Fusing nonprofit activism with leading-edge entrepreneurship for social benefit and profit
Note: Harold Linde was a Business Development Fellow in 2019/20. This interview was conducted in winter 2020.
Harold Linde is an MFA student in the Department of Design at UC Davis. His research is focused on designing empowering containment implements—along with accompanying habits and stories—to bolster university students’ relationships with their digital devices. He is also designing new forms of “immersive tea experiences” that re-imagine ancient tea ceremonies for modern audiences. Linde has previously worked with the United Nations, Doctors Without Borders, Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace and The Carbon Underground.
I am grateful for this opportunity to fuse nonprofit activism with leading-edge entrepreneurship to generate both social benefit and profit.
In a nutshell, describe your project or venture.
Currently I am designing a series of specialized smartphone “cases” —along with accompanying ritualized habits and empowering stories—that cultivate a sense of agency and power in university students toward their portable digital devices.
I am concurrently redesigning ancient tea ceremonial practices to be accessible and relevant in the 21st century in order to foster greater mindfulness, connection and power.
What are you most passionate about in your work?
Cultivating in the next generation of future citizens and leaders a greater sense of connection, mindfulness and awe toward the world in bold challenge to the prevailing social-media-led attention economy.
What was the most important thing you learned at the Entrepreneurship Academy?
Inventions and innovations are the results of expansive networks of ideas, people and institutions —and how the story of the solitary, lone inventor is almost always a farce.
What is the most unexpected advice you received from a mentor?
Generate a network!
What is most valuable about attending classes at the Graduate School of Management alongside MBA students?
The conversations I experience in the classroom (and afterwards) are remarkable and invigorating.
What is the most useful thing you have learned in the GSM classroom?
Generate networks! Generate networks! Generate networks!
Have you been attending the Big Bang! workshops and do you plan to participate in the competition? How is this experience helping you as an aspiring entrepreneur?
Yes and yes! Along with other tremendous entrepreneurial opportunities available on campus, The Big Bang! acts as a catalyst on my work in the GSM—and vice-versa.
How will your experiences as a Business Development Fellow help you to change the world?
This experience is providing a grounded and wise practical yet theoretical framework to propel my human-benefiting and wealth-generating project forward.