Blog: John Heiss

John Weiss is the founder of the Social Ventures Network of Southeast Michigan and a long time advocate for food security. John seeks to merge for-benefit and for-profit models together to foster long-term, sustainable development in metro Detroit.  Read his thoughts and join the conversation!

Post No. 4

So What Then Must We Do?

That was the question asked by Tolstoy who passed through the streets of Moscow and saw them lined with the poor and hungry. He never fully answered that question and it still remains a great query. Here is a set of suggestions: 

Visit the Social Enterprise Alliance Web Site. There you will find a wide range of articles and discussions. 

Attend the November 8th Social Innovation Ventures Network Workshop at Lawrence Technical University. This full-day event will feature Jerr Boschee – founder of the Social Enterprise Alliance and international expert on Social Ventures, Sandra Pierce – CEO of CharterOne Bank, Dan Izzo – Bizdom University. For registration info e-mail me at

Visit one of the Monthly Meetings of the Social Innovation Ventures Network. The meetings are held on the second Friday of every month from 12-2pm at Fort Street Presbyterian Church 631 West Fort Street. Luncheon and networking from 12-12:30pm. 

Work to understand the principle of double or triple-bottom lines – economic, social and environmental. Evaluate industries and enterprises based on that triple metric. 

Grow you social and professional networks. Resolve to reach out to one interesting person you have met recently. Make building relationships a habit. Become more viral in your approach to relationships. Point people you know at each other and try to weave them together. You can become a node or a point and touch other nodes and points. 

Embrace change and life-long learning. I have recently learned that I did not pay enough attention in business school to Marketing and that was over 20 years ago anyway. I have also learned that I am not nearly as funny after three beers as I think I am.  

“If you want to build ships, do not gather wood or workers,
rather teach men to yearn for the endless sea.”  
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery