Introduction to Spiritual Entrepreneurship

Introduction to Spiritual Entrepreneurship
March 11 and 18, 2025
12:00–2:00 pm
Rabbi Elan Babchuck

Part I: Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Spirit
In the first of two workshops, we will explore some of the recent trends in spiritual entrepreneurship, most notably the remarkable growth of faith-rooted social impact organizations that have burst onto the religion scene over the last decade. After completing a national field study on spiritual entrepreneurship, Rabbi Elan Babchuck (Founding Director, Glean Network) will share some of the key insights and trends that are shaping the future of faith in America. What are the practices of the most successful folks in this growing field? What are the organizational models that have the deepest impact? And what is the shape of leadership that best serves these organizations?

Part II: Move Slow and Fix Things
In today’s America, we have accepted leadership practices rooted in coercion and charisma, and our work during this session will be to deconstruct those models and collaboratively craft a more dignified, humane, and grounded model. Taking cues from some leading spiritual entrepreneurs (and intrapreneurs, too!), we will then apply our newly-designed leadership model to each of our respective journeys into spiritual leadership.

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Rabbi Elan Babchuck is committed to leaving behind a world that is more compassionate and connected than the one he found. In pursuit of that commitment, he serves as the Executive Vice President at Clal, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, and the Founding Executive Director of Glean Network, which partners with Columbia Business School. He was ordained in 2012, and earned his MBA the same year. A sought-after thought leader, he is the co-author of Picking Up the Pieces: Leadership After Empire (Fortress Press, 2024), and he contributed to Meaning Making – 8 Values That Drive America’s Newest Generations (St. Mary’s Press, 2020). He has delivered keynotes at stages ranging from TEDx to the US Army’s General Officer Symposium, published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, Washington Post, and Religion News Service, and has a column for The Wisdom Daily. He is a founding Board Member of Springtide Research Institute, which focuses on spirituality, mental health and Gen Z, and a Founding Partner of Starts With Us, a movement to counteract toxic polarization in America. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island with his wife, Lizzie Pollock, and their three children: Micah, Nessa, and Ayla. In his spare time, he is an avid rock climber and constant gardener.