Solving the Problem of ‘Business As Usual’

On October 15, lawyers filed what may be the first lawsuit charging that vape-maker JUUL is responsible for the death of teenager Daniel Wakefield, who was found unresponsive on his family’s living room couch by his father. JUUL has denied targeting teenagers with its marketing; however, the Federal Trade Commission is investigating them for just that. This lawsuit comes just …

Sharing Joy in a Time of Anxiety

The Monday morning of my birthday week I was feeling really gloomy. Downright down, in fact. The tricky tendrils of existential anxiety were taking hold. The previous evening, I had been to see a documentary called The Ponds. It’s an utterly charming film about the men and women who swim year-round in the ponds on Hampstead Heath near where I …

Purpose and Accountability: The Carrot and Stick of Social Impact

Social entrepreneurs are about more than making money. We have loftier goals than mainstream, profit-maximizing business organizations—and that sense of purpose is powerful. New hires are attracted by purpose. Leading investors demand purpose. Purpose brings teams of diverse people together. It’s an essential part of leadership, culture, and storytelling, especially in times of crisis. Purpose sits at the heart of …

Purpose Was Never the Whole Story

Among the major trends in business in 2018 was the call for companies to embrace social purpose. Starting with Larry Fink’s widely cited letter to CEOs, momentum built as educators, consultants and conveners leapt to position themselves as the thought leaders of ‘the purpose revolution.’ On January 4, 2019, just shy of a year since Fink published that letter, PhD …

Adding Value Through Impact Reporting

It took us a while to issue our own Impact Report but as vocal advocates for impact reporting we have to walk the talk! As the old journalistic adage goes: ‘Nothing like a deadline….’ Given we were invited to present a workshop on impact reporting at the 2018 Investor Circle – Social Venture Network conference on Bridging Profit & Purpose, we …

Finding Value in the Space Between Sectors

At each extreme of a pendulum’s swing, there’s a moment of pause. It’s the briefest possible moment of stasis, when movement halts, and all that’s left is potential. It’s mesmerizing to watch, trying to catch that moment before the pendulum falls again, and swings to its opposite extreme. It’s an apt metaphor for responsible business: If the business sector is set at one …