The environmental impact of any business enterprise depends on the specific environmental conditions and challenges that exist where that enterprise is doing business. So a dairy in Vermont, where the water tables are high but solar energy is more intermittent, will have a different set of environmental factors to consider than a dairy in dry and sunny Arizona. In other words, sustainability planning is context-specific. Today we talk with Sea Change Radio founder Bill Baue who consults in sustainability planning with businesses around the world. He explains sustainability context, discusses why commerce should be driven by stakeholders rather than shareholders, and points to Volkswagen as an example of what can go wrong when profit dominates good sense and stewardship.
This week on Sea Change Radio, we take a special look back at the recent New Economics Institute Conference held at New York’s Bard College. First we hear from John Fullerton, a former Wall Street bigwig who became a leading practitioner in “impact investment,” a theory-and-practice approach to financial system transformation which focuses on sustainable and regenerative land use, food, and water. Sea Change Radio co-founder, Bill Baue, speaks with Fullerton about what he sees to be the touchstone issues that define the new economy, the roles he sees banks playing in the transition to this new economy and how he factors social equity and the democratic process into his work.
Next, Ben Kurtzman sits down with Senator Tim Wirth at the New Economics Institute Conference. The former Senator from Colorado who chose not to run for re-election in 1992, citing frustration with the ever increasing role of money in politics, talks about the daunting task of moving progressive policies forward in the age of the Citizens United ruling. The President of the United Nations Foundation since its inception in 1998, Wirth talks about what the New Economy movement means to him, where he sees it headed and how surprised he is at the lack of outrage among college-age Americans when it comes to tackling the issue of climate change.
What would an economy built on principles of fairness and sustainability look like? How do we model it; where is it emerging; how do we collectively strategize to fully implement it? These are the questions that’ll be asked at the upcoming Strategies For A New Economy Conference hosted by the New Economics Institute. Sea Change Radio founder Bill Baue serves as this week’s guest host, speaking with two leading environmental thinkers who’ll be participating in the conference.
First, Bill talks to Gus Speth, a Law Professor at the Vermont Law School and the former Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. They discuss the problems with GDP-based economic growth strategies and how we might be able to look beyond striving for endless growth in a world with finite resources. Next, Bill speaks with Will Raap, the founder of both Gardener’s Supply and the Intervale Center, about the struggle to create systems change from the bottom up as well using the state of Vermont as a model for rebuilding our economies.
“It’s the little things citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.” –Wangari Maathai
Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist and peace activist who was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, died this week from cancer at the age of 71. Maathai was best known as the founder of The Green Belt Movement, a group she started in 1977 that encouraged poor women to collect native tree seeds in the wild in order to ensure they had access to sustainable firewood for cooking and potable water. Eulogies came pouring in from around the globe upon news of her passing. Fellow Nobel Prize laureate Desmond Tutu described her as a “visionary African woman” and Al Gore said that Maathai “overcame incredible obstacles to devote her life to service – service to her children, to her constituents, to the women, and indeed all the people of Kenya – and to the world as a whole.”
Sea Change Radio co-founders Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon sat down with Maathai in the spring of 2009. This week, we remember the spirit of Wangari Maathai by bringing that conversation to you in its entirety.
Corporate social responsibility or CSR. What is it, exactly? The Wikipedia entry says “The goal of CSR is to embrace responsibility for a company’s actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment…and members of the public.” Sounds really good. But not everyone involved in this sort of work embraces the term CSR. Today on Sea Change Radio we’ll talk with Carol Sanford who believes her approach to responsible business is distinct from CSR. And, for those of you who are long-time listeners, you’ll be happy to hear from our second guest, Bill Baue, CSR pioneer and Sea Change Radio Founder. Baue provides a thorough overview of what CSR is and could be, and speaks to why some consultants pushing the business sector to be more mindful of its environmental and social impact don’t use the term CSR.
This week on Sea Change Radio we hear from two people who, on separate coasts and in different ways, are pursuing their missions for a more sustainable future. First, host Alex Wise talks with Kinkead Reiling, Co-Founder of Amyris, a Bay Area bio-refining company that hopes its sugar-derived petroleum substitute will, within a few years, offer a competitive, low-emission, sustainable alternative to jet fuel and diesel. Then, Sea Change Radio founder Bill Baue interviews Bob Massie, a pioneer in the movement toward corporate social responsibility, founder of the Global Reporting Initiative, award-winning author and now a candidate in Massachusetts for the U.S. Senate.
With the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on everyone’s mind this week, we take a closer look at an innovative approach to cleaning up oil spills. In this extended version of a previous broadcast, Sea Change Radio’s new Executive Producer and host, Alex Wise, speaks with Lisa Gautier, Executive Director of Matter of Trust, which collects hair from barbershops and salons and weaves it into mats to soak up petroleum oil spills.
Then, outgoing Sea Change Host, Bill Baue, and Alex Wise chat about the changing of the guard at Sea Change.