Why Being a Hero is Bullsh*t

Humility is a label either used in high-compliment or thrown as a sparring jab. Regardless of intent, why is humility more important now than ever, and how is it practiced? Charlie Brown, founder and CEO of Context Partners, has been exploring these questions and how humility is embodied by creative leaders. He shares insights from his own humbling experiences and draws parallels to the challenges we all share as we navigate our own creative ambitions.

About the speaker

For the past 15 years Charlie has the unique opportunity to work with social entrepreneurs around the world. These experiences have enabled him to design communities in amazing places from the high rises of New York to the forests of West Africa. The commonality among these amazing experiences wasn’t related to a product or service, or in chasing sales or market share. Instead, it was that social entrepreneurs hold a larger vision of what and who people wanted to become, and they produce a structure that allows people to work toward their aspirational identities.

Most social entrepreneurs won’t say “I’m a network theorist,” but they nearly all are. By nature, social entrepreneurs are less “hierarchical manager” and instead are powerful facilitators, steering groups of people to achieve their shared purpose, working collectively to achieve a larger vision.

Charlie founded Context Partners because at the same time he was seeing social movements prove the value of networked approaches he was also being approached by organizations like Nike, Citigroup, Microsoft and the U.S. State Dept with questions like:

“How do I increase innovation?” “How do I build a community with my customers” "How can I get customers to work with me?” "How do I reengage my employees?”

Charlie saw answers readily available in the space between social change movements and the powerful institutions that have the ability and influence to shape the world but were lacking the methods. His team at Context Partners bridges this space for aspirational brands and causes by working at the cutting edge of the Community Centered Design movement.

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