socialbusinesses, including the Fogo Island in a luxury hotel outfitted by localcraftspeople. And featured an international media outlets likeNational Geographic GQ and CNN, and is frequented by high profile celebritiesand politicians. This is not just any hotel built by Newfoundland bornarchitect Todd Saunders. This hotel is a work of art, sitting atop a mound ofjagged rocks and is consistently ranked as one of the top hotels in the world.In this episode, I talked to Zita about entrepreneurship for the purpose ofmore than just profit, asset based community development and why communityis important and how you can build it. This episode is particularly relevantat a time when almost two thirds of millennials feel disconnected from thecommunity. 1/6 don't even know their neighbors names Yet almost 70% want toparticipate more in their communities. Please enjoy this master class in whatmight be the future model of entrepreneurship with MS. Zita. Cobb.Fogo Island Inn is a reflection of the islands culture, from the quilts to thefood. Every object inside the end carries a piece of the island with it.The 29 1 of a kind rooms were all hand built by Zito with her image in mind, aplace where people could go and immerse themselves in the surrounding nature,forgetting about material things and reminding themselves of what's trulyimportant To further her contributions to the community. Zita donates 100% ofthe operating surpluses of the Fogo Island Inn. Back to Fogo. The Inn iscurrently ranked as Canada's number one hotel and the third best worldwide.Please join me in welcoming the founder of this amazing venture Zita Cobb. Iknow you've had a lot of introductions in your day Miss Cobb, but what do youthink? I don't know, I think that's got to be the best one ever. That's reallycool and I can see some product opportunities and placing people in therooms like that. I mean you could have actually laying on the beds and like areal goldilocks. I love that. And I didn't miss the Alan Doyle at thebeginning either. You took note of that. That's a that's a personal playlist.Yeah, he's so he's such a great human. I mean good musician too. So if youdon't mind I wouldn't mind starting rewinding way back. So a lot of thestudents in the class are 20, years old. Where were you when you were their age?What were you up to? Well let's see. I left Fogo Adams when I finished highschool in 1975 and I came to Ottawa to study at Carlton. And uh yeah, Igraduated from Carleton when I was 20, so when I was 21, I was working inCalgary in the oil patch. I mean, that is another thing that defines us newflanders, right? We all work in Alberta at some point in our lives. So I didright out of university. And how did you decide? A lot of students right noware sort of wrestling with what the first step looks like and they buildthat up a lot in their mind. So how did you decide what the right first stepwas for you? Right out of university? You know, I don't know that I wasn'tbeing all that strategic about. I just wanted to start and I'm sure you'llfeel the same way. But the most important thing about the first step isthat you take one any step and it doesn't have to be the one that's goingto define what you'll do next. But I arrived in Calgary in the fall of 1989after having actually, it's a longer story, but my roommate knife universitybought A used Ontario hydro van for $800. 1 of these things that, as theysay, burn more oil than gas and decided we were going to go and see NorthAmerica all of it. I'm not sure we saw all of it, but we saw an awful lot ofit and the van broke down on a big hill near Cochrane Alberta on the way intoCalgary, if anybody is from that part of the world. So we thought, well webetter get a job because her mother wasn't gonna send us any more money andI had none. So we looked for jobs, can you imagine in 79 in Calgary, which wasboom time, you really just had to be kind of show that you were alive to geta job. And so I started working at Texaco which was called the ugly sisterfor a good reason to I might say and then I stayed there. I mean there are alot of it was such a crazy time, you...

...know they used to say that most peoplechange jobs three times a week at that point because there was suchcompetition to hire people. And so I moved from Texaco. I stayed longer thana day. I think I stayed a couple of years and moved to Shell and I reallyrealized very quickly that in fact it was a moment like this, you're allstudying business I think right? Yes, okay. I was doing oil and gasaccounting and when I was at Shell my job was to do the final month end closeso we could send the financial statements to the Hague, which allsounds very glamorous, but really what it comes down to is your there at twoin the morning, standing in a whole bunch of cubicles, you're the only oneleft. You and cleaners have arrived to get this thing sent off on time. And Ilooked around me and I thought, wow, if I stay here for, I don't know, fiveyears and I was sort of in the center of the Shell tower is at 4th and 4th.And I was in the center of the big grid of cubicles. I thought if I used tohear five years I could get, I don't know, 10 ft closer to the window. Andif I stayed 10 years maybe I would get within a foot of the window enough. Ireally stayed. If I was really lucky, I'd get an office next to the windowand I thought this is not how I want to spend my life for what? And that's whatI would say to anybody starting out a career, You really have one ultimatelyone currency and that's your time. And the most important decision we makeevery day is what the heck you're going to do at that time and certainly don'twish it away but don't waste it away doing something that doesn't mean a lotto you. So I started working for tech companies, small companies. And uh yeah,then I took another step in another step. So laddering up from starting ata small tech company, laddering up to progressively larger and larger and youended up retiring. Yeah, I never really, I never wanted to join a big companyagain, but they just kept growing underneath me in a way. I mean we wereuh yeah, and I come from a long line of people who die young and so I alwaysassumed I'd never live past 40. And actually I think that's a good posturefor everybody to adopt in a way because you don't waste any time. So I reallywanted to retire as early as I could. And then the biggest decision, as Isaid is what to do with your time. And it's one thing to join something andit's another thing to start something always kind of knew I wanted to go homeand do something at home. And so I retired at, I think I think I overshota bit, maybe I was 42, I spent some time sailing and then I went home. Sowe had a class on the discussion, really focused for a lot of time on. Doyou go like crazy when you're young to set yourself up for the rest of yourlife or do you try to maintain some semblance of balance throughout theentire thing? Uh Not that one is right. Uh Did you choose one of those pastwhere you were you balanced throughout your 20's and 