Tiffany Jana: Building Authentic Relationships Across Differences

Tiffany Jana, CEO of TMI Consulting, discusses how to identify and overcome your unconscious biases, how to influence personal growth in others, and how businesses can navigate the thorny issues of race, politics, sexual-orientation, religion, money, and socioeconomic class with integrity and authenticity.

To listen, please click the image above. 

You can also listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on your favorite podcasting platform, including: iTunesSoundCloudStitcher, and TuneIn.

Adam Lowry: Can You Change the World by Breakfast?

Adam Lowry, Cofounder of Method and Ripple Foods, discusses how his new non-dairy milk product is made from split yellow peas, how to build a thriving employee culture, and how even the smallest actions (like what you eat for breakfast) can have far reaching impacts.

To listen, please click the image above. 

You can also listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on your favorite podcasting platform, including: iTunesSoundCloudStitcher, and TuneIn.

 

Cathy Clark: Lessons in Leadership and Strategy for Collaborative Capitalism

Cathy Clark, Head of the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke University, discusses best practices from some of the world's most successful impact investors, across asset classes, geographies and areas of impact. She also describes a number of tools that are available to those who are eager to engage in the new era of Collaborative Capitalism.

To listen, please click the image above. 

You can also listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on your favorite podcasting platform, including: iTunesSoundCloudStitcher, and TuneIn.

 

Susie Jaramillo: Igniting Creativity in Kids Through Storytelling and the Power of Play

Ryan Honeyman, Partner at LIFT Economy, and Susie Jaramillo, Founder of Canticos, discuss the launch of "Little Chickies / Los Pollitos," the importance of bilingual/multilingual learning, and how to ignite creative thinking in kids through storytelling and the power of play.

To listen, please click the image above. 

You can also listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on your favorite podcasting platform, including: iTunesSoundCloudStitcher, and TuneIn.

How to Become a Next Economy Consultant

Have you ever thought about consulting for companies that are mission-driven, socially and environmentally responsible, and working to grow the “Next Economy”? It’s suddenly possible for consultants to make money and a difference--primarily because there is a rapidly expanding movement of companies who are dedicated to using the power of business as a force for good.

In this article, I’ll describe what the “Next Economy” is, why it is important, and how you can get more involved in this global movement.

 

What is the “Next Economy”?

Loosely defined, the Next Economy is a collection of organizations and individuals whose goal is to 1) provide essential goods and services that meet the needs of society and 2) benefit all life.

For example,  here is a subjective set of criteria that we use to find examples of “Next Economy” enterprises:

  1. Need-oriented - goods/services that meet human needs first (i.e., food and shelter before jewelry and entertainment)

  2. Accessible  - affordable, or available to as many as possible

  3. Transparent - clear about supply chain, practices, finances, benefits, cost (e.g., true cost accounting)

  4. Equitable/democratic culture/workplace - could be coops; employees involved in some practice of self-determination

  5. Surplus reinvestment - profits are shared or redistributed

  6. Support of local alternative economy ecosystem (local supply chain)

  7. Zero waste

  8. Ecosystem integration  - whole systems thinking (e.g., stormwater investment, habitat for owls, etc.)

  9. Whole system finances (how they bank, where they received growth capital if any, do they support alternative currencies)

  10. Living wage, Culture (balance, benefits)

  11. Open Source / Growth by Replication

  12. Education embedded into product service  - put yourself out of business

The good news is that the Next Economy is not future science fiction. We interact with these types of companies on a regular basis. This movement is alive and well and is growing at a rapid pace.

 

What’s the existing / addressable market?

B Corps, Social Enterprises, LOHAS, Non-profits, and also larger traditional companies like Unilever realize there is a better way to do business that creates mutual benefit for all stakeholders. We have found that these companies need the support of vision and values aligned skilled professionals.

Furthermore, as an independent consultant, you can see the patterns of challenge and success across various companies, markets and industries and provide highly valuable insight to empower their growth and development. There is an opportunity now to position yourself as a leader and steward of this movement as we transition from the innovator phase to the early adopter and early majority phases that will be coming soon.

