Kate Williams: Global Movement of Companies Investing 1% for the Planet

Next Economy Now highlights the leaders who are taking a regenerative, bio-regional, democratic, transparent, and whole-systems approach to solving social and environmental challenges.

The goal of this podcast is to identify the trends, tips, and best practices that will help listeners better harness the power of business as a force for good.

In this episode, Shawn Berry, a Partner at LIFT Economy, interviews Kate WilliamsCEO of 1% for the Planetan alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet by donating 1% of their sales to environmental non-profits.

Founded in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia, 1% for the Planet has grown into a global movement of more than 1200 member companies in 48 countries, all donating at least 1% of annual sales to sustainability initiatives. In just over 10 years 1% for the Planet companies have given more than $100 million back to Blue.

In this interview, Shawn and Kate discuss a number of topics, including:

  • Kate’s path as an environmental entrepreneur

  • The history and success of 1%

  • Kate’s influences and inspirations

  • The state of the movement

  • What the future might look like

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Stefanie Thomas: Black Women VCs, Community Investing, and Closing the Opportunity Gap in America

Next Economy Now highlights the leaders who are taking a regenerative, bio-regional, democratic, transparent, and whole-systems approach to solving social and environmental challenges.

The goal of this podcast is to identify the trends, tips, and best practices that will help listeners better harness the power of business as a force for good.

In this episode, Ryan Honeyman, a Partner at LIFT Economy, interviews Stefanie Thomas, Senior Investment Associate at the Impact America Fund.

Stefanie joined the Impact America (IAF) team in 2015. As a member of IAF, Stefanie has emerged as a voice of “Black Female VCs” (Fast Company) who work at the intersection of founder diversity, technology for impact, and the deployment of capital within untapped markets.

Since 2013, Stefanie’s work has primarily centered around her passion to support under-resourced entrepreneurs, an ode to childhood memories of her father—a serial entrepreneur—who overcame tremendous challenges as an aspiring business owner, despite very limited secondary education and low-income beginnings.

Some of the inspired work that has resulted from Stefanie’s deep-rooted influences includes co-founding a female-centered entrepreneurship organization called Women Who Launch and traveling over 6,000 miles by car across the US to work with small businesses, landing her a feature on HLN’s “Growing America” docu-series.

Before shifting gears professionally, Stefanie served as a Vice President at Citigroup, managing more than 50 institutional investor relationships and leading finance transactions totaling over $1B in assets. Stefanie received her MBA from the Ross School at the University of Michigan and her B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She currently resides in Washington, DC.

In this interview, Ryan and Stefanie discuss a number of topics, including:

  • Stefanie’s path to impact investing

  • The growth in black female entrepreneurs / VCs

  • How Impact America Fund is investing at the intersection of technology and underserved communities

  • The opportunity gap in America

  • The thought leaders, organizations, and books that Stefanie recommends learning more about

  • And much more

 

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New Secrets of B Corp Consulting (Live + Self-Study) Courses Announced

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

Over the past 18 months, Ryan Honeyman (Partner at LIFT Economy and author of The B Corp Handbook) and Matt Mayer (Sustainability Consultant at Conscious Brands) have taught a series of courses for folks interested in becoming B Corp consultants. The goal of these courses is to provide a succinct, step-by-step overview of the tools, resources, and best practices we have learned about B Corp consulting. 

We are excited to announce that there are now two course options: a pre-recorded, self-study course, and an ongoing live course. Click here to learn more.

Scott Morris: How "Complementary Currencies" Support Vibrant Local Economies

Next Economy Now highlights the leaders who are taking a regenerative, bio-regional, democratic, transparent, and whole-systems approach to solving social and environmental challenges. 

The goal of this podcast is to identify the trends, tips, and best practices that will help listeners better harness the power of business as a force for good.

In this episode, Shawn Berry, a Partner at LIFT Economy, interviews Scott Morris. Scott is an economist, community organizer and social entrepreneur. He has dedicated his career to solving the problem of why the economy only works well for some, while others get left out. He is currently the founder and CEO of IthaCash. Ithacash is "Money Made for Main St.", a regional cooperative currency program for in-and-around Tompkins County, New York where the marketplace & local money work together for local people, causes, and economies by offering another way to meet real needs.

Ithacash serves the community by granting homegrown funding to area civic organizations and fostering local resilience. Ithacash is building on the legacy of the Ithaca HOURs currency program begun in 1991 and will be a flagship pilot program for Qoin's community currency software in the US.

