Carrie Freeman on creating communities for change - Kathy Varol
carrie freeman
December 21, 2023   |   Episode #: 071

Carrie Freeman on creating communities for change

Show Notes:

Carrie Freeman is the Chair of the SecondMuse Group, which includes SecondMuse, the SecondMuse Foundation, and SecondMuse Capital. Carrie is also the Interim Executive Director for the SecondMuse Foundation, a non-profit focusing on advocating for building relational wealth as an approach to building inclusive and resilient economies.

SecondMuse focuses on the design, development, and implementation of innovative programming that seeks to benefit people and protect the planet. Over the last decade, SecondMuse has designed and implemented programs on 7 continents with 600+ organizations such as NASA, The World Bank, and Goldman Sachs. SecondMuse’s initiatives have delivered the following impact: accelerating 200 + ventures annually; prototyping 50,000+ solutions; enabling $575M investment to supported ventures, with 80% still in business; and generating $10B in social and environmental impact.

Under Carrie’s leadership, SecondMuse won numerous awards including the Reuters Responsible Business Award, Real Leaders Most Impactful Leaders, and the YPO Global Impact Award.

In this episode we discuss:
✅ The importance of collaboration in solving complex challenges
✅ How the timeline of change can determine who the best change partners are
✅ The role of intersectionality in systems change


3 episode takeaways (listen to the full episode for a lot more gems!): 

1️⃣ Navigating the labyrinth of tax and accounting systems is a Herculean task for trailblazing organizations that are marrying commerce with compassion. Imagine a team of adventurers channeling all their might into deciphering an ancient map, only to have no energy left after deciphering it. This bureaucratic quagmire siphons away energy they could pour into sculpting a brighter world.

As we build a new vision of what a thriving economy, society, and planet means, we need to consider the new types of organizations required to create and sustain that vision. Then, we need to create the systems that allow these new organizational structures to not only exist, but thrive.

2️⃣ Think of how easy it is for a kid who grows up in a wealthy neighborhood to snag a great internship through family connections—it’s like having a VIP pass to the front of the line. Now think of a kid from a regular family, who doesn’t have that golden ticket—it’s like they’re stuck in the line that barely moves.

This is just one way life isn’t fair. But when we become aware of the value of networks, and the inherent inequity in opportunities caused by networks, we’re able to build solutions that bridge the equity gap. Only then can we find ways to share these VIP passes around so everyone gets a shot at the good opportunities.
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3️⃣ Getting people to come together for a common goal is like lighting a fire that everyone wants to gather around. Carrie talked about the work SecondMuse does to build networks, community, and solutions around a shared objective. The shared objective is the fire. It’s the call to action.

This same principle is also powerful inside a company. When you establish a purpose beyond profit for your company, you invite employees and consumers to join a movement that’s bigger than themselves. Your purpose acts as a magnet, attracting employees and consumers with aligned values. This shifts the relationship from transactional to emotional and meaningful.


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