 

Why work as a Next Economy consultant?

This is the future of business. As we mentioned before, there is a wave of dedicated entrepreneurs whose goal is to simultaneously reinvent commerce, provide goods and services, and benefit society and the environment.

These entrepreneurs, while full of passion and urgency, do not often have experience operating or growing a business and often work too many hours, tend to burn out and limit their efficacy through their ignorance of capital, financing, business systems, organizational best practices, self-care practices and effective communication skills.

This is why we need skilled professionals who are proficient in one or more areas of entrepreneurship to help guide the development of these organizations.

 

How does this differ from a “regular economy” consultant? (e.g., McKinsey?)

While Next Economy consultants use some of the basic business skills of more traditional consulting agencies (e.g., strategic planning, budgeting, assigning clear roles & responsibilities, etc.), they do so in a context of alignment with the vision and values of the Next Economy.

These consultants use the tasks of organizing and growing the business to also cultivate individual and collective growth and development. We cultivate wholeness. Our companies love what they do and who they do it with and that creates a virtuous cycle that uplifts everyone in contact.

 

What are the knowledge and skills that a Next Economy consultant should learn?

We have carefully analyzed our experience over the past 5 years (working with 100+ companies in this sector) to find the trends, patterns, and needs of these companies. We have identified four key areas that are most critical to the future growth and development of any organization, regardless of the product, service, industry or market. We call this our business design methodology:

  • Vision: Without a clearly defined and articulated vision, it is very difficult to make sure everyone is working towards the same goal. Having a shared vision (and shared core values) allows decentralized decision making--a critical component of Next Economy organizations.

  • Culture: The culture of the organization is shaped by an accumulated set of beliefs, habits, and behaviors of employees as they work towards the vision. It is the quality of interaction and will make or break the success of the organization. Like the vision, it needs to be clearly articulated and carefully stewarded.

  • Strategy: Once the vision and culture have been determined, it is important to then start iterating on the best strategies to help a company achieve that vision. This area comprises strategic marketing, sales and partnerships. It also includes governance and planning.

  • Operations: It is important to operationalize the strategies defined by the organization so that they can be continually repeated and refined (especially for the organization to be able to scale). The focus in this area is on the structure, rhythms and systems design of the organization. This includes projections, tracking and reporting, and policy and procedures.

 

How do Next Economy consultants make money?

As a consultant your basic business model is charging a fee for services rendered. This will require skill and experience in assessing needs and creating value for your client companies. Also, maybe more importantly, it will require advanced skills in relationship and rapport building, communication and emotional maturity.

In terms of how to bill for your services, we recommend billing according to value created, not hours worked. One unique approach we use at LIFT is inviting our clients to adjust our invoices (down or up) to reflect the value they feel they have received.

This accomplishes several important things. As a consultant committed to growing the Next Economy, it would be antithetical to withdraw resources from values aligned companies without providing commensurate value. This will also prevent you from proposing to work on projects you are not genuinely enthusiastic about. It puts the relationship as the primary objective and makes sales conversations much easier and low-risk (as the risk of providing value is up to the consultant every month). We have billed this way exclusively for the last four years. We have seen that this practice results in long term engagements with high degrees of trust and mutual benefit.

 

What resources are available for this?

We have created a training series for values-aligned consultants (or aspiring consultants) who wish to learn more about Next Economy consulting. See more information on this event page: http://liftimpactconsulting.eventbrite.com

 

 

Carbon Farming For Your Business

Part 1: Carbon Farming Strategies for Mission-Driven Companies: Tuesday, April 12th 12pm-1:30pm (online)

Learn why carbon farming is relevant to your business. You'll learn the carbon cycle, the various kinds of carbon farming & what yields or products can come from carbon farming practices. We'll discuss the potential role for business & enterprise & perhaps most importantly, what is actually happening on the ground today.

With that understanding, you can begin to envision what role your company might play, be it offsetting your emissions by investing in bio-sequestration projects, or re-examining your supply chain and ways you can purchase from climate-friendly producers.

The first 90-minute webinar will feature the following leaders & projects:

  • John Roulac, CEO, Nutiva - Nutiva's Role to Play in The Carbon Farming Solution.

