Innovation Part V: Unlocking the American Dream

Setting new standards for the innovation ecosystem through digital transformation. Here’s a draft of the 2020 vision.

2020 Vision by Daniel D'Alonzo

Draft complete: 7:51am on January 24th 2019 at Starbucks 100 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542

Published: 3:31pm same date and location as draft

Unlocking the American Dream

  • Ecosystems
  • Social Enterprise Methodology
  • Standards: Setting new standards in the age of disruption
  • Disruption: Ethical decision-making
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Feedback
  • Case: Applying blockchain, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to make smarter impact investments in business models that tackle social problems like inequality and climate change

Building a social enterprise ecosystem

I expand on this in the case study of scaling from Princeton, NJ to Washington, D.C.

Social Enterprise Methodology

Defining business in the age of social enterprise. In this chapter, we are going to discuss problems, conflicts, and opportunities associated with impact investing. In the previous sections, we have discussed the phases of the social enterprise methodology.

Innovation Part Five social enterprise methodology by Daniel DAlonzo

Let’s simplify the complexity from the previous sections. The above sketch may look familiar. It’s from Cooperative Impact, New Jersey’s first-ever social innovation conference. I am the founder.

social enterprise methodology

It’s quite simple. Humanity is about the self. Understand yourself with confidence. Immerse yourself in the local community – sew yourself into the cultural fabric of the local community. Identify unmet needs and begin to co-create solutions with your potential customer. Through validated learning move forward incrementally towards attaching a business model to your validated value proposition. One challenge facing the social enterprise is that the existing investing infrastructure is not built to support it. We are in a state of “knowing business must evolve”, but unsure how to make that happen. We are going to walk-through tangible steps to make it happen, now.


To strive for new goals requires us to set new standards of what goals to strive for – beginning with the early days a human is brought into the world – family – the voices we surround the human with in school – the underlying purpose and governing dynamics of the university we send them to – the reward structures in place as the human enters the economy. Without the proper ecosystem, the human enters the existing, traditional economy and fights for her survival against her peers. The proper ecosystem will nurture her into the future with the tools to design her own future. She will learn to carve out a place for herself in the new economy.

A rigorous evaluation process on the existing evaluators, investors, and sources of capital are required – if nothing else changes – in order to improve the way we look at emerging entrepreneurs. One of the difficulties in investing in the lower socioeconomic classes is a lack of trust and transparency. Let’s face it, if we look at a person on food stamps – on paper, at least – that person doesn’t exactly look like a good investment. This leaves the human to find herself stuck in a system designed to prevent her from breaking outside the role – the bucket – the box – she has been placed in as a result of her circumstances, decision-making, and a combination of other influencing factors. This leaves all parties in a weird situation. It often leads to her applying for grants.

There is a lack of financial literacy required to build a proper business model, an underlying mistrust of upper classes, and these things plus others cause decision making to be impacted in a negative way. The person ends up becoming her own worst enemy causing her to get further from overcoming adversity as life goes on. I know this as fact through my own empirical research.

How might we develop a system that enables sources of capital to become available to emerging entrepreneurs and the “Lost Einsteins” as Raj Chetty calls us? How might we prepare emerging entrepreneurs and influence the inception of ideas in their mind to result in better decision-making?


Another challenge I experience first-hand is the friction of human conflict with one another when a person of low socioeconomic status appears to be more intelligent with better ideas and nears the brink of disrupting a market. It is not easy to compete against billion dollar startups run by founders who have learned how to defend against disruption because they recently were disruptors. We live and breathe in an economy of sheep and wolves. As someone who experienced life in lower socioeconomic classes I can say with certainty that I was conditioned to be a sheep. “Stay in your lane. Don’t get in trouble. Don’t question authority.” These are things I have been told by my family as I grew up. This advice is the opposite of what it means to live in a democracy. This advice is why generational poverty may exist from generation to generation. Experiencing the transformation of going from sheep to wolf is essential to unlock your American Dream. Don’t you ever say anything about the “1%” or any other bullshit excuse – it’s you – you are the reason you’re going to die poor – nobody else.

How might we develop a system that enables more sheep to learn how to ask more questions? How might we inspire more individuals born into environments of adversity to have the courage to keep going? How might we help more sheep become wolves?

How might we encourage recent disruptors to become acquirers and mergers of emerging entrepreneurs to develop local economic opportunity for the communities of this great nation?

Mergers and Acquisitions

The first opportunity I want to discuss, is establishing innovation centers inside large corporations to eta centers. As we discussed in PART I: FOUNDATIONS, innovation exists in continuous uncertainty, it requires continuous exploration, and it is quite different from the management of traditional business. The portfolio of companies we develop are founded by emerging entrepreneurs from our local communities who have been dedicated to their NJ crafts for 10, 15, 20 years. They need advising from CEOS and C-Suite leadership from the large, successful organizations throughout the state of NJ. They need space to operate – large organizations need innovation centers = combine these overlapping needs not to “give back”, but to increase revenue. Grow purpose-driven organizations that shape our future. While you are at it, you will develop the local economy, create pathways to opportunity, and unlock the American Dream.


Are you interested in this type of collaboration? Let’s chat.


I want to introduce another opportunity while also laying down a real world example for our portfolio organizations to see how to leverage technology such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. How to apply these beautiful tools to social problems. Specifically, the social problems, conflicts, and opportunities discussed above. We have a group of people with capital willing to invest in the emerging entrepreneurs founded by our next generation leaders who are from the local communities.

How might we develop a system – a technology – that improves this scenario for all who want to participate?

Innovation Part Five blockchain for social enterprise by Daniel DAlonzo

Good luck.

Daniel D’Alonzo

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