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A fine balance between patience and change | Purposeful Connections

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It's during these deep, cold weeks of winter that we often yearn for change the most—a peek at a new bud, a small sapling, or just a touch of green between piles of snow. With biting wind, barren trees, and icy sidewalks in New York this week, it can be hard to imagine the city transformed into a lush, humid (and yes, often smelly) environment. All of this week's stories are about change, and they all remind us that the most needed and beneficial change takes time: a healthier climate, a cleaner ocean, a more just society. Whether it's putting cash away in a savings account that helps fund family farms or using AI to sift through years of data to cut food waste, we reap the most meaningful rewards when we're patient. Not to say that we shouldn't have urgency behind our work—it's important to press ahead when the time is right, as you'll read from my colleague Casey. But when change feels slow or out of reach, remember to trust the process and continue laying the groundwork for the brighter, warmer days. - Kristin Kenney, Director

🌱 Grow your change: Do you