Category Archives: Social Innovation

The Power of Possibility

By Erica Pinsky, who will be co-presenting Heart in Conflict at Hollyhock June 16 – 19, 2017.

Would it surprise you to learn that over 95% of workplace disputes can be resolved within the first 3 – 5 instances of occurrence: if someone makes a choice to speak up.

The problem is that the vast majority of us don’t make that choice.   Research, confirmed by my own experience, confirms that individuals on the receiving end of disrespect at work generally make the choice to avoid, ignore, or, as I refer to it, “put up and shut up.”  That choice often leads to one of these outcomes: the employee goes off on a medical (stress) leave and/or quits his/her job.

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Social Venture Institute Impact Bio: Merissa Myles & Scott DiGuistini

Via Junxion

Co-creators of Tree Island Yogurt, Merissa Myles and her husband Scott DiGuistini make grass-fed, artisan yogurt at their production plant in the Comox Valley, BC. They’ve earned a reputation as champions of the local food movement—while also shifting the thinking of farmers, retailers, and even the Ministry of Agriculture.

Tree Island uses 100% fresh whole Canadian milk, and is committed to supporting local, grass-fed dairy farms with pastures that promote healthy ecosystems. In short, Merissa and Scott have built a business that is itself a powerful tool for change.

There is a lot of choice in yogurt on grocers’ shelves, but very few guarantee their milk comes from Canada or from grass-fed sources. Scott is proud to say “We are an early innovator—and one of very few. We only use fresh, whole milk in our recipes; there are no foreign milk powders or fillers. It’s very important for us to be part of the food movement and support local farmers.” This is the first shift Tree Island has contributed to making—increasing awareness and demand for Canadian, grass-fed milk. In the four years since they entered the market, yogurt made from fresh, grass-fed milk has gone from zero to be an established line in many local stores.

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Social Venture Institute Impact Bio: Meghan French Dunbar

Via Junxion

Meghan French Dunbar’s mission in life is to inspire and educate people on how business can be used as a force for good. Her ultimate goal? In 20 years, nobody will say “purpose-driven work” or “conscious business” or “sustainable business,” because doing good business will be the new ‘business as usual.’

Conscious Company Magazine CoversAs Co founder and Editor in Chieftess of Conscious Company Magazine, Meghan oversees the production of this nationally distributed publication that focuses solely on sustainable business and business as a force for good. Based in Boulder, Colorado, the magazine hit the shelves in January 2015, and is now in every US state, Canada and Mexico, and is quickly becoming a leading source of information for and about sustainable businesses.

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Social Venture Institute Impact Bio: Christopher Roy

Via Junxion

“If you’re conscious at all about what’s going on in the world and the changes that are needed, it’s obvious to me that business has a tremendous role to play in the transformation to a more equitable, social and environmental world.”

That’s what gets Christopher Roy out of bed every morning. Christopher runs Marketworks, his own consulting agency that provides digital marketing for a growing number of businesses that consider societal benefits, social change and environmental sustainability to be essential parts of their business offering. His clients are the kinds of enterprises that are doing business differently, operating more in relationship with the natural world, lead by people putting social and environmental benefits ahead of profit. “That’s pretty powerful to me,” he says, with a wise twinkle in his eye.

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Social Venture Institute Impact Bio: Mary Waldner

via Junxion 

Mary Waldner had been sick most of her life without knowing why. When she was finally diagnosed with Celiac disease in 1994, it was a life-changing relief—and was soon to be the ‘aha moment’ that sparked an entrepreneurial journey.

“I developed a cracker recipe for myself so that I could have something to eat, especially when going out. And then I saw other people eating them and I watched how much they loved them!”

So in 2004, not knowing she was going to hit the wave of consciousness that was beginning to sweep the food industry and consumers, Mary launched her company. Since then, poetically, “it’s taken off like crazy!” Today, Mary’s Gone Crackers ships its  organic and vegan crackers, cookies and pretzels across the US from their plant in California, and north to Canada. Continue reading Social Venture Institute Impact Bio: Mary Waldner