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The Redemptive Edge
38 minutes | Aug 25, 2021
Jessica Kim & Dave Blanchard: Introducing The Redemptive Business Playbook
ianacare Co-Founder & CEO Jessica Kim and Praxis Co-Founder & CEO Dave Blanchard—both serial business entrepreneurs—introduce our latest Praxis Playbook at the 2021 Praxis Academy. The Redemptive Business is the third in our playbook series, following A Rule of Life for Redemptive Entrepreneurs, and The Redemptive Nonprofit.Jessica and Dave served as faculty for the Redemptive Business course at the nine-week 2021 Praxis Academy. The Redemptive Business playbook is the basis for this course, which Jessica and Dave led for over 200 builders, innovators, and entrepreneurs—from college students to organizational leaders several decades into their career. This episode features highlights of their teaching sessions for the Redemptive Business course. They’ll discuss the deep tensions at the heart of late-modern capitalism, and explain why they come down on the side of optimism about the entrepreneurial possibilities of our age. They introduce the two great myths of business—the inevitability of progress and the supremacy of money—and share their thoughts on topics like the proper relationship of love and profit in a business, and how redemptive ventures build brands differently. It’s a window into a series of conversations between two visionary leaders (and close friends) that also serves as a great introduction to the mindsets, tensions, practices, and opportunities of redemptive business entrepreneurship.To learn more:The Redemptive BusinessThe Redemptive NonprofitThe Rule of LifePraxis ResourcesPraxis Academy
49 minutes | May 20, 2021
Andy Crouch & Dave Blanchard: After the K-Shaped Recovery
In the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, Andy Crouch and Dave Blanchard proposed that we would likely face a "blizzard" of weeks to a few months, a "winter" of perhaps 12-18 months, and a "little ice age" of ripple effects in our economic and cultural lives that would last for years. Now, just over a year later, they discuss Andy's latest article from the Praxis Journal, "After the K-Shaped Recovery," which was also a keynote talk at the 2021 Praxis Redemptive Imagination Summit on May 17, 2021. In this episode, Andy and Dave discuss the trajectory of the K-shaped recovery from the pandemic, in which parts of our economies and societies have boomed (generally speaking, those with the resources to absorb the blows of the blizzard, and the freedom to live and create value through digital work)—while other parts have suffered (smaller enterprises, those with fewer resources, and people whose work necessarily involves physical presence). What is the hidden toll on those on the "upper half" of the K, and what are some redemptive responses to this trajectory? More important, what opportunities do Christian builders have to heal and repair some of the fallout for those in the "lower half" of the K?Andy and Dave also discuss bandwidth—literal and metaphorical—as a way of understanding how to rebuild trust and creativity with one another; the longstanding K-shaped patterns that seem to be features (not bugs) of many of our institutions; the loss of forgiveness as a cultural value, as well as our society's desperate need for more of it; and an invitation to embody the biblical call to Jubilee.
29 minutes | May 29, 2020
Andy Crouch & Dave Blanchard: Designing for a Different Future
As our societies move from the “blizzard” of initial COVID lockdowns into the “winter” of ambiguity and change, how can leaders respond with true hope rather than empty optimism or false certainty? Everyone's natural response to the initial threat of the pandemic included retreating to places of Control and/or Withdrawal. Mary Elizabeth, Dave, and Andy discuss the importance of grounding practices—such as the Praxis Rule of Life—to draw us out of these unhelpful postures. They discuss the danger of “normalcy snapback,” and the opportunities afforded by once-in-a-generation shifts in the Overton Window (where ideas move from unthinkable to reasonable).Finally, Andy and Dave consider two radically different ways that leaders can face an uncertain future: the tempting but false promises of prediction vs. the true promises we make to others.