30s or did you just golike crazy with the goal of trying to retire early? Yeah, that's I mean, Idon't know if I'm a good example because I'm probably not very balancedat all, but you know, I also didn't spend the life doing things that Ididn't enjoy and I think I think there was balance but not within any givenweek or day. For sure. I never failed to take vacation and I never failed totravel. That is such an important part of what we do with our time. Because ifwe don't shift our perspective, I think we just end up looking at the same wallwithout realizing that's what we're doing. But uh I don't Yes, certainly Idon't, I never assumed I was going to live long so I just figured I had tofit it all in and fitting it all in means, you know, you're gonna read allthe classics. I don't care if you're studying business or engineering orwhat it is. You still have to read Shakespeare. I mean otherwise how wouldyou be a well rounded human, you squeezed and squeezed in a full lifeinto your by the time you were 42 then started your second act at that point?Yes. And you know that was I was always kind of second in the ranking. I wasthe chief financial officer most of my life. So I the person who took theheaviest fire or heat with the Ceo and CFO and to start when I started, I Ireally realized it's a big difference being the Ceo compared to the CFO. Areally big difference involves a lot less sleep and it's uh I enjoyed bothroles, but I think it works because I've always worked in really closeteams. I mean I'm not a believer that entrepreneurs are people that are bornonce every 10 years on a blue moon and that their exceptional in some way, Ithink entrepreneurs are just people who choose to be anybody. Could you makethat choice, even being entrepreneurial in your own life or in a biggercorporation, even if you're not the person who started the company. Exactly,exactly. Being entrepreneurial means, looking at what is in front of you anddeciding that it can be better, it can...

...be done better, it can be approachedbetter and then having the energy or carry enough to say, I even though Idon't quite know how to make it better, I'm going to dedicate myself to that.And you know, this is the other thing when you actually commit yourself tosomething, the world always moves with you, but the world doesn't move withdabblers and so many of the people who said, yeah, you know, I tried that, itdidn't really work, so like, yeah, well you dabbled didn't go all in bydabbling. You mean they didn't, they didn't commit, they didn't give up,they didn't sacrifice, they didn't go all in on the thing. Yes, and any otherfirst bit of friction that was like, well that's really hard. I think it's aperfect legitimate thing to dabble at a few things till you find what you arewilling to commit yourself to. But you'll know the difference when you'rein when you're in it. Yeah, so part of that is finding something that you maybe true, that people dabble in things that they aren't passionate aboutbecause they're just trying things out. But when you find the thing that you'repassionate about being willing or able to go all in, is that what brought youback to Fogo? I ask, sort of in a roundabout way, because I'm from asmaller town, left flew the coop, didn't say that. I'd never be back. Idid end up coming back, but wanted to get out of dodge, wanted to experiencesome of the world and then did end up sort of gravitating back home, butdidn't always have in my mind that I would be back. What was the story foryou? Did you know, you'd be back at Fogo Island eventually. I don't knowthat I knew it as explicitly as that, but you know, I don't, I'm as a newphilander and this is very common for people from Newfoundland labrador, wenever really leave home and home never really leaves us, like it is ageographically a very powerful place and it digs into you and holds on toyou. So I always have had a relationship with home, I always wenthome and I don't think I missed a year to go home, no matter where I wasworking, I think what I became passionate about wasn't that I becamepassionate about home because I always was what I became passionate about, wasdoing business in different ways And realizing, you know, that we have beenon this wrong minded kind of globalization for more than 50 years.Thank you Mr Friedman. And it has caused the near destruction of humancommunities around the world. That's what I became passionate about and andI in a part of my career in the you know when JDS Uniphase was growingleaps and bounds, I saw a lot of this up really up front, I was buyingcompanies all around the world and it matters who owns what I don't know ericif you want to talk about ownership and all that at some point in ourconversation, but I started to realize we're not going to have a humancommunity left that's intact. And even the one I came from which people for,you know, the people who settled on Fogo Island came in the 16 fifties fromEngland and Ireland and community is everyday work. It's a it's a thing youdo. Even Fogo Island, which you know, people have fought for for centurieswas imperiled and so I thought no there has to be a better way to do businessthat is doesn't destroy community. And that's what our work is really about.Did that insight sort of build throughout your career or is thissomething that came to you when you gave yourself the space to think aboutit when you were quote unquote retired? No, it built as I was saying because mycareer was in a way corresponded with what I call this wrong mindedglobalization. You know companies were changing hands by the minute andcompanies were mostly seeking short term profits and moving manufacturingplants around the world. Oh it's you know, it's 10 cents cheaper over there.Let's move that place now. And this kind of treating place like it's somekind of a casino because every time a company gets up and leaves or closesplants, places harmed by that people in that place are harmed. Yeah. I think Ijust saw enough of it that I started to feel, I think I'm a part of the problemand that there was a better, you could envision a better way or you didn'tknow what it was, but you knew it wasn't what you were seeing exactly.And I know you can envision a better way and the better way. Actually,sometimes the answers are behind us. You know, some of the greatestcompanies in the world are companies that are family owned and have been forgenerations. Some of the great european companies are actually owned byfoundations because you know, you have families that couldn't figure out howto pass it on to the next generation. Maybe there wasn't the next generation,maybe they didn't like the crowd they saw coming after them. So they put thecompany ownership into foundations and the goal of that those foundations isto keep those companies healthy for the long run. So they serve the places thatthey are in. And I think we are in a way, I don't know if you follow what'sgoing on with the business roundtable in the U. S. Which is kind of abeginning of a new kind of a new kind...