In this interview, Shawn and Scott discuss a number of topics, including:

  • Scott’s personal journey coming to this work

  • Creating a new currency and aspects of currency design

  • New developments in complementary currencies

  • Benefits created for local economy

  • History and case studies of successful currencies

To listen to this podcast, please click the image at the top of the article.

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John Fullerton: The Emergence of Regenerative Capitalism

Next Economy Now highlights the leaders who are taking a regenerative, bio-regional, democratic, transparent, and whole-systems approach to solving social and environmental challenges.

The goal of this podcast is to identify the trends, tips, and best practices that will help listeners better harness the power of business as a force for good.

In this episode, Ryan Honeyman interviews John Fullerton, Founder and President of Capital Institute. Capital Institute is a nonprofit that is working to explore and effect the economic transition to a more just, regenerative, and sustainable way of living through the transformation of finance.

John is also a recognized impact investment practitioner as the Principal of Level 3 Capital Advisors, LLC. Level 3’s direct investments are primarily focused on sustainable, regenerative land use, food, and water issues.

Previously, John was a Managing Director of JPMorgan where he worked for over 18 years. Following JPMorgan, and after experiencing 9-11 first hand, John spent years embarked on more entrepreneurial ventures as an impact investor while engaging in deep study of our multiple interconnected systemic crises that led to the founding of Capital Institute in 2010.

He is a Co-Founder and Director of Grasslands, LLC, a holistic ranch management company in partnership with the Savory Institute, and a Director of New Day Farms, Inc., New Economy Coalition, and Savory Institute. He is also an Advisor to Armonia, LLC, a Belgian family office focused on impact investments, RSF Social Finance, and to Richard Branson’s Business Leader’s initiative (“B Team”).

In this interview, Ryan and John discuss a number of topics, including:

  • How John went from a career on Wall Street to being a leader in the field of regenerative capitalism

  • The eight principles of regenerative economics

  • Carbon sequestration, holistic management, and climate change

  • The thought leaders and books that influenced his thinking over the last 20 years

  • How consciousness intersects with systems design

  • Whether the is optimistic or pessimistic about the future

  • And much more

To listen to this podcast, please click the image at the top of the article.

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Kat Taylor: Can a Bank be an Agent of Radical Social and Environmental Change?

Next Economy Now highlights the leaders who are taking a regenerative, bio-regional, democratic, transparent, and whole-systems approach to solving social and environmental challenges.

The goal of this podcast is to identify the trends, tips, and best practices that will help listeners better harness the power of business as a force for good.

In this episode, Ryan Honeyman, a Partner at LIFT Economy, interviews Kat Taylor, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Beneficial State Bank.

Beneficial State Bank is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) whose mission is to bring beneficial banking to low-income communities in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. The bank’s revolutionary ownership mandates that any distributed profit be invested in the low-income communities it serves and environment upon which we all depend.

Kat is also a Founding Director of TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation (TKREF), dedicated to inspiring a sustainable food system through ranching, training, tours, research, and school food and garden programs. TKREF owns the social enterprise LeftCoast GrassFed, humanely raising cattle and other livestock for the benefit of people and the planet.

Kat serves and has served on many non-profit boards including the Harvard Board of Overseers, Ecotrust, Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, ProPublica, CuriOdyssey, Insight Prison Project, KQED and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She graduated from Harvard College and earned a JD/MBA from Stanford University. Tom Steyer, Kat's climate/energy activist husband, and she have four grown children.

In this interview, Ryan and Kat discuss a number of topics, including:

  • How Beneficial State Bank is addressing systemic challenges in our financial system

  • The debate about growing her bank or staying the same size, and why she believes that it is hard to shift economic prosperity without at least some growth

  • Why Kat and her husband Tom Steyer are focused on banking, climate change, and regenerative agriculture

  • The books, organizations, and thought leaders that have influenced her thinking

  • The one thing that anyone listening can do to make a difference in our financial system

  • And much more

 

To listen to this podcast, please click the image at the top of the article.

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Joel Solomon: Mission Venture Capital and the Clean Money Revolution

Next Economy Now highlights the leaders who are taking a regenerative, bio-regional, democratic, transparent, and whole-systems approach to solving social and environmental challenges.

The goal of this podcast is to identify the trends, tips, and best practices that will help listeners better harness the power of business as a force for good.

In this episode, Ryan Honeyman, a Partner at LIFT Economy, interviews Joel Solomon, Chairman of Renewal Funds. Renewal Funds is Canada's largest mission venture capital firm, with $100M in assets under management.

From 1993 to 2008, Joel managed the Family Office activities of Carol Newell. Together, they pioneered an integrated use of capital for social impact that is now growing as a strategy for deep mission investors.

