The entreprenneur

'takes from between'

  • That's what the word entrepreneur literally meant.
  • It has therefore become associated with a rather forceful, or even predatory idea of business acumen.
  • Arguably, it was inspired by interpretations of Adam Smith and Charles Darwin.

The entredonneur

is a 'creative giver'

  • My term 'entredonneur' (Wood, 1990) was not intended as a direct criticism of 'enterprise' itself
  • Nevertheless, offers an invaluable practical counterpoint to it
  • The most extreme idea of 'taking' is as unlikely as an extreme idea of pure 'giving'
  • However, by placing the two at opposite ends of a continuum we are better able to map the transition from one to the other
  • It may help us to identify how business, and other modes of enterprise, might be re-envisioned
  • It implies a less wasteful mode of living within an (inevitable) solar economy
  • In theory, at the macro level, tendencies to 'pure greed' may balance the will to 'pure altruism'
  • With better mapping techniques we might be able to replace this struggle with a reciprocal form of altruism.

Wood, J., (1990), "COMMENT: The Socially Responsible Designer", Design Magazine, July 1990

Return to New Definitions pageau_k