I am an idealist – for better or worse.
Ever since I can remember I have dreamed of a healthier, cleaner, safer and fairer world. But, I also grew in a family of successful business owners and professionals who, through years of healthy debate around the kitchen table, never let me forget the pragmatic realities of our world.
I’ve been in the business of doing good for 20 years. My experience working on social and environmental issues around the world with diverse organizations has led me to some conclusions:
- We’re spending too much money on the wrong solutions: Too many resources are being spent on band-aid solutions and not enough on understanding the complexity and addressing root causes of problems.
- ‘We’ cannot (should not) save ‘them’: Calling those with 'less' underdeveloped and imposing models of development can do more harm than good.
- Addressing issues at 'home' is where the tough work begins: With globalization, we can no longer pretend how we live and do business here does not have far reaching consequences (good and bad).
- Our education system needs to change: We will continue to recreate the world’s problems if we don’t change the way we think about them.
- Doing good can breed innovation and generate profit for companies: Just look at the mission and profits of companies such as Patagonia and Lush - both profitable companies dedicated to the environment.
- No one can do it alone: Without working together across sectors and issues – transformative change will never truly happen.
- There is not enough compassion in our workplaces: In order for us to do good in the world, we need to raise our collective consciousness and apply it to all we do, including the way we treat those internal to our organizations.
These realizations have led to my personal manifesto. I am on a mission to create systemic and transformative good.
To do this, I:
- Equip businesses to have profoundly positive impacts on our communities while also making profit – dispersing energies from only donating money to charitable initiatives to also reinvesting in the company to reduce footprints and improve human welfare.
- Encourage philanthropists to focus on investing for the highest social or environmental return – developing multi-prong portfolios that direct funds to organizations that are not only providing services but also tackling root causesand driving systemic change.
- Enable non-profits to focus resources on innovative and strategic preventative and transformative approaches to social and environmental change while also ensuring the organizational values are aligned with business practices.
- Facilitate effective and long-term collaborations across sectors that will lead to transformative and systems level change.
- Promote formal and informal educational opportunities for youth that will foster a generation with the perspective and ability to approach their life in a way that generates good for the planet and our people.