“Life is an act of consumption. To live is to consume. And the human beings on your planet are merely resource waiting to be converted into capital. And this entire enterprise is just a small part in a vast and beautiful machine defined by evolution, desire to a simple purpose… to create profit.” (Balem Abrasax, Jupiter Ascending)
It was one of these days when you have nothing to do, the weather is awful and you don’t even want to move from your seat to go to the loo. I had nothing better to do so I decided to watch a movie. I bumped onto Jupiter Ascending, saw the hot Channing Tatum on the poster and decided to have it a go.
I won’t comment on the movie but on one scene and only. Eddie Redmayne as Balem Abrasax gives an enlightening speech on human society and profit. Until that moment I couldn’t wait for the film to end and suddenly I woke up. His words hit me.
Life is an act of consumption.
To live is to consume. If we stop our hectic lives for a moment and have a look around us, we will notice the huge machine of consumption running around us. This is our world. Fast paced, programmed, productive-centred, expensive. It’s all about selling and buying and if you can’t sell it then you become disposable; if you can’t buy it you become an outcast. We can’t live without money because otherwise we can’t buy. We can’t live without buying because otherwise our world seems meaningless.
The world is one big enterprise;buying, selling, promoting, investing;and in it lie many smaller and bigger enterprises.
But who runs this enterprise?
What is the purpose?
How do you make profit?
Design a product. Advertise it. Make it a trend. Sell it. Make it a necessity and…BOOM here comes success and as a result huge profit. And now you are a big enterprise, renown to the world.
But not all businesses exist solely to make a profit..
Social Enterprises are becoming a trend in our days. The massive environmental destruction and human life exploitation has rang the bell to the world to stop making profit on its expense and start making profit on its behalf. The rise of more and more social enterprises is a sign that human beings can work together to protect their natural habitant.
I think we all see whether we want it or not that our so-called free, democratic world is moving to its fall. Our economy is becoming worse by the day and more businesses are facing the danger of closing down. Still, there are countries willing to invest on the development of enterprise and England is one of them. Social enterprises and social non-governmental organisations are working towards a better world but profit is restricting them. It’s hard to differentiate between social enterprises that take profit into secondary consideration and social businesses that are first and foremost ‘for-profit’ businesses.
After all, our world is a well-oiled machine that cannot run without money. There is still too much to be done in order for people to rise from oblivion and act in favour of their world and not against it.
Where to start from.
As students we get to experience a variety of emotions and events. Especially when we are first year students. Our minds are filled with all the freedom we finally have and all the parties we will attend. The least we’d be interested in is to get involved with “serious” societies and create an impact to the world. I’d say our impact is mainly focused on the opposite sex or not…if you know what I mean…
But it is never too late to get involved and steadily create a bigger interest on social oriented societies and social enterprise. We could as well wake up one morning and decide to start up a social enterprise. Awesome!
You can be the impact your world needs either by being a member of AIESEC or ENACTUS. Both societies have a variety of activities that will help you develop your skills and look into your society without avoiding it but instead embracing it. The University of Sheffield Enterprise (USE) supports them and you can always visit to have a talk with one of the members.
Most importantly, you don’t have to be a business student to be a member of these societies. I myself am an in ACT member in AIESEC in Greece and if we had an ENACTUS society I wouldn’t hesitate to join in it as well. Also, it doesn’t matter if you are a first year student and you have no idea about yourself and your existence in general; both societies are here to help you develop your personal skills and understand yourself and the world you live in. You can make lifelong friends, build skills and create an impact.
I want to start up my own social enterprise.
Starting up something of your own is challenging and if you have no idea of how to even do it then it can also become scary. That’s what the USE is for actually. To help you face the challenge and make the scary feeling become excitement.
Then again, you can always check out our website in order to have a look at the social businesses registered to us like the Energy Community or check out the Twin Cafe, one of the social enterprises that we support in order to get an idea of what you could potentially do.
After using 1000 words on describing our consuming society, profit, social enterprises and what you can do in the USE, I feel more like a philosopher talking about hardly understandable notions rather than a common blogger. Who could have imagined a movie scene could cause so much thought!
In the end, I guess my only purpose is to make myself and hopefully my readers think more and act more. Sharing ideas and conceptions is a good way to polish our understanding of our multi-layered, multi-complicated world.
Understanding the world and grasping its deeper need is what can create the next great business idea or the next great product. And when there are great ideas, there are people; and when there are people, there is profit. I mean everything really is a linking chain after all. What defines us is the will to make a difference in such a predetermined world.
How would you like it for you to be the next link in the chain to make a difference?