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Feminist Practices

Welcome to the Commons: Meet the First Feminist in Residence

Photo by Alvaro de la Rica on Unsplash

What the heck is FEC, you ask? And what can a Feminist in Residence offer you?

Exciting opportunities, friends, in challenging times.

First, the Feminist Enterprise Commons (FEC), invites feminist changemaking champions (that’s you!) to connect with other visionaries, entrepreneurs, innovators, creators, investors, researchers and social justice activists in what we believe is the world’s first feminist enterprise-oriented network. Powered by LiisBeth Media and hosted on Mighty Networks (founded by a woman), the Commons will bring together the far-flung, splintered international feminist enterprise community to extra-strengthen the feminist economy and advance feminist practices – by learning and sharing strategies, deepening knowledge, creating support systems, and resourcing and sourcing from each other.

Second, though another first in an online network, the Commons will be animated by a rotating series of Feminists in Residence, international thought leaders who will guide members in learning, exploring and advancing various aspects of feminism – business entrepreneurial feminism, ecofeminism, cyber feminism, Indigenous feminism and on and on!

LiisBeth is pleased to introduce CV Harquail as the first Feminist in Residence. The author of Feminism: A Key Idea for Business and Society describes herself as a former business-school professor turned “putting-theory-into-practice toolmaker.” For the month of January, she will engage in the Commons, sparking conversation, answering your questions and sharing research and insights on feminist business practices and values.

During her years as a business school professor, Harquail says she was often the only one using the word “feminism” in business and drawing on the rich body of knowledge that feminism has created over the past 200 years. “One of the beautiful things about LiisBeth and this new Commons is that it’s a space where all of us working on these things can come together. It emboldens me, knowing I’m not alone, that there are others working on this and may have answers to questions I didn’t even know to raise. That’s a unique thing, creating this space to make things happen for each other.”

As well as “hanging out” in the Commons space, Harquail will also lead a four-week integrative course (webmeeting combined with online questions and conversation) on feminist business practice and values – and how integrating them can help you, your enterprise and the world flourish. Week one will be an introduction to feminism for business; week two will look at defining a feminist business; week three will explore feminist business values; and the final week will compare feminist and conventional business perspectives.

Harquail intends the course to provide a foundation for further exploration with future Feminists in Residents, and support members who want to make a deliberate effort to learn new ideas. “What excites me is the opportunity to be a catalyst, to trigger and facilitate conversations that people want to have. We wouldn’t try to teach ourselves calculus with just a textbook. The Commons provides a lot of ways to learn about feminist practices – through formal instruction, experimenting, experience, discussion, disagreement, peer-to-peer sharing. This is a way for people to connect with people who are subject-matter experts, to accelerate their own learning.”

Harquail says her area of expertise – business – has long had an adversarial relationship with feminism but she soon realized at business school just how much business needs feminism – and vice versa. “We think democracy and government structure our lives but it’s business and corporations and the marketplace that really have the power. Business is what runs our world and if we want to change the world then we need to be involved in business and in changing business.”

And Harquail believes that feminism is key to helping business solve its most dire problems. “Business has been flailing around for years, trying to solve some pretty chronic problems. Failure to innovate. Lack of employee engagement. Externalizing environmental costs. Work-life imbalance. All this can be traced back to a common notion that it’s okay for some to have disproportionate power over others. But we can provide in ways that don’t depend on that dynamic. Feminism explores ways to do that.”

Helping animate the Feminist Enterprise Commons will be LiisBeth founder and publisher PK Mutch, a leading thinker and practitioner of entrepreneurial feminism. Her vision is to bring the power and resources of entrepreneurial feminism together in one constructive space – optimistic, forward thinking, fun, creative – and empower a robust network of changemakers to help each other create stronger enterprises and a better world. As many entrepreneurs know, you are only as strong as your network. Mutch intends this network to be feminist in every way – participative, caring, inclusive, understanding, responsive, inspiring, and surveillance free!

Drop into the Feminist Enterprise Commons (click here) and check it out. The first three months are free. If you have ideas for building the Commons and making it responsive to your needs, post your thoughts on the message board.

Get to know the first Feminist in Residence by reading this complimentary excerpt, “Challenging Business’s Magic Circle”  from CV Harquail’s book, Feminism: A Key Idea for Business and Society. 

You can enroll in CV Harquail’s course on feminist business practises and values here.

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