...of contract, a new kind of relationshipbetween corporations and communities and and and places. But I'm encouragedby a lot of that. We have to make it happen. It just doesn't have to be thiskind of zero sum game with very short term focus. I mean, we know thedestruction that's been done not just to culture but to to nature. You know,the world almost literally on fire. And I'm sure that hasn't escaped yournotice. No. And what a huge goal or what a huge thing to try to look at andchange. And I think what you've done is starting a business is hard. Changingpeople's minds is hard. What you've done is monumentally hard. Where didyou start when you you you it took some time. You had the space, you weresomething wasn't rubbing you the right way about the way that business wasdone, It's not sustainable. Where did you even start to make change in theway that you envisioned? Mhm. Well, first thing I did was go home and Istarted what really turned into a seven-year conversation with the peopleon Fogo Island and many I knew, but many I didn't because I've been livingand working away for 30 years at that point and I think people understoodwhat we wanted to do was build another leg on the economy, but do it in a waythat's respectful of the the inherent assets that are there. And yeah, thefirst thing I did was get myself educated about asset based communitydevelopment. Like what is that? Because typically what happens when a communitygets into trouble income to help for people and you know, what's what'swrong with all of you people, you know, well we don't have much education,we're poor, we we don't have good health, all of these litany of ofliabilities, but nobody ever built a future based on what they don't knowand don't have. And so when you really learn to do asset based communitydevelopment, it's like somebody turns a big light on in your head because youcan actually see what the community has. What do we have here? A lot of peoplelooked at a place like Fogo Island and what is said, there's nothing there. Imean the card are almost all gone and the population is aging and the youngpeople have all left and on and on and on. But if you have the eyes becauseeverything starts with you have to believe something is possible. Ofcourse. But if you have the eyes to see you ask these questions, these are thebasic questions of asset based community development. What do we have?Surely we must have something. Okay. What do we know? Do we know anything? What do we love? What do we miss andwhat can we do about it? And as soon as you get to what can we do about it?Well now you're already kind of starting a business really and in theintroduction you're talking about the scholarship program and kind of thischallenge from this woman in the community that said, you can't, you dosomething to make jobs, you're just paying people to leave now for a whileand doesn't have a university Newfoundland does of course. So peoplewho want to get a university education have to leave home And not everyone isgoing to come back and maybe it takes them as it did in my case 30 years tocome back. But I think that education is important, but not everybody on FogoIsland wants or needs to get a university education either. So it'show do we create meaningful employment, dignified employment for people? Andyou know, like communities have done all kinds of, you know, projects aroundaround the world and around Canada, like call centers, all kinds of thingsto try and create economic activity. And I'm not here to say that any of itis bad as long as it's not polluting I guess. But but I think there is a realchance. I don't know if have you studied, you know what it's called now?Regenerative economics. It's sort of beyond sustainability. Sustainablemeans, please don't do your business in a way that breaks things. Regenerativemeans do it in a way that actually makes things better. And so if you comeat it in that way and you say, hey, if we're going to and we started with artbecause art is about knowledge and hospitality and hospitality becausefogo Islanders are culturally predisposed to great hospitality. Andso how do we practice that in a way that actually strengthens culture,which is, you know, you were talking about, we made all the furnishings andfurniture for the in well, that gave us a chance to put what we know because wewere both builders always still are and textile artisans always still are. Andso by giving a demand for that and giving a showcase for that. Well thenwe have more people building boats and making quilts and hooking maps andknitting and all of that because there is a need for it. I mean, it's kind ofrelevance of knowledge through use as opposed to going out and buying bedcoverings from someplace far away. Why would you do that? And I think what ishappening? And I think Covid is actually in some ways making us moreaware of the local and I think what I'm not advocating a world in whicheverybody just retreats into some kind...