29 minutes | Apr 7, 2020
Donna Harris: Creative Action Begins With Lament
Andy Crouch interviews Donna Harris, Founder of Builders + Backers, a movement of community-focused entrepreneurs. They discuss the biblical practice of lament as an essential step to deal faithfully and productively with the uncertainty and loss that all of us face in a worldwide pandemic. Lament is an encounter with God that precedes redemptive action. In lament we approach God in a way that “enfolds complaint with trust” in his sovereignty and goodness. Donna discusses a six-part flow of lament: 1. Crying out to God2. Affirming trust in God3. Petitioning God to restore 4. Making additional arguments5. Expressing rage against loss and injustice6. Praising God in assurance of his promises to hear us Donna’s main thesis is that lament is not only essential for processing our grief, but also for effective problem-solving and creative action in the face of crisis. She reveals how lament has fueled the Be a Neighbor Campaign, which mobilizes volunteers and entrepreneurs to serve needs and solve problems created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
28 minutes | Mar 23, 2020
Andy Crouch: Leading Beyond the Blizzard
Praxis Co-Founder and CEO Dave Blanchard and Praxis Partner for Theology & Culture Andy Crouch share a sobering take on the likely impact on the COVID-19 virus of our organizations, urging Christian leaders to treat COVID-19 as an economic and cultural change that is likely to affect our lives and organizations for years.Go further by reading our piece in the Praxis Journal titled, "Leading Beyond the Blizzard: Why Every Organization is Now a Startup."
33 minutes | Jul 24, 2019
Mary Elizabeth Goodell & Scott Kauffmann: Honesty About the World
In this episode, we compare what each of us loved about this season’s interviews; why “hero” is the wrong word for our guests; the role of family in professional success; how Praxis helps founders come up with ideas; the answer to “how many vocations should we have?”; and who gets to ask the questions in this show. We also preview our next podcast, Venture, coming out later in 2019.
41 minutes | Jul 17, 2019
Ben & Laura Harrison: Making the World More Beautiful for Us
Our guests are Ben and Laura Harrison, Co-Founders of Jonas Paul Eyewear, a socially responsible provider of glasses for kids and teens. In this episode, we learn that the Harrisons already had two design-oriented startups underway when their son Jonas Paul was born with Peter’s Anomaly, a rare disorder that causes blindness. Their journey with Jonas Paul through his twenty-one surgeries introduced them to new communities and new challenges. They decided to start the company to provide reasonably priced, stylish glasses to kids and teens, and they direct a portion of each sale to prevent childhood blindness around the world. Ben, Laura, and Andy discuss the testing and refining of their faith through the birth and early childhood of Jonas Paul (and the company); the magic of little sisters; childhood bullying; and the joyful burden of starting something that provides a living for others.
47 minutes | Jun 26, 2019
Brit Gilmore: My Key Says Dream
Our guest is Brit Gilmore, President of The Giving Keys, a pay-it-forward jewelry company based in Los Angeles. In this episode, Brit traces her roots as an aspiring leader seeking a way to merge her passion for serving people experiencing homelessness with her natural interest in fashion and design. Brit now leads The Giving Keys, a jewelry company providing employment for people who are transitioning out of homelessness in L.A. County. Wearers are encouraged to draw inspiration from the word stamped on their key, then pass the key on to another person who needs to claim that word for themselves. Brit and Andy discuss the challenges and benefits of competing in a fast-moving retail marketplace while committed to manufacturing locally. They also talk about journaling, condensed symbols, cherishing family, bad social enterprise products, redemptive non-compete letters, and the importance of superfluous things.
41 minutes | Jun 12, 2019
Terry Looper: On A Quest to Get Whole
Our guest is Terry Looper, founder and CEO of Texon, an oil and gas services business based in Houston. In this episode, Terry begins by describing the misdirected ambition and false starts of his early years, as he sought leadership status without the possibility of conflict; pursued success without an understanding of the importance of sustained effort; and set his heart on wealth as a means to significance rather than service. As Terry began to succeed professionally, he experienced a great disruption that led to an intense season of reflection and repentance. Based on his renewed relationship with Christ, he started Texon with some radical commitments and expectations. He went on to develop a decision-making process based around “getting neutral”— intentionally surrendering your conscious will and unconscious biases to God in a posture of submission to his leading. He writes about this process in his book Getting Neutral: Four Steps to Hearing God and Aligning Yourself with His Will. Terry’s story is about what happens when a leader is willing to learn deeply from personal pain rather than running away from it.