Today, Joel serves as a Senior Advisor with RSF Social Finance and speaks frequently throughout North America, including a 2012 TEDxVancouver talk. He is a founding member of Social Venture Network (SVN), Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), the Tides Canada Foundation, and is board chair of Hollyhock. Joel has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from SVN and was recently inducted with Carol Newell into the SVN Hall of Fame.

In this interview, Ryan and Joel discuss a number of topics, including:

  • How Joel first got started in impact investing

  • Balancing market rate returns with investing in companies that benefit society and the environment

  • The 2-3 portfolio companies that Joel is most excited about

  • How Renewal Funds measures impact

  • Joel's upcoming book: The Clean Money Revolution

 

To listen to this podcast, please click the image at the top of the article.

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John Finger: How Hog Island Oyster Co. Balances Social, Environmental, and Financial Performance

Next Economy Now highlights the leaders who are taking a regenerative, bio-regional, democratic, transparent, and whole-systems approach to solving social and environmental challenges.

The goal of this podcast is to identify the trends, tips, and best practices that will help listeners better harness the power of business as a force for good.

In this episode, Ryan Honeyman, a Partner at LIFT Economy, interviews John Finger, Cofounder and CEO of Hog Island Oyster Company (the world’s first “bay to bar” shellfish company to certify as a B Corp).

In 1983, John Finger and Terry Sawyer, two young marine biologists, borrowed $500 from their families and planted oyster seed on a five-acre lease in Tomales Bay, CA. They began with the aim of growing the highest quality, local Pacific oysters for San Francisco’s half-shell market.

Today, Hog Island Oyster Co. leases one hundred and sixty acres in Tomales Bay, CA and sells over 5 million oysters, Manila clams and mussels per year. The company operates restaurants in San Francisco and Napa and an outdoor oyster bar, picnic tables, and retail shop at their farm in Marshall.

The company is known for creating a culture of people who care about their communities, their environment, and the customers they serve. Hog Island calls this their ‘Bay to Bar’ philosophy –every step, and every person, plays an equally important role in setting and meeting the company’s high standards for great food and great service.

In this interview, Ryan and John discuss a number of topics, including:

  • Why John and the Hog Island team decided to take on outside investors

  • How the company attracts and retains high-performing, mission-aligned staff in an industry with high turnover

  • The climate benefits of shellfish

  • The benefits of becoming a Certified B Corp

  • Hog Island Oyster Company’s 100 year vision for the future

  • And much more

To listen to this podcast, please click the image at the top of the article.

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Rose Marcario: Patagonia’s CEO on Climate Change, Regenerative Agriculture, and Business for Good

In this episode, LIFT Partner Ryan Honeyman (author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good) interviews Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia.

Rose Marcario assumed the role of President and CEO of Patagonia in January 2014. Prior to this, she served as Patagonia’s COO and CFO.

After joining Patagonia in 2008, Marcario embarked on transforming the company’s infrastructure to improve its operations and financial performance.

In addition to broadening business throughout Europe, Japan and Australia, she has helped Patagonia focus on innovation and the development of new product groups, processes, and technologies.

Prior to coming to Patagonia, Rose held leadership positions as the Director of Corporate Finance for L.A. Gear, Vice President Global Finance and Treasury for NYSE-listed International Rectifier Corporation, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of NASDAQ-listed General Magic, Inc.; and Executive Vice President in charge of Mergers, Acquisitions and Private Placements for Capital Advisors, LLP; where she was responsible for over $2 billion in transactions in consumer products, services and technology.

In this interview, Ryan and Rose discuss a number of topics, including:

  • Rose’s buddhist practice

  • How someone with a background in traditional corporate finance, mergers, and acquisitions ended up at Patagonia

  • Patagonia Works and the company’s new business lines, including Patagonia, Inc. (apparel), Patagonia Provisions (food), Patagonia Media (books, films and multimedia projects), and $20 Million & Change (venture capital fund)

  • Why food might be the future of Patagonia

  • Climate change and regenerative agriculture

  • And much more

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King Arthur Flour: The Benefits of Collaborative Leadership and Employee Ownership

King Arthur Flour, founded in 1790, is America's oldest flour company. However, the company's approach to social impact, executive leadership, and stock ownership is very different from the vast majority of traditional corporations.

In this interview, King Arthur Flour's three Co-CEO's: Karen Colberg, Suzanne McDowell, and Ralph Carlton, describe why they consider King Arthur Flour to be "America's oldest startup" because of the company's innovative leadership structure and 100% employee ownership model.

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