...of awful nationalistic kind of posture.What I'm advocating is what Gil Chin lim, who was the most remarkable manwho unfortunately died too early. He was an urban planner. And he said, wehave to figure out how to create a global network of intensely localplaces. And so it's a, it is about schumacher was right, small isbeautiful and schumacher didn't mean that everything in the world has to besmall. What he meant was you get too big by making a whole bunch of smallsand networking them together. You know, I've never believed that. Maybe this islike, you know, now I'm revealing my generation has been so different fromyours, but you know, when I was your age, people were talking, oh, you know,I'm a global citizen and that's that's bs there's like there's no such thingas a global citizen. Nobody can love the whole world at one time. You canlove a place at one time and the way you get to a strong world is placed byplace and then networking them all so that we have intelligent commerce. Wehave intelligent exchange of ideas and never better than now because we havethe telecommunications technology to do some of this that we couldn't do before.And so I think this question of how do I belong to the world? Well I need tobelong where I need to belong to myself, first thing to belong in my own bodyand then I need to belong in my local whatever that is my local community andthen I belong to my regional and so on. That's how I belong to the world. Ihave no idea how I got there. Eric this is this is at the beginning of that,this is what this is what I was hoping for. This is great. So the originalconversation when I reached out to you was that my wife and I are we arepassionate about community and you are very outspoken about the importance ofcommunity. We are also the people who have moved around a lot and havetraveled a lot and I'll be honest with you, I don't know where home is rightnow. I'm in a physical space called London in my basement. We don't see alot of people nowadays. And I worry that with my desire to see differentplaces and give my kids different experiences that the soup kitchen won'thave volunteers and that I won't know people and that my kids will never havea place that feels like home. So I worry about that. Uh, well I think andI have traveled and lived in lots of places as well. I think it starts withunderstanding a community is a physical, tangible geographic place where youhappen to be with other human beings. So if you're going to spend, I don'tcare if you're only spending four months in Toronto or wherever you areat any moment, you were part of that community even if it's not forever time.And community is a place start with, don't forget it's not. And people talkabout online communities. There is no such thing as an online community.There are online networks and they are hugely important. They are notcommunities. If your house catches on fire, you need the person next door tocome over and help you. And so I think and community is it is a very complexadaptive coalition. If it was properly understood, it's a place that humanscome together to fight, to compromise, to muck along together in in some kindof shared understanding of fate F A. T. E about how the future is going toevolve in that place. And so my relationship with Fogo Island hasevolved over the years. I finished high school there and then I was mostly gone,but I participated in the community when I was able to be there. And so Iactually gave a talk once in a big city and someone said to me at the end ofthe Q and A, they said, well, you know, you're really lucky because you know,you live in a place where there is a community and so where do you live themoon? And he said, no, no, I live in the suburb, you know, And I said, well,okay, do you know the people who live next door? Well, he didn't. I said,whoa, that's easy to fix. Right here is an active community. Go next door. Sayhello, my name is eric. I live next door. If I can be of any help to you,this is my number, you can reach out to me, get to know people that is makingcommunity and for the time you're there. How I mean I think you got to teachyour kids how to participate. Community is made by participating and so wellfor the time you're there wherever you are, show up, give of your time. It'sfunny I have uh I had a company in the home security business, we didsurveillance cameras and alarms, those sorts of things for residential andcommercial. And of course I had the most secure home in the neighborhoodright? My host was decked out with all the equipment that I could get and yetthere was a time where I went on vacation and I left my garage door openand it my neighbor peter local lawyer involved in local community theatercame over, hit the button and shut my...

