Geri Stengel

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Vistas: Geri Stengel’s Blog: Social responsibility

Women And Nature: A Powerful Combination For The Planet And Business Growth

Want to unlock innovation? Diversity is the critical factor in market growth, according to Diversity and Market Growth, research undertaken by The Center for Talent Innovation.

More women in any field will lead to more innovation and better products and services — and will get the economic engine steaming along.  “If we hope to accelerate growth in the global economy, we cannot afford to leave out half the population,” said Cindy Padnos, founder and managing partner of Illuminate Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm.

Padnos gave me the quote for my book Forget the Glass Ceiling: Build Your Business Without One, but it resonated loudly as I started to write an article about two women, Amelia Baxter of WholeTrees Architecture and Structures and Sarah Bellos of Stony Creek Colors. Both are shaking up the sleepy agriculture industry with products that use sustainably grown plants and trees to replace highly polluting materials.


Amelia Baxter and her cofounder, Roald Gundersen, developed a process for turning waste trees (small trees routinely discarded during forest thinnings) into a replacement for steel, concrete and milled lumber used for beams, columns and trusses in building construction. “Round timber that hasn’t been milled is as strong as steel,” said Baxter. “It also mitigates the huge amount of waste created in the manufacturing of steel and milled lumber.”  WholeTrees also developed a methodology for grading the round timber to classify its strength. Round timber is plentiful and a renewable resource.

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How An Army Veteran And Saffron Are Building Peace

When you think of Afghanistan, you probably think war torn and desolate. Not high quality produce.

When Kimberly Jung was stationed there as an Army captain, she tasted some of the best fruits, vegetables and spices she had ever eaten. Equally as impressive to her were the people whom she found to be optimistic despite their circumstances as well as loyal and hospitable.

When Jung came back to the U.S., she went to Harvard Business School expecting to be a management consultant At McKinsey in San Francisco. The job didn’t materialize. Instead, while on the phone with Keith Alaniz who was still deployed in Afghanistan, a spark for an entrepreneurial venture took shape. Alaniz told her about Haji Yosef, an industrious farmer who had plenty of saffron but no buyers.

Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. It sells for six to seven times the amount of opium poppy. Both Jung and Alaniz knew that selling a high-value crop like saffron would undercut drug trade, which fuels the Taliban.

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5 Powerful Ways to Use Your Purse to Help Women and Girls

Women have a powerful tool for improving the lives of girls and women — money. Finance can be used to advance change around issues as diverse as women on corporate boards, sex trafficking, bias in the media, the wage gap, equitable health access and the gap in funding women-led companies, according to The State of the Field of Gender Lens Investing: A Road Map for the Field, a report by Criterion Institute. Criterion is a think tank focused on reinventing the economy.

“Gender is the most powerful determinant of how we see the world and everything in it,” writes fellow Forbes contributor Bridget Brennan, an expert on marketing to women. “It’s more significant than age, income, ethnicity, or geography.”  Here are five ways women can use their purses to not only bring women’s and girls’ issues front and center, but also change the way things are done.

Putting it in practice: Enabling diversity in impact investing

By Bonnie Foley-Wong

Have you ever started an investment company, from scratch? That’s exactly what I’m doing and it is challenging, exhilarating, and one of the most purposeful and intentional things I have ever done. I developed and practice Integrated Investing, an impactful approach to investing which starts with integrating information from analysis, emotion, intuition, and body into our investment decisions.  Integrated Investing is what gets me out of bed every morning.  I eat, sleep, and breathe Integrated Investing and I love it.

Dell Innovates Again by Making Entrepreneurship Its Cause

Michael Dell is a huge champion of entrepreneurship. He should know: his entrepreneurship made him billions so he is also an example of what economists and academia are saying about economic recovery: entrepreneurship is  the way economies around the globe will rebound. Entrepreneurs create jobs, innovate products, processes and services, and promote cross-border trade. All of which boost economies.

How To Construct A Socially Responsible Marketing Plan

By Amanda Haynes 

In the coming years, many companies and small business owners will need to consider how they can create a socially responsible marketing plan, since there has been a major initiative over the past few years to encourage businesses to do just that. Since companies are gathering more power these days, they're also feeling more responsible for things that go on in society. This means that they will need to be prepared to create marketing campaigns that provide people with useful and truthful information. There are many people who have begun creating these kinds of ads in these different commercials, since they are proving to be effective and simply the right thing to do.

How Aligning Your Principles Can Help You Choose the Right Business Relationship

by Ralph Allora

Interesting blog post recently from Paul Klein of Impakt, a Toronto-based consultancy whose mission is to bring about “positive social change at the intersection of business and civil society” by helping corporations and nonprofits become social purpose leaders.

New Research Report Reveals Corporate Social Responsibility Trends

by Business4Better (B4B)

The non-commercial community partnership movement produced by UBM plc, released a research report on Tuesday that defines major trends in the way mid-sized companies approach corporate social responsibility (CSR), including plans for community engagement, employee volunteerism and metrics of success. It explores both challenges and opportunities that mid-sized companies regularly face in implementing their CSR programs.

Gen Next on the Nonprofit Board

by Michael Davidson

In these increasingly difficult times, the need for active and engaged board members is greater than ever. The generation under 40 is a largely untapped resource, nationally comprising less than 15% of board members. This is a generation committed to the value of service. They have the expertise crucial for nonprofits seeking to create sustainable business models. They also have experience with fundraising.

4 Steps to Creating a Successful Cause Marketing Campaign

I’ve periodically written about and conducted online and person seminars about cause marketing. I was delighted to read this series on the subject from my colleague Ralph Allora, co-founder and marketing director at TRAY Creative, a Seattle-based creative agency specializing in brand identity, marketing campaigns and web solutions for forward-looking companies and nonprofits. I thought I would share them with you.

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