The Artisan Enterprise: The New Startup Economy

Posted on 17 September 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made so many great points in his recent address to the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise. We've excerpted some here:
 
"We’ve seen that again and again in country after country on issue after issue: that where women are empowered, it just makes a huge difference – the quality of life to the capacity of children to have opportunity to the ability of a country to compete and – very important in many places – to the ability of people to be able to make peace.
 
"The creative arts are a major employer in many parts of the developing world and an especially significant employer of women. 
 
"Consumers today care more and more about where something comes from, who produced it, under what conditions did they produce it. And that’s good, and we urge that. As a – as the chairman of our intergovernmental efforts with respect to human trafficking, nothing could be more important, obviously, than to shed light and have transparency on how things are produced and where they’re coming from. People also care about quality. So there’s a big difference between a shirt that’s knocked off in a factory and the kind of clothes that are woven by hand and can be worn for a lifetime.
 
"The opportunities and the energy are literally all around us, folks, and they’re gaining strength. And what’s important is as it gains this economic foothold, it’s also gaining a kind of spiritual foothold, impressing people, having an impact, and conditioning people’s thoughts about what they ought to be buying or what kinds of things are really worth valuing.
 
"There is a real hunger, I am convinced, in this fast-paced, technologically driven, constant communicative world to also stay in touch with traditional ways of doing things

There is a hunger to remain connected to our roots and to value products that are crafted with really unique skills and with attention to detail. There’s an honesty and authenticity in those products that is hard to find in a lot of other places.

"There’s a hunger to make a difference and to help people who deserve help so that they, in turn, can take advantage of new opportunities and thereby contribute to a more diverse, sustainable, and equitable global economy.

"There will always be a hunger for beauty. Those who can create that beauty – whether with their hands or their voices or their minds – they will always find a warm welcome somewhere... We value it, we want it to thrive and flourish, and we want everybody to enjoy it, and I am convinced this effort of artisans is a way to do that."

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