Read the full story at GreenBiz.
In my conversations with sustainability leaders throughout the years, I’ve heard varying views on what works to engage others — whether it be employees, CEOs, shareholders or your neighbor — in a productive exchange about how to build a more sustainable world.
I’ve also heard stories about what doesn’t work. Too often, well-meaning leaders try to turn the dial on sustainability within their companies, organizations or communities, but unknowingly succumb to common conversational pitfalls, undermining their hard work and good intentions.
That dilemma was the subject of a recent working paper, “Authentic Sustainability: Navigating Pitfalls, Paradoxes, and Pathways in Conversations toward a Better World,” co-written by Gabriel Grant, a doctoral candidate in leadership and sustainability at the Yale School of Forestry and Environment, and Jason Jay, director of the sustainability initiative at the MIT Sloan School of Management. I met Grant at the GreenBiz Forum 2015, where we entered into an interesting conversation and meeting of the minds.
Read the full story in Fast Company.
One of the most annoying (and disgusting) aspects of organizing a music festival is dealing with the mounds of trash left on the ground afterwards. By turning the process of throwing away trash into a competitive game, a new social design project called Wecup may well be the best way to get thousands of drunk people to stop littering so much.
April 29-30, 2015
Argonne National Laboratory
For more information
This workshop will bring together experts in water efficiency, behavioral sciences, design, engineering and other fields, along with commercial developers, focusing on those who can most contribute to the design, development and dissemination of behavior-changing technologies that reduce water consumption for buildings.
The agenda will include presentations from thought-leaders in these fields and discussion sessions focused on key topic areas including, but not limited to, new technologies under development, key research paths, barriers to advancement, and opportunities for deployment.
The purpose of this workshop is to promote discussion and collaboration between stakeholders who have a wide range of different experience with water-related issues. The agenda will be structured around four primary sessions, with each session consisting of three components:
- A short presentation from an expert in the field to motivate discussion.
- 3-4 concurrent breakout sessions where attendees will discuss relevant topics in an open and informal setting.
- Reconvening of the larger group, with each breakout session presenting a brief overview of their discussion and findings.
Read the full story in GreenBiz.
Sustainability manager Megan Maltenfort at the pharmaceutical supply company VWR knew her sustainability engagement programs were taking a turn for the better when a senior vice president in the company came running up to her, waving his arms.
“I got 100 percent!… I got 100 percent!,” the executive shouted. He had just completed a short assessment in an interactive online learning program about how sustainability impacts VWR’s business and how employees can help shape future initiatives at the company.
Earlier, Maltenfort and her colleagues had used a variety of methods to reach out and encourage greater participation and support for sustainability initiatives, but found they were facing an uphill battle. Now the tide had turned, and employees, managers and executives across the organization were coming to them.
Read the full story in The Guardian.
The genius of the progressive intellectuals in late-nineteenth century America was that they didn’t invent new labels. Instead, they sought to subtly shift the definition of keywords that already resonated with the public. In their hands, individualism went from being shorthand for an absolute adherence to the doctrine of laissez faire government to being an argument for an activist state in certain areas. They managed this trick by arguing that the over-concentration of power and wealth was holding individuals back from fulfilling their full potential. Surely, they said, an individualistic society is one in which self-fulfilment is attainable for all…
Today’s battle for the heart and soul of business will be won not by inventing new and unfamiliar labels, but by changing the ideological content of the corporate world’s core vocabulary. Rightly or wrongly, the terms ‘sustainability’, ‘social responsibility’ and ‘corporate citizenship’ have a negative connotation in the eyes of many businesspeople, just as socialism had for the American electorate in 1900. The progressives didn’t change people’s mind about socialism, but they did manage to convince them to swallow many aspects of a socialist agenda by making their case in language the public already understood.