Academic journal article Austrian Journal of South - East Asian Studies

Discussing the Social Entrepreneurial Movement as a Means of Provoking Normative Change in West Kalimantan, Indonesia: An Interview with Kinari Webb

Academic journal article Austrian Journal of South - East Asian Studies

Discussing the Social Entrepreneurial Movement as a Means of Provoking Normative Change in West Kalimantan, Indonesia: An Interview with Kinari Webb

Article excerpt

An Interview With Kinari Webb

Kinari Webb is a Yale-trained physician and currently runs the healthcare and environmental non- profit organization Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI) that is based in Sukadana, Indonesia. She has lived and worked near Gunung Palung National Park in Indonesian Borneo for 20 years. In this interview, con- ducted through email correspondence in March, 2013, Kinari talks about the social entrepreneurial movement, provides background on social and legal norms as they relate to illegal logging in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, and discusses the structure and methods used by ASRI to provoke positive societal change.

Kinari Webb ist eine in Yale ausgebildete Ärztin und leitet derzeit die gemeinnützige Gesundheits- und Umweltorganisation Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI) in Sukadana, Indonesien. Für 20 Jahre lebte und arbeitete sie in der Nähe des Nationalparks Gunung Palung in Borneo, Indonesien. In diesem Inter- view, das mittels E-Mail-Korrespondenz im März 2013 durchgeführt wurde, spricht Kinari über die soziale Unternehmensbewegung, gibt Hintergrundwissen über soziale und gesetzliche Normen und deren Bezug zu illegaler Abholzung in West Kalimantan, Indonesien, und diskutiert die Struktur und Methoden der Organisation ASRI für die Förderung eines positiven sozialen Wandels.

BETHANY D. KOIS: William Drayton said, "The job of a social entrepreneur is to recognize when a part of society is stuck and to provide new ways to get it unstuck. He or she finds what is not working and solves the problem by changing the system, spreading the solu- tion, and persuading entire societies to take new leaps."2 As a social entrepreneur yourself, how do you define social entrepreneurism?

KINARI WEBB: I love that definition. However, I think it suggests that the entrepreneurs come up with all the ideas and execute those ideas themselves. In my experience, idea creation doesn't happen like that - and if it did, the ideas wouldn't be as good as those that are created collaboratively. I define social entrepreneurism a little differently. For example, I'm good at creating a space where great ideas happen. I'm good at recognizing when an idea is poten- tially game-changing and at working together with others to bring those ideas to fruition. I think we need to be careful about supporting Drayton's definition of social entrepreneurism because it encourages people to work individually and not truly honor the communities and staff they work with. In my experience, the best ideas always come from the people who are experiencing the problem. We need to support collaborative idea creation and social entre- preneurs can, absolutely, facilitate that type of action.

KOIS: Social entrepreneurial ventures are increasingly targeted towards sweeping, long- term change instead of immediate, small-scale effects. Why do you think that is?

WEBB: Because sweeping long-term change is what is necessary. We cannotview world issues as a series of discreet problems solvable on their own. We exist in an interconnected web of culture, economics, and law. If we fail to recognize that, we can actually make things worse. For example, working towards decreasing poverty in a way that results in lowered human health and higher environmental degradation will not improve a community's well-being in the long run. Making one thing better by making others worse is not a sustainable solution. I think that's why many people are working to tackle these problems on many fronts.

KOIS: Let's talk numbers. In the 26 countries studied by the Johns Hopkins Comparative Non- Profit Sector Project, citizen organizations now employ 19 million workers and engage the equivalent of another 11 million full-time volunteers.3 The UN Human Development Report estimates that one in five people participate in a citizen organization.4 What do you think is driving this explosive growth?

WEBB: I think there are two things. First, I just read the brilliant book Better Angels of Our Na- ture by Steven Pinker. …

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