The elections were profoundly disappointing for many of us in the progressive business arena. But it is not the end of the world. In fact, it may be just the beginning.
That’s my read on the pulse of the movement during the past 48 hours or so -- talking to friends, scanning the e-mails and Web sites, and attending the Co-op America Green Business Conference, which began the morning of Nov. 3.
The conference kicked off with a panel on the election aftermath -- it was planned weeks in advance -- and featured Jay Harris, President/Publisher, Mother Jones; Van Jones, Executive Director, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights; and Michelle Leighton, Cofounder, The Natural Heritage Institute.
To be honest, I didn’t expect much, even from these three highly respected souls. But it was a healing moment for many of the 200 progressive businesspeople in the room.
I couldn’t possibly capture the elegance, but the gist: This progressive movement did some amazing things this year. It almost beat a conservative agenda that, by some folks' reckoning, has been 40 years in the making. What was built this year is the foundation of a movement that will only grow and, in coming years, will garner strength and competence and clout.
One of the many poignant moments in the conversation came when a white South African shared his perspective. It took 27 years of Apartheid to change the system, he said. Four more years is nothing.
Well, it’s not exactly “nothing,” but it helped put things into perspective.