An unspoken premise behind the pursuit of biotechnology often seems to be that the ideal society would be one that had eliminated all suffering. When suffering, in turn, is defined expansively to include any deviation from typical human abilities, or as creating some level of inconvenience for others, a natural next step is to seek to eliminate persons with disabilities or special needs. “Ideally” this elimination is pursued early in the reproductive process, so that we never have persons in our midst who require special dimensions of care. But is this truly the society we want? Only if we are willing to discard human lives for the sake of the idols of productivity and efficiency.
We’re interested in ventures that activate new storytelling movements, employ those with special needs, and work with leaders in medical ethics to protect all human beings in our communities from their conception to their natural death.
In today’s commercially-driven world people are more likely to be seen and referred to as 'consumers' than anything else. Instead of being met with resistance, this shift has often meant that individuals have formed their identity through a composite of brands, and product purchasing can be guided more by the desire to make a statement about one’s identity and values than strict utility. As a result, the lines between social movement, capitalism, and community are increasingly blurry (see: Nike, Whole Foods, and Patagonia).
Given this reality (which is with us for both better and worse), we’d like to support entrepreneurs with a vision for building brands with a counter-culturally virtuous and optimistic view of the world, spreading hope and beauty, eliminating stigma, and most fundamentally, redirecting our identity away from materialistic consumption and toward lasting contentment.
Praxis VEntures Working On This ORI
is a vocational community that empowers adults with special needs to become artisans, bakers, gardeners, and other kinds of craftspersons (Jennie Thollander & Erin Kiltz, Nonprofit 2019).