Is it possible for the company formerly known as Facebook to be a force for good? There are some bright spots.
NOTE: For a full transcript of the conversation, go to https://tonyloyd.com/emily-dalton-smith
If you want to hear bad news about Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, you don’t have to look far. And, there’s plenty of bad news to find. If you’re interested in reading more about that, just Google the phrase Facebook Papers.
But, for me, there’s a more interesting question. Can Meta be a force for good? Is it possible?
As you know, here at Social Entrepreneur, our motto is “We tell positive stories from underrepresented voices, focused on solutions.” I admire models such as Solutions Journalism, where journalists ask the question, “Who does it better?” And I love appreciative inquiry, where leaders take a strengths-based approach. I would also recommend Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath.
The point of all of these approaches is, look for the bright spots. Look for what is working and spread that around.
If you know my story, you know that I was a corporate executive. I was bothered by big questions that drove me to leave my career and learn about social entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurs use the power of business to do social good.
I believe, if we are going to save humanity, we cannot depend on government agencies and nonprofits to do the work required. Their work is necessary but insufficient.
Every business must look at its impact, both positive and negative. We must find the positive effects of our companies and amplify that.
Let me be clear. To make the kind of impact needed, companies cannot work around the edges. If ExxonMobil plops a solar panel on top of their headquarters, they cannot declare victory and go home. We have to rethink our business models fundamentally.
And positive change requires third-party verification. That’s why I’m such a fan of certified B Corporations.
In today’s interview, Emily Dalton Smith, Vice President of Product Management at Meta, describes how Meta is creating a positive social impact. She talks about Crisis Response, Charitable Giving, Community Help, Health, Mentorship, COVID-19 Information Center, and the Voting Information Center.