Imagining a new kind of slum

Jonathan Hursh
Founding Partner, Utopia
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Agenda in Focus: Social Entrepreneurs

Lots of good things are born out of naivete says Jonathan Hursh, Founder and CEO of Utopia. The average age of the NASA team that put a man on the moon was just 26 — they were simply too young to imagine that it wasn’t possible. The flipside of naivete is thinking big,in his case imagining a new kind of slum. Utopia — a social enterprise — is aiming to do nothing less than
redesign the slum and its role in the modern city.

This post is part of a major series from the Schwab Foundation looking at lessons from leading social entrepreneurs.




Hursh recognises that in the past he has sought to tackle complexity with complexity, which never works and believes one of the greatest leadership challenges he has faced is in managing a team’s energy.  That skill tends to be needed most when a leader’s own energy is low, he says. “If it goes wrong then a lot can fall apart and the team loses motivation.”

Author: Jonathan Hursh is founder and CEO of Utopia.

Image: Belongings are placed on higher ground after floodwaters caused by the heavy rainfall flowing from the swollen Bagmati River entered a slum in Kathmandu, Nepal August 17, 2015. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar




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