...garage door for me. Like it took a thetechnology can't trump the physical human just caring enough and trust.Actually we had such a relationship. You lived across our alley that he wascomfortable enough to poke his head in say this looks weird that their car isnot here. I'm actually going to close the garage door. It's just a smallaction. But it really made me realize like When I saw an article thatsomething like 90% of millennials actually don't even know theirneighbors names. We need neighbors still you can't out technology needingpeople, you know, it's a question of friction. This is that you cannot. AndI think that is the danger of technology and of course, you know, JDSUniphase. The company I spent most of my career with, we made little opticaldevices called WDM wave division multiplexing. They are the enablingoptical bits for the internet and you know, we used to dream, you know, we'recontributing to the creation of some kind of agora that, you know, peopleare going to be together with each other in new ways, which is a littlebit true now, we hadn't anticipated were the platform monopolies that we'reactually going to manipulate and control our very lives. But that'sanother story and the thing about the internet or being online, it isfrictionless. I mean, we're together here for a short time, you know, Idon't have to worry too much that, gosh, now I have to call that fellow backbecause, you know, he's expecting me to pick up his kid or whatever it is,Community takes a commitment and its relationships take commitment. Realhuman relationships are sometimes a pain in the butt, but that is whereactually richness lies. And the quality of anybody's life is the quality oftheir relationships and the quality of our relationships is the quality of ourattachments. And I think our most important attachments start with placeand you can be attacked. I feel actually quite attached to more placesthan just vocal island, but when and all the places I've lived, I haveformed a relationship with those places as a I don't know, it's kind of a habit.I think it's a Newfoundland thing. It's like maybe we're just nosy and you wantto know who's next door and and of course when you pull a thread and I,you know, I see Andrew there and I want to know who who are you and and what'syour story? Well, my life just gets better from that. Like, I think it'sseen each other for what we are, which is enriching, I choose always is hardbecause it has more friction. It's hard to choose the real over the hyper real.I mean, he'd been off on the couch with a steady diet of netflix doesn't demanda whole lot of us. Doesn't give us much, ultimately, either. It's prettyunsatisfying. Do you know why people follow you? You did a really hard thing.You started a really hard thing, but there's of course a team behind it. Itried to do some digging and talk to some people. They have some theory. Italked to Todd Saunders dr Todd. I know that you still keep in touch with himalmost on a weekly basis. He said like, wonderful human. How did you get peopleto follow you or why do people follow you? Well, actually, I don't know, didyou find out any answers? I don't know. I think that maybe they feel sorry forme and I think oh my God, she's taken on such a big thing, I'd better helpher and that's fine. I take that you know, I think the way I look at thingsas I try to understand, I have this ability, I think that I think it comesfrom my father to zoom in and zoom out and we all can practice this which iszoom into the smallest possible element. And I talked about cauliflowers a lot,if you think about a college bar. So when I left Newfoundland, I went to waras I said earlier, I have never seen a cauliflower because we could groweverything we ate, but we never grew cauliflowers. And I got a job as a parttime job, working at Goldstein's idea on Elgin Street, not about anyone'sfrom Ottawa and outcomes along my cash. One day comes this thing I've neverseen cauliflower and so will you inspect the cauliflower? You start torealize that it's a fractal, right? It's a beautiful pattern that repeatsand repeats. And at the time I was just starting to study business and I hadwitnessed the near loss of Fogo Island as a place because of theindustrialization of the fishery. And I came to understand that Fogo Island isone tiny little Florence and Ottawa's bigger florida. Toronto's a biggerflorida. And Mexico city is a bigger florida and keep going. But all ofthese florets, this is where we live, they're all held together by the stemthat makes the cauliflower and there's one cauliflower and we all belong to it,the important part. And this is what kind of this epiphany I had atGoldstein's idea in 1975 is the stem has two jobs to do. Number one job ishold it all together. Number two jobs bring nutrition to the florets and apart of that nutrition is economic nutrition. And I realized that what washappening was in the fishery for sure...

...is that the companies who wereoperating those monster ships that were off our coast, they were depriving fogoisland of economic nutrition by just basically stealing all the fish andtaking them away. And so when I talk about zooming in and zooming out, wecall this cauliflower thinking for everything you're going to do orcontemplate doing or are doing, think about the impact on the whole, thinkabout the impact on the floor it you're in and think about how does that affectall the other florets? How does it affect the cauliflower? And I thinkthis questioning always by zoom in zoom out. I think that that is somethingthat when you practice doing that, it's just like some kind of a brain shift.And so I think when people will start to work that way, it's kind ofaddictive in a good way, because then you can't stop seeing once you see, youcan't stop seeing. I mean, you could be very willful and make a choice to livein a silo, all of your own. It's going to be a lonely place. There were someopinions I know that you and Todd have a very, you've stayed in touch. Youhave a really, it sounds like a very tight relationship. And he said, whenhe gets a lot of gets a lot of calls nowadays from people who wealthy peoplewho want beautiful things built and he says no to pretty much all of them. Andso you're, I don't know how you first got in touch but your contact with himwas was different. He connected with you as a person. He connected with themission of shore fast and he connected with, I think it also aligned with hispersonal why he really cared about the place. You know, it wasn't there wasthere was you, there was the mission and all of those sort of checked out.But he also had and wanted to get personal meaning of being part ofsomething bigger than what he was working on. And so that that's I thinkwhat originally drew him in. Yeah. And I think it's something in what you saidalso if we and I keep coming back to you want to get to decide what to dowith your time. That's the most important thing. If you're working onsomething that is for you and about you. Mm Really? Why would you do that whenyou could put your time into working on something that is about bigger than you.Something that will go on beyond your life. Like that is like such afulfilling thing. And I think that's why people are drawn to the work onFogo Island because it's it has has a purpose that started long before I wasborn and will never end. And I'll give you an example of the way we hired Todd.So, for people