After having conversations about what is maturing in this space and what is emergent, it seems that the big "buzz" is around: what about US? And by "us" I mean the United States.
Specifically, why are we focused on extreme environments internationally when there are extreme environments in the United States?
This question was first brought up on Social Edge forum in about May 2009. (Can't find the link; will update when I can.) But it has persisted and grown, and every conference makes it more obvious that there is a dearth of socially-oriented businesses incubated in a more survival-oriented culture by those very people who have few resources... that are represented.
Is it real? If so, is it a matter of patronizing attitudes that we're unwilling to face? Is it because of an international infrastructure that makes it easier to get funding for work in Uganda than East Oakland? Something else?
Or is it an artifact of disconnected communities, where the elite-educated go one way, and the grassroots grown innovators go another?
There's no denying there are entrenched problems in the extreme environments within the United States, but there's also no denying that there is massive innovation emerging here, also. However, those stories are not making the news in the way international work is.