Debra Swersky
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Journal

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Unreasonable

For the past six months I’ve been working on a rather large project: a five day hyper accelerator for high potential entrepreneurs. It’s called Unreasonable Labs and it’s for early/idea-stage social enterprises seeking to validate their business models and scale their impact. Over the past five days we delivered Unreasonable Institute’s step-by-step methodology to help our selected entrepreneurs rapidly and systematically validate their venture’s business model. 

It. Was. Awesome. (Though I withheld my curriculum delivery expertise honed from my days in Ghana and Rwanda, I was encouraged by our mentors, facilitators, and deliverers... my jam this time around was logistics.)

As the workshop kicked off, I started to read the book, Originals, by one of my favorite authors: Adam Grant. You might remember him and the first book I read of his, Give & Take, from this post, this post, or this post. It was clearly a super impactful book and one that I consistently recommend. The quote that prefaces chapter one in Originals is from George Bernard Shaw:

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

(Coincidentally, this is the quote upon which Unreasonable Institute bases their name.)

After reflecting on the week and the amazing team that I had the opportunity to work with in putting together the lab (and reading more of Originals), I happened upon the Margaret Mead quote that always finds its way into the most appropriate situations:

 “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

It has been over a year since I joined The Grove. In that time I’ve learned more about the state of social entrepreneurship in North Texas than I have about the state in any other city that I have lived. Though I’m far from the “first follower” here in Dallas, The Grove has officially made the transition from “lone nut to leader” (as Derek Sivers would say) with companies that are doing well by doing good as host of Unreasonable Labs

It was by joining the Unreasonable team and taking part in moving the North Texas community to visions of a better tomorrow that I realized how important it was to me that I work with people who focus on improving people’s lives and changing the world for the better. 

My most heartfelt thank you’s go out to Justin Nygren, Andrew Brown, and Tim Girgis, for converting the strong emotions of social and economic frustration in North Texas to a different, equally as intense emotion. It’s with Margaret Mead’s and George Bernard Shaw’s maxims that we were compelled to pour gasoline on the social impact ecosystem and start to make a bigger impact in the community. Unreasonable Labs may appear to be a little lab to some, but it’s one that will prove to make a big difference in the community. Thanks, Team!

Debra Swersky