that maybe don't know, Todd Saunders is the architect of thefocus on the end of the studios on the island. So when we were thinking about,okay, we're going to hire an architect and beauty is important. Design isimportant. Design has the job of beauty and aesthetics generally it also hasthe job of helping us carry the past, because things can help us make meaning.And I think what we're all questing for in some way is a deeper kind ofmaterialism. I mean, if the things were buying or just transactions like youmight imagine that Jeff Bezos is not my favorite human because he is setting usup for a life of transactions, not a life of relationships, If everything webought had some meaning because you understood where it came from, who madeit, why they made it, where the money goes, then your life will be richer.And so architect, like when you're gonna put up a building in a city or atown somewhere and too many have been put up in with reductionist thinking,because that's what's the cheapest thing I can throw up. And withoutthought to, you know, how long is it gonna last or how is it going to affectthe people that walked by it or drive by it? Is it going to be beautiful? Isit going to make people's days better or is it just gonna be some piece ofcrap that actually makes our lives feel meaner and more shallow? Like that kindof bad real estate development I think has such a corrosive impact on ourpsyches anyway when we were starting. So I think thinking about architects,the typical thing you do is you go out and you ask a whole bunch of architectsto give you a proposal. Well that seems like the wrong thing to do because whatI really wanted to do is to find someone who cared the most and had themost talent. So start with cared the most. It would have been good to have anew Finland Architect because I thought they would understand the culture moreand they would feel the burden of getting this right because can youimagine if we had built something on Fogo Island that was crap like our ancestors would get to thegrave and wring our necks. So I was really struggling with this because newZealand is a fairly small place where half a million people on a good day andnot that there, I just haven't found the architect I wanted. I was on an AirCanada flight and this is a here's another lesson, life lesson. Alwaysread the in flight magazine, a great one. And so I pick up the in flightmagazine and I saw a little photograph...

...like a tiny little picture with acaption that said, and it was a beautiful little wooden building and itsaid, Newfoundland born architect Todd Saunders. I hadn't had never heard ofhim because he never practiced in Newfoundland. He studied at McGill andhis practices in Norway. I knew right then that is who we're gonna hire. AndI don't know if he told you this, we never had a contract because he had a very simple designbrief. I mean he understood that he was doing work for a charity and so beresponsible and I trusted him to be responsible and he was, I also didn'texpect him to work for nothing, He's got kids to feed and all of that too.And with the design brief was you have to figure out how to express incontemporary architecture, but we have learned in 400 years of clinging tothis rock. And so I think that's so important for for cultures to adopt tomodernity. I mean so many incredible human cultures have been left behindbecause they haven't made the adaptation to bring the essence of itforward and architecture can help with that. And I actually went to Norway, Ivisited some of his projects. It was pretty clear that even though he'dnever done anything of this scale of this, he was he was really quite youngbut he said it is quite young. It was a big risk and I know if you haven't seenthe film strange and familiar, it's really worth watching because you seeTodd, you see Todd and I fighting a lot which is not a bad thing and you seehim struggle with the enormity of this project. It was a great watch my wifeand I watched it. I want to zero, this is about the students on the call so Iam going to save about 15 minutes for them to ask some questions. So Arnica,this is your cue to start sorting the ones that are the most popular aregetting uploaded. But Zita, while she cute some of those up the students whoseem to take this the way that I'd sum up this class is sort of everythingthat you didn't learn in business school, in business school. So this isa very different class that attracts a very different type of student. We do alot of work on personal development and figuring out what motivates you as aperson and how to make you good before you take on whatever's next. Knowingthat these are the types of people that are going to take big swings and areprobably more entrepreneurial minded any advice as they just get theircareer started. Yeah, we were talking about passion a little bit earlier andI'm making a new book on passionate a lot going on about passion these daysand who is the guy that wrote the book? That's got a word that you're notsupposed to say? Like, like, f blank blank. There's there's a book aboutthis and it's in a career now, I've forgotten his name. Sam, I know, I knowwhat you're talking about, but yeah, anyway, he says in a different way,basically that passion is not something that overtakes you while you're lyingon the couch. Passion comes from doing doing doesn't come from passion. Wellit does, but it doesn't start, nothing starts with passion. It's everythingstarts with doing something because we are well, for sure, we are the sum ofall that we've done. Each and every one of us is better than the worst thingwe've ever done. But we heard of some, like, in other words, I really believe,okay, I didn't get that right, we're gonna be better tomorrow. But we heardof some of what we do and yeah, I think it's about doing my, my father was allabout that. You are what you do and I think when you do things, passion growsit can't not if you're using your time wisely, that's great, great, greatadvice. So I'll turn it over, I'll turn it over to student questions. Do youwhat's being up voted the most there? First we're going to hear from Terni.Perfect. Well, first off, thank you so much CDA for taking the time to speakwith us today. You're a huge inspiration to young woman like myself.So thank you so much on the break, I googled you and read that you hope youraddition the short fast Foundation signals a change in focus across thecountry. So my question for you is in a world full of amazons and Facebooks, doyou ever foresee a world where businesses can shift priorities to havea social focus? I know you alluded to it when discussing that round table inthe U. S. And then additionally how can we as consumers and hopeful futurebusiness leaders spark that transition towards triple bottom line accounting.I do believe Turney that that companies can change will change but the changestarts with you and me and I was on a talk a little while ago and I wasrecommending a book which I'm going to recommend that book to you right nowand the book is called the third pillar by a fellow, he's an economist. Lastname is raj in his first name is a really long name but he calls himselfraghu Raghuram rajan and I think he's based in Chicago now. He may have beenthe economist for the I. M. F. I'm not exactly sure. But anyway, the thirdpillar, his premises society is based on three pillars government businessand community and and we talked about...

