Dan Last, Chair of Student & University Partnerships, D.C. Net Impact
Are you interested in being a mentor, or perhaps speaking on a panel with other local professionals?
What about hosting a tour of your workplace, or co-sponsoring a student/professional networking happy hour?
There are twelve graduate and undergraduate Net Impact chapters in the Washington DC area -- and many opportunities to share your experience and expertise!
We are here to connect you with students and professionals who like you, want to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally responsible world.
Dan Schiff, VP of Programming & Events, D.C. Net Impact
Long-time Net Impact member and supporter Seth Goldman, "Tea-EO" of Honest Tea, spoke to an enthusiastic audience on Oct. 22 about conscious capitalism and his journey since co-founding the Bethesda-based company in 1998.
Even though Honest Tea has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Coca-Cola Company since March 2011, Goldman pitched his firm as doing work comparable to that of a non-governmental organization:
- helping to eliminate billions of calories from the American diet by offering less-sweetened beverages
- supporting the growth of organic agriculture through a carefully managed supply chain
- spreading fair trade labor standards in the developing world through supplier verification programs
Far from watering down Honest Tea's mission since the acquisition, Coca-Cola now offers Goldman's team the opportunity to leverage its massive distribution capacity, giving Honest Tea access to thousands of additional retail outlets and allowing it to scale up its positive impact on suppliers and consumers. Goldman also plugged Net Impact, of which he has been a member for two decades, praising the organization's commitment to moving corporate social responsibility into the mainstream. Net Impact additionally serves as a platform for bringing together like-minded business leaders and entrepreneurs; Goldman noted that he recently joined the board of another mission-driven food company, Beyond Meat, whose founder Ethan Brown is a Net Impact alumnus.
Goldman left the audience with a Chinese proverb: "Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the people doing it." Though we're a long way from realizing a business world in which every company embraces honesty, transparency and positive social impact, the rapid growth of Honest Tea and others suggests a major market shift is underway.
Want to start a social or environmental movement in your workplace? Use the Impact at Work Toolkit
to kick off a social or environmental project at work, and discover how you can make a net impact
Our free PDF toolkit walks you through the process step-by-step, and includes useful worksheets for any project. Download the toolkit, here.
Guest Post by Daniel Heyman
Bureh happened by accident. We never set out to start a fashion company based in Sierra Leone. Bureh's co-founder Grant, at the time my roommate and colleague, had just returned to Freetown with some cloth from the provinces. We decided to copy an old cloth belt into some fun new ones. When people like you started asking for the belts, we realized the tremendous opportunity to make a difference and share the beauty of Sierra Leone.
Still, there was a long way to go. Creating robust and resilient supply chains in Sierra Leone took time. We agreed at the outset that this would be a Sierra Leonean company, made in Sierra Leone by Sierra Leoneans. This allows us to create jobs, to train workers, to partner with other companies and to contribute to a growing economy, but it doesn't happen immediately. For example, Grant and Fatoma worked for almost a year before we could make one buckle in Sierra Leone of high quality.
Meet our blacksmiths! Check out this video.
Bureh is not a charity and we don’t give money away. We are for-profit, for social responsibility and for Sierra Leone. We provide sustainable jobs, source materials ethically and locally, and reinvest profits into start-ups that themselves can create more jobs and growth in the private sector, all while giving our customers a high quality product they can be proud of.
We are incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to do so far, and all the help that Net Impact has given us. Bureh was able to get off the ground because of our successful crowd-funding campaign. Net Impact was instrumental in spreading the word across its chapters to draw attention to our cause. Bureh made the finals of Net Impact’s Quick Pitch competition, giving us exposure and a platform.
So what next? Our goal is to build out our distribution in the US so we can double the number of employees we have in Sierra Leone. This means new partner boutiques, more PR, and doubling down on sales. If you’re interested in helping out, or know any boutiques who might like our products, please reach out to dan AT bureh DOT com or visit http://www.bureh.com/pages/contact-us.
Guest Post by Ryan Kingston
On October 18-21, 10,000+ youth leaders will converge in Pittsburgh for Power Shift 2013! Power Shift is a great experience for young professionals in almost any field, particularly those already working on environmental issues. Unlike previous Power Shift conferences, this year’s focus is on the intersection of environmental, social, and economic issues, many of which challenge Pittsburgh and other major cities today (including DC!).
Over the course of the convergence, attendees will attend workshops, receive training, meet and network with like-minded people working in DC and beyond, and help build the movement towards a clean energy future, and a healthy planet.
In order for Power Shift to be successful, we need your help to ensure hundreds of young professionals and students throughout DC make it to Pittsburgh. By joining the DC recruitment team, you will not only join the movement, but be a leader in it as well! We on the DC Dream Team would love to have your help in recruiting folks from in and around DC to attend this year’s convergence.
If you can’t volunteer to recruit, we’d love for you to join us in Pittsburgh anyway! Power Shift will act as a launching point for us to work on issues that DC (as a city, not just a capital) faces. Our team hopes to continue to work together after the conference and get involved in campaigns that impact the city. This is a really great opportunity if you’re looking to get more involved in local and regional issues.
If you would like more information on how you can get involved, please send an e-mail to Ryancarrkingston@gmail.com.
The Net Impact Conference is right around the corner!
The Net Impact Conference, now in its twenty-first year, is well known as the leading forum for students and professionals who want to use their career to tackle the world’s toughest social and environmental problems. This year’s conference theme, "Change Starts Here," embodies the belief that it takes just one idea, one risk, one person to change everything.
With more than 100 sessions across 11 interest-specific tracks, this year’s conference is designed to allow attendees to dive deep into specific topics or sample a cross-section of issues and industries to better understand how an impact career can drive transformational change. This year’s program introduces two new tracks – Tech for Good and Sustainable Food – to the always popular core tracks that include Career & Professional Development, Community Development, Corporate Impact, Energy & Clean Tech, Entrepreneurship & Social Enterprise, Environment & Natural Resources, Finance & Investing, International Development, and Nonprofit & Public Sector Innovation.