If there’s one thing that most everyone can agree on, it’s that what we consume has a direct influence on who we are. From the air we breathe to the things we read, and what we hear to what we swallow, ultimately, our consumption defines us. We are what we consume.
As a boy growing up in Florida, I chewed sugar cane, kept my pockets full of Bazooka Joe and drank soda. A lot of soda. I’ve been blessed with a really high metabolism, and have never carried a lot of extra weight, but my teeth have suffered greatly from all of the sugar I consumed. Until about 2000, I was a regular soda drinker. At lunch, a Coke. At dinner, a Coke. At night in front of the TV, a Coke. And this wasn’t all that freakish. If anything, I didn’t drink that much as most other people I knew. But the fact that I was constantly at the dentist baffled me. I couldn’t put two and two together. That is, until one day a dentist told me that soda was like ‘liquid candy.’ Candy. Root canals. Ok, now I get it.
Dear Mr. President:
As we progress as a culture many changes will take place; things may get worse before they get better, but only in the shadows of a new world rising. As people, we make choices every day. Sometimes we think about how our choices affect the world and sometimes we don’t, but they always do.
Michael E. Porter, Harvard University professor, explains why business leaders must focus on shared value -- creating products and services that benefit not only the company but also society.
As Porter and Mark Kramer write in the Harvard Business Review:
Capitalism is an unparalleled vehicle for meeting human needs, improving efficiency, creating jobs, and building wealth. But a narrow conception of capitalism has prevented business from harnessing its full potential to meet society’s broader challenges. The opportunities have been there all along but have been overlooked. Businesses acting as businesses, not as charitable donors, are the most powerful force for addressing the pressing issues we face. The moment for a new conception of capitalism is now; society’s needs are large and growing, while customers, employees, and a new generation of young people are asking business to step up.
Watch as Alex Bogusky, Rob Schuham and John Bielenberg present COMMON, and follow along with the deck below (Download PDF).
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We’re confident that benefiting people, communities, society, the environment and future generations is the new advantage in business. We’re launching the COMMON brand in support of this transition from competitive advantage to collaborative advantage.
COMMON is one part community; one part business prototyper; and one part collaborative brand. A living network of creative people rapidly prototyping dozens or hundreds of progressive businesses designed to solve social problems. Connected to a brand that’s community designed, community owned, and community directed.
COMMON, the utterly ambitious concept from FearLess, was unveiled last Thursday night. If you tried to comprehend the totality of COMMON in one sitting, you’d look like a snake digesting a pig. (Trust me, I watched the live stream before heading up to bed and my mind was in no mood to rest.)
I downloaded the deck over the weekend to spend more time with the slides at my own pace. And I couldn’t get past the ninth slide: a simple image of a piece of paper that read, “What would you try if you had no fear?”
After spending this past Thursday at the FearLess Cottage in Boulder documenting the launch of COMMON I awoke Friday with one word in mind – decompartmentalize.
So many people I know feel like they must rob Peter to pay Paul if they are to make a difference in this world, that they must compromise their values now in order to be in a position to donate to their values later. I fit into this category as well. And despite working for many cause organizations over the years I feel like a net supporter not a net innovator on social issues, a service provider not a social entrepreneur. I believe in the causes my firm gets paid to amplify but I see problems that I want to address outside of those contracts. So does my business partner. Perhaps you do as well.
Update: Join the COMMON Community.
The Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus tells us in his book Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism:
What is wrong? In a world where the ideology of free enterprise has no real challenger, why have free markets failed so many people? As some nations march toward ever greater prosperity, why has so much of the world been left behind?
The reason is simple. Unfettered markets in their current form are not meant to solve social problems and instead may actually exacerbate poverty, disease, pollution, corruption, crime, and inequality.
What is your vision? And what steps do you have to take to bring that vision into reality? Alex Bogusky welcomes the UFUSE Creative Management team to the Cottage. They discuss Alex's recent experience with the UFUSE process, and offer some awesome tips to better steer your career (and your life!).
We're working on a logo project for Food Day and need your help finalizing the design. The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest is looking for one official logo for the event. Similar to Earth Day, it aims to stimulate thousands of activities across the country. The activities will focus on key aspects of food -- health, sustainable agriculture, animal welfare, and more.
Please review the following logos and vote for your favorites below.