Shehla Mushtaq is the COO of the St. Paul-based collective Collectivity. That her organization has a multi-stakeholder approach to creating thriving communities mirrors her personal belief in the power of the collective. In her words, “So much good is happening…Every human being has a significant role to play.” We hope you’re as inspired as we are by Shehla’s vision for impact-minded team-building. Check out this Q&A with her before joining her with us at Upswell next week.
Q: Who are you, what drives you, what are you working on, and why are you inspired to make the world a better place?
SM: I am a woman, a mother of three children, a social entrepreneur and—most importantly—a human being! After 29 years in corporate America, I made a switch to the social enterprise space (this after I got on the board of the Social Enterprise Alliance). So much good is happening in the space and so much more needs to happen. Every human being has a significant role to play, no matter where they are. Yet immense inequities put many at a disadvantage, which comes in the way of them making the most of their potential. I want to apply my mind, skills, and hard work to help remove inequity through facilitating and promoting collaboration in the social impact space that leads to collective impact.
Q: Who are your three favorite changemakers in history (living or deceased) – and very briefly, why?
SM: 1.) My father through his writings, 2.) Mr. Jinnah for the creation of Pakistan, 3.) Social entrepreneurs (profit and passion)
Q: What’s your favorite thing about the physical space you work in?
SM: Brick, openness, windows, ping pong table, and colleagues spanning ages 20-65!
Q: What’s your favorite way to relax?
SM: Walking in the park.
Q: What’s your favorite Sunday morning activity?
SM: Same as every morning. Waking up to possibilities!
Q: What’s your favorite animal?
SM: Turtle. They’re at peace, grounded, and not in a hurry.
Q: Who or what are you inspired by right now and why?
SM: My colleague Scott Cole. He not only sees possibilities, but also sees how to connect them and make them work in multiple ways for the greater good.
Q: If you could put together a “dream team” of five changemakers to advance your mission, who would they be – and why?
SM: 1.) A 20-something who has drive and passion and dares to dream; 2.) An experienced entrepreneur who knows operations, structure, discipline; 3.) A visionary who can imagine an economy that works for everyone and can build the roadmap as we move forward; 4.) A financial controller who believes in the mission and will make the business model work to keep moving forward; and 5.) A relationship-builder, connector who knows how to sell.
Q: What excites you most about Upswell?
SM: It is my first time and with it comes a truckload of possibilities! I am eager to explore.