37 minutes | May 29, 2019
Jeff Huber: Pulling the Future Into the Now
Our guest is Jeff Huber, Co-Founder of Standard Cyborg, a Silicon Valley startup that uses 3D modeling to help developers to build spatially aware applications. In this episode, Jeff and Andy discuss the value of an epic name; the boundaries and overlaps between our definitions of “technology” and “humanity”; the difference between devices and instruments and why it matters for our understanding of human personhood; and the possibly eternal purpose of a prosthetic leg. Their dialogue is a fascinating back-and-forth exploration of the possibilities, tensions, and limits of technological progress from a convicted Christian perspective. Jeff discusses the work of Standard Cyborg, which started as a maker of prosthetic devices; then developed software to design custom prosthetics and orthotics; and has now matured into a provider of tools for developers to use 3D scanning and modeling to design any number of precise custom applications. Jeff’s story reflects his relentless pursuit of “moreness” in his vocation as a technologist.
36 minutes | May 15, 2019
Pete Ochs: A Whole New Reason to Be In Prison
Our guest is Pete Ochs, founder and CEO of Capital III, a firm that owns and operates companies in the U.S. and Latin America. In this episode, Pete describes how his views on poverty, wealth, capital, and stewardship have evolved over four decades into a portfolio of companies operated by redemptive principles. One of Capital III’s companies, SeatKing, operates inside two Kansas prisons. Pete traces the arc of how this workforce approach developed from its tentative early stages into a scalable, purposeful model that “transformed” Pete as much as it changed the lives of his employees. His story reflects the deepening surrender of his will, the generous stewardship of his capital, and the pursuit of his relationship with God. Pete and his team’s work at Capital III are beautifully profiled in the first episode of the Dealmakers series, available at dealmakersfilms.com.
45 minutes | May 1, 2019
Jessica Honegger: Starting, Staying, and Making Courage Inescapable
Our guest is Jessica Honegger, founder and Co-CEO of Noonday Collection, the fastest-growing fair trade accessories brand in the world. In this episode, Jessica recounts the story of Noonday Collection as an expression of the power of interdependence. Noonday was started almost accidentally as a way to fund international adoptions; grew through covenantal partnerships among its founding leaders in the U.S. and Africa; and evolved into a high-scale business using the B-Corp legal structure. Jessica and Andy discuss the turning points when courage cornered her; linking her prosperity to someone else's; being commissioned as a CEO and mother; and her lifelong commitment to the image-bearing spirit of entrepreneurship. Her story is about using her opportunity and privilege to create more opportunity and power for others.
47 minutes | Apr 17, 2019
Derwin Sisnett: Dogged Optimism & Bridging the Economic Divide
Our guest is Derwin Sisnett, founder of Maslow Development, which co-designs and develops real estate and community ecosystems. In this episode, Derwin reflects on his life’s work to build “communities that people won’t forget, but for all the right reasons.” Derwin grew up in a struggling neighborhood in Queens, New York, and was singled out as someone with unique gifts and promise, even as he sought to “play by both sets of rules”: the rules of the street and the rules of academic achievement. As a poet, teacher, school leader, community development executive, real estate developer, and social impact investor—sometimes all at once—Derwin works to bridge the economic divide with projects that integrate education, housing, wellness, and workforce development. His story is about taking audacious risks against long odds, to “intercede on behalf of what God wants” for the people in his community.
45 minutes | Apr 9, 2019
Sara Miller: This is the Life of My Neighbors
Our guest is Sara Miller, founder of A House on Beekman, a nonprofit joining God in the renewal of the South Bronx. In this episode, Sara shares her story of being welcomed into her neighborhood, and her team’s work to build a venture that aims to create generational change for its neighbors within a six-block radius. Sara moved to New York City for college, and in a period of deep spiritual conviction about God’s care for the poor, asked herself the question: “If Jesus lived in New York City today, where would he live?” Her answer took her to the South Bronx, where she was warmly welcomed into the life of the neighborhood. Over time, her informal after-school program grew into the innovative nonprofit A House on Beekman, which works with young people in the neighborhood from birth to their entry into a career. Her story is one of proximity, risk, and the joy that comes from shared sacrifice.
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