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Fairmount Santrol Professor of Social Entrepreneurship David Cooperrider provides his insight on current articles relating to Business as an Agent of World Benefit.
David Cooperrider: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.
The new “time machine” makes public information that was previously only available to a handful of researchers. Developed with funding from the National Science Foundation, the software package is free, and opens up whole new worlds of possibility to climate researchers across the (mostly blue) globe.
New climate time machine is not a DeLorean, but it’s almost as cool

New climate time machine is not a DeLorean, but it’s almost as cool

“If you could turn back time, would you kill Hitler? Sing to sailors while straddling a cannon? Of course you wouldn’t!”
David Cooperrider: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.
Patagonia is a signal to the future. In 2011, the company broke every rule of merchandising by taking out a full-page Black Friday ad in the New York Times with the message, “DON’T BUY THIS JACKET.” The company urged customers not to buy its fleece jacket, and to recycle or buy used instead. Although the ad may have seemed counterintuitive, it actually highlighted the durability of costlier Patagonia jackets and clothing. Less than a year later, Patagonia’s “buy less” campaign increased the company’s sales by nearly a third, and Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard estimated that revenue will keep growing about 15 percent a year. Two years later, Patagonia decided to push the envelope even further. It ran another ad last fall, this time featuring a shabby pair of 9-year-old swim trunks, with fabric from a beach umbrella patching up the rear, to promote sales of used clothes in some of its stores. And for Black Friday 2013, the company promoted its “Worn Wear” campaign as the antidote to holiday shopping frenzies by hosting parties in every store to celebrate the stuff customers already own. This is, after all, the company that makes wetsuits from plants, fleece jackets out of recycled bottles, and one of the first companies in California to switch to wind energy. Patagonia also donates one percent of its revenue to environmental causes.
Plant-based wetsuits prove sustainability sells.

Plant-based wetsuits prove sustainability sells.

“It’s easy to find consumers who say they care about the environment. But how many are willing to pay more for products from companies that do the same?”
David Cooperrider: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.
According to Ottawa-based consultants Analytica Advisors, clean technology, or clean-tech, is Canada's fastest-growing industry. The firm's "2014 Canadian Clean Technology Report", found direct employment by clean-tech companies rose six per cent from 2011 to 2012, from 38,800 people to 41,000, with revenues increasing nine per cent to $11.3-billion. According to Industry Canada, mining and oil and gas sector revenues grew just 0.3 per cent in the same period, manufacturing 1.9 per cent and the construction industry 3.9 per cent. At the current growth rate, Analytica estimates Canada's clean-tech industry will be worth $28 billion by 2022. But with the global market expected to triple to $2.5 trillion over the next six years, Canada hasn't come close to reaching its potential. It's our choice to seize the opportunity. With just two per cent of the global market (matching our share of population), we could have a $50 billion clean-tech industry by 2020 — double the size of today's aerospace industry.
Clean-tech is good for the Canadian economy and environment

Clean-tech is good for the Canadian economy and environment

“Clean-tech may not be the answer to all our problems, but it's a sector that offers a lot of promise for our economy and environment.”
David Cooperrider: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

This article by the Triple Pundit helps us see the next stage in sustainable value creation. Based on the new book by Chris Laszlo and the Fowler Center Distinguished Fellows, the conference set a new north star for the field. Here is what Siegal, the author, had to say about his experience:

 

"This week I had the opportunity to attend the Third Global Forum for Businesses as an Agent of World Benefit at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. The theme for this year’s forum is ‘Flourish and Prosper.’ The event, which was pioneered eight years ago by David Cooperrider — best known for his work on appreciative inquiry.

As Barbara Snyder, Case Western president said, “We’ve come a long way from talking about sustainability to talking about flourishing.” That sentiment was repeated several times on this first day — that it is time to reach beyond merely sustaining, and time to stop thinking in terms of trade-offs. We need to be smart enough to include the considerations of people, profit and planet in everything we do, to synthesize these requirements into smart solutions.

There is another dimension to this, as well. The idea of flourishing, says Cooperrider, means that the energy for innovation must come from an intrinsic caring. It must acknowledge the interconnectedness of all things. Citing the Dalai Lama, when asked about corporate social responsibility (CSR), he said that ‘responsibility’ is not the right word. It’s intimacy. It’s time for a transformation that means moving away from a preoccupation with the self and focusing on the interconnectedness."