  • Rebecca Burgess, Founder, Fibershed - Inspiring the largest textile company in the world to invest in Carbon Farming practices for Climate-Beneficial goods

  • Kevin Bayuk, Senior Financial Analyst, Project Drawdown - How Carbon Literacy is Transforming Next Economy Companies


Part 2: Creating Your Company's Carbon Farming Strategy: Tuesday, April 26th 12pm-1:30pm (online)

Next, you'll activate your intentions to become more Climate-Beneficial. Learn the difference between a Climate Neutral Certified and Climate-Beneficial Company. Understand the importance of metrics and tracking. Create a plan identifying next steps for your business & carbon farming. Next steps could include partnering with other companies to explore supply chain investments or measuring your baseline emissions. Whatever it may be, you'll walk away with clear next actions towards your contribution to a healthier climate.

  • Nikki Silvestri, CEO of Silvestri Strategies - Caring for land, caring for people through Carbon Farming

  • Gowan Batiste, Sustainability Manager at North Coast Brewing Company - Fueled by Compost: A Vision for a Climate-Beneficial Craft Brewery

  • Ryan Zinn, Organic & Fair Trade Coordinator at Dr. Bronners - Stories from the Field: Carbon Farming & Climate Resilience in one Company's Supply Chain 

  • Erin Axelrod, Partner, LIFT Economy - Creating Your Climate-Beneficial Action Plan


"Fantastic tour of Carbon Farming projects north of San Francisco. Thank you Erin Axelrod for organizing. This is such a powerful solution to reverse climate change and redefine agriculture practices, we are 100% on board to support the development of these efforts going forward. This type of project and the amazing and visionary people behind it give me HOPE. and that's a lot these days.... Onwards and Upwards!"
 - Mathieu Senard, Founder & CEO Alter Eco, attendee at Spring, 2015 Carbon Farming Tour

Marco Vangelisti: How You Can Become an Impact Investor

Kevin Bayuk interviews Marco Vangelisti, Next Economy thought-leader on investing, the problems (and solutions) related to banking and currency, the basics of critical financial literacy, and what options we all have to begin moving our money in ways that benefit ourselves, our local economies, and all of life.

To listen, please click the image above. You can also listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on iTunesSoundCloudStitcher, and TuneIn.

$20 Million & Change: Phil Graves on Patagonia's New Venture Capital Fund

Phil Graves, Director of Patagonia's $20 Million and Change, and Ryan Honeyman, Partner at LIFT Economy, discuss:

  • Why did Patagonia start to make venture capital investments?
  • What types of investments has $20 Million and Change made? What types of investments does it plan to make?
  • Why is a clothing company looking at expanding into regenerative agriculture, renewable energy, waste reduction, and conserving water?
  • How does this venture capital fund align with Patagonia's overall mission to use business to help solve the environmental crisis?

To listen, please click the image above.

You can also listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on your favorite podcasting platform, including: iTunes, SoundCloudStitcher, and TuneIn.

It's Back: New Dates for "Secrets of #BCorp Consulting" Announced

People often ask "how do I become a B Corp consultant?"

Ryan Honeyman (Author of "The B Corp Handbook") and Matt Mayer (Sustainability Consultant at Conscious Brands) have teamed up on this four part webinar series to provide a succinct, step-by-step overview of the tools, resources, and best practices ideas we have learned about B Corp consulting. Some of the benefits of participating in this series include:

  • World-Class Expertise: Learn from two of the world’s top experts on B Corporations
  • Individual Assistance: In addition to four 90 minute group sessions, each participant will receive a 60 minute coaching call. 
  • Exclusivity: A maximum of 8 participants will be allowed to attend this course in order to keep the group small, nimble, and targeted.
  • Shared Accountability: Learn as a cohort, with shared accountability and goals
  • Evergreen Content: Participants will get a recording of all four 90 minute webinars in case you need to miss a session (or want to watch a session again).
  • Ongoing Access: After the course is finished, participants will also have ongoing access to the private discussion forum to ask questions and seek advice.

Click here to learn more and/or register.