This will make little sense to human resource professionals. In my small business, I recruited people being held in back wards of Oregon’s institutions. We prioritized the most vulnerable – those who were likely to lose their life due to chemical or physical abuse. In the early 1900s Oregon lead the nation in the implementation of the eugenics social movement. Borrowing from Darwin’s “survival of the fittest,” the purpose of eugenics was to decrease populations of the “unfit” or people observed as being different.
The steps in the eugenics social control practice were simple. Identify the “unfit,” isolate them in state hospitals and institutions, involuntarily sterilize them and abandon them to living in sub-human conditions.
In 1979, I started Dynatron Incorporated, an electronics manufacturing business employing people with developmental disabilities. Many of our employees were recruited from Oregon’s state institutions, where they were subjected to unimaginable atrocities.
Collaborating with the University of Oregon’s Specialized Training Program, Dynatron generated evidence that those who were most vulnerable in institutions could perform sophisticated electronics assembly tasks and earn wages.
By the early 1980s Dynatron had become one of Hewlett Packard’s highest quality vendors and the evidence that people could live in communities outside of state run institutions was used to change Oregon policies. Policy changes ultimately closed Oregon’s institutions and redirected state and federal savings toward community services.
Nowadays, social entrepreneurship, is receiving worldwide attention. As an early demonstration of social entrepreneurship, Dynatron was an example of large-scale social systems change from eugenics to community-based services.