S02E04 – Servant Leadership, Co-writing New Narratives and Burnout in Ecosystem Building with Jeff Bennett

In today’s episode, we make our way to Sacramento, California to hear from Jeff Bennett.

Jeff talks about servant leadership, the importance of co-writing a new narrative with our communities and the frustrations that come with shifting a system.

I don’t know many people who have worked so tirelessly to move our field of ecosystem building forward and Jeff talks openly about the toll that this work has taken on him. 

Jeff Bennett has been working to build ecosystems at both the local level and the field level. He is the co-founder and president of StartupSac, a small, scrappy nonprofit in Sacramento, California that informs, educates, and connects founders and innovators. He also works to connect and inform ecosystem builders and advance the field across the nation as the co-founder of Ecosystem Builder Hub, an online resource for ecosystem building news and stories. He has written extensively on the topic of ecosystem building and has worked with the Kauffman Foundation, helping to advance the work of ecosystem builders.

Listen to the full episode to hear:

  • Why short-term solutions are like playing Whack-A-Mole with the news cycle and why we need education and awareness of systems thinking
  • The kind of leadership required in a systems-focused world
  • The power of storytelling and narrative to help catalyze systemic change in our communities 
  • How we got stuck in a reductionist paradigm and how we can begin to think in complex adaptive systems
  • Why cultivating patience, equanimity, and realistic expectations is necessary for ecosystem builders

Learn More About ​​Jeff Bennett:

Learn More About Anika Horn:

Resources: