Meet Pamela Ryan, Ph.D., a dual citizen of the US and Australia, a force of nature and a force for good. Reading her comprehensive and beautifully written book Impact Imperative: Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Investing to Transform the Future was a wake-up call for me. Pamela’s work is comprehensive, jarring and hopeful. Her book was released last fall and goes deep into both the harsh realities and amazing opportunities we will experience in the next 10 years and the part enterprises can play in reversing the effects of climate change. It should be required reading for all undergraduate and graduate business school students. And if you have time to read one book this year about the role of business in addressing climate change, this is the one.

Pamela grew up in a small macho-culture mining town in the Australian outback, where married women weren’t permitted to work till 1967. There was a deep sense of communal spirit engrained through her upbringing, as both her parents were hard-working, equal partners. Her mother and father instilled a sense of connection to the greater good from the start.

Her impressive resume includes author, founder, researcher, investor, consultant, and university fellow. She studied psychology at the University of Adelaide and later moved to Austin, Texas in the early 90s where she received her Ph.D. while researching venture capitalist decision making. Driven by the notion of paying things forward, Pamela set up a foundation and moved back to Australia for five years to raise her daughters. There she set up a public policy think tank where she sought to discuss and build an understanding of international research topics such as parliamentary reform, economic growth, human rights, and relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims. She founded Psychology Beyond Borders and partnered with the Institute for the Future around 2013 to work on a project on the future of social entrepreneurship, which would ultimately become the basis for her latest book.

She began to research what the world of social entrepreneurship would look like in the future and presented her findings at various conferences including one at Oxford. She started analyzing this global surge in “doing good” in the social entrepreneurial space. This research took Pamela and her research team all over the world, asking over 130 top impact innovators across sectors where they thought the world was headed by 2030 and the emerging trends in social entrepreneurship. Through her research, important questions emerged:

·      We all want to be of service and “do good” in this world. But is what we’re doing actually good?

·      What is the effect we’re having on other people and the planet?

·      What are the social and environmental implications?

·      What do we need to do in our professional lives to ensure that we are leading from a compassionate and impactful place?

·      And how do we come together as a global community?

Read the rest of Laurel Donnellan’s article here at Forbes