...this earlier that when we hollow outthe pillar recall community, we're putting us all in trouble and thebusiness really can't succeed and nor can government in anything we do. Noneof the climate change initiatives are going to work unless they land wherepeople live and get up taken. Anyway, I was recommending this book and thensomeone said, well I'm going to get that, I'll get I'll have it by tomorrow.And I said how are you going to get a book by tomorrow? We're in a freakingpandemic. Oh I'm gonna order from amazon just a second, didn't we justspent an hour talking about community and the importance of local business,the importance of where the money goes. You are not ordering it on amazon, JeffBezos will change when we stop buying stuff until he changes. He could get uptomorrow and decide to turn amazon into a social business. It can still have aformer profit motive. And I do believe that capital deserves a return all ofthat. But he he could run it as a social business meaning cognizant ofthe whole cauliflower, making sure like for example what if he wrote analgorithm that promoted things close to you and promoted small producers? Whatif he did that? It could be a game changer. I still don't think you shouldbuy from amazon but but it could be run and so could the Walmarts. They couldbe run a lot more responsibly toward people in planet than they are. But weare the ones we can't buy from them and then complain about them. I'm notsaying you do that to me and I think there are business people that do careand are willing to make the turn. We just have to stay with them as theymake the turn. I mean, you know, the whole idea of fast and cheap is deeplyseductive and that's what he knows. Thank you as much as I want you to readthe book. I think it's perfectly fine if you wait a week to get it, I'll waitthe week, wait the week to um next question is from Andrew Day. Yeah,thanks so much for coming up bound the pieces on community that you talkedabout. Very interesting. My question was basically just could you expand onthe impact of globalization on community and well being. The secondpart of my question was can we have the benefits of globalization whilemaintaining community and what would the change look like? That's that thatwould be necessary in order for that to happen? Mm I think if we see the worldas a whole construct of yours and I know in business school we get taught alot of you know it's an either or decision. I don't see the world aseither or I see the world as and and if what I'm feeling is an or that tells meI need to go down level that I'm working at the surface. So I think it'san end and I think the kind of localizing the global is the processwe're going through. I think it depends on who we just want to talk aboutcommerce for a moment. I think if we are buying, if you take a bed coveringbecause we've been talking about if we are by if I need to buy a bed coveringand I am living in a place which is actually pretty skilled at making bedcoverings. Although they're not the least expensive bed coverings in theworld. I should buy a bed covering from there now on folks wanna now let's sayI want to buy, I don't know, an electric stove. Uh huh. I'm probably not going to buyit from the local and I as I said I'm not all about, let's be nationalistic.And so I think the amount of things crossing oceans needs to go down. Itneeds to go down for the climate of nothing else. It needs to go down sothat we can stimulate local economies. And so I think we need to be morethoughtful about what's moving. I think we need to have trade agreements thathave more to do with an intelligent planning of who's best at what andwhere and how things should flow. As opposed to companies that are justchasing around the planet to get cheaper, cheaper, cheaper, cheaper,cheaper. I think that globalization, let's go. I've talked about commerce,but let's talk about knowledge and and sharing of ideas and collaboratingtogether. I mean we are facing such enormous challenges as human beingsthat can only be solved together and we need to belong together in the bigcauliflower to do that. I I really believe that we need to strengthen someof our global institutions and even though they've come under lots ofpressure from wrong minded politicians in recent years, I think these arereally important ways of collaborating and so I think it's we just need to bemore sensible about and and think about what we're buying and how we'reparticipating in the world and it is one world, it's one cauliflower, butit's got to be made up of healthy little florets. So I think it's an end.Thank you. Next is Cullen. Yeah, Hi...

Zita, thanks for coming in. So thisquestions along the same lines as Tierney's question about amazon. Butyou know, I agree with you that Jeff Bezos will change when people stopordering from him. But given that a lot of people probably will never stopordering from him and maybe not enough to make a difference to him. What do wedo about these? Like meghan corporations if anything? Or is thismega corporation dystopia just our future? I don't think it is. I think toback to rajan's book column that says the society is native government. Imean the pillars of society of government, business, and community andyou start to see it happening. I think governments need to wake up and realizethat they are, they have allowed citizens to be served up to these giantmonopolies without creating any buffers. I mean, I don't mean we do live in anunfiltered on buffered, networked, highly networked world. I think we needsome buffers and just as I don't think it's okay for governments to servecitizens up to industrial food companies that serve us non food andit's cheap, cheap, cheap and highly addictive. I think government has arole in that. And I think we're beginning to see governments wake up,it's not gonna be easy. There's a great Canadian designer, Bruce Mau, I don'tknow if you know his work, he's missed Sudbury, another beautiful community.Anyway, said Bruce, he's in Chicago these days I think, but he said, youknow, the people that we need to regulate into the question you'reasking around platform monopolies. He said they operate like liquids and thepeople who are trying to regulate them operate like crystals and this is aproblem. So I think government needs to mature to its real job and I think weare going through a technological revolution that is really at thebeginning. I also, I want to ask some very fundamental questions abouttechnology. I still haven't figured out why we're working on driverless car.Like what problem are we trying to solve? What's the problem? I think weshould be working on electric cars and this whole idea that we're going to usetechnology and displace, you know, human effort and for the people and weon this color probably among them who think, oh well, you know, who cares?The truck drivers don't have jobs, you know, we're educated people that's notgoing to do with us, Ai is going to replace mental labor. So as my fatherwould say, when, when the fishery was collapsing, he said, well what are wegonna do with us all dramas all in the harbor? So I think we need to reallyhave a big think about technology and I think government has a role to playthere as well. Why are we working on a driverless car? Does anyone have ananswer? Oh, you're getting you're getting volunteering participation here.Hands are going up. So that's the street. That one is rhetorical and tryto make the best use of our last four minutes here. Maybe Arnica. Let's getone more question. Yeah, we can end it off with yan. Thank you. Hi there, Zita,thank you so much for talking to us and I'm kind of an estate just like you. Ithink it's super refreshing to hear a perspective that supports architecturalbeauty, beauty in general rather than the indistinguishable mcmansions we'rekind of used to hearing about so kind of in keeping with that theme. What'sthe story of the art piece behind you? It's beautiful. Are you familiar withthe the painter or the creator et cetera? What's the story there? It's sofunny you asked this question because I'm not at home today, I'm actually inToronto and I'm in a friend's apartment and normally I get to be able to tellyou everything about this art piece. But my friend whose apartment, hisloving to use his apartment is also a big fan and purchaser of art, but whatI do know is because I think it looks vaguely like Newfoundland though, don'tyou think? Anyway? It's a Cuban artist and he was in cuBA and bought the workthere. It's a really remarkable piece. But that that's all I know about. I'msorry, but I'm glad you asked about it. Because it lets me say a thing aboutart, if you have a meaningful relationship with our please make one,because it's a different way of seeing and knowing and you know, that thatquote by Mark Twain is not what you don't know. That's the problem is whatyou think. You know, that just ain't. So art always shifts what we see andthe job of artists is to question and point to things that you wouldn't seeas a business person or I wouldn't see as a business person. And if you don'tunderstand it, that's fine, live with it and live in the questions. That's uhI think it's just uh it makes us function better because it appeals tous as humans beyond just our brain. You shouldn't trust your brain too muchbecause there's a whole body that has knowledge to thank you. See that you'vebeen incredibly generous with your time.

Is there anything that these futurenext generation of leaders can do to help you help shore fast? Help us?What's your ask of us? I would say pay attention to the smaller places in theworld because the path we're on, we're all going to be living at the kind ofyoung and Ellington's of the world. And not that we don't need great cities,but great cities need great rural places too. And I think that we can usenetwork effects to link the smaller places to medium sized places with thecity's in a way that it's not one or the other. I mean when people, I reallyget upset, when people talk about the urban rural divide, it's like whatdivides we need each other. And there will be times in your life that youwill choose to live in the city and there will be times in your life youwill choose to live in smaller places. So just think about as you do your work,what can we do, What can you do? And it doesn't mean that you gotta move tovote while and start a business. It could just have to do with how you dosourcing. I have to do with how you travel. Pay attention to those placesand there's a richness there. We'll see to thank you so so much for your time.We really appreciate it. I think Arnica will turn it over to you for one lastword from the class. Yeah, I think I'll is actually going to give us the lastword. Go for a Kyle. Yeah. Thank you so much for your time today, Zita, you'veshared a very unique story with all of us and I think all 60 of us are goingto walk away from this class with some new perspectives to think about for along, long time. So as a small token of our appreciation will be making a $40donation to shore fast. We hope every little bit can help go a long way onfogo island. It absolutely does Kyle. Thank you. It was nice to sort of meetall of you and who knows? Maybe we'll bump into each other out there incommunity world. Thank you so much. See that we appreciate it. Thank you. Takecare. Bye bye. The entrepreneur podcast is sponsored by quantum shift 2000 andeight alum, Connie clarity and closing the gap healthcare group to ensure younever miss an episode. Subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast player orvisit entrepreneurship dot w dot c a slash podcast. Thank you so much forlistening Until next time. Yeah. Mhm. Yeah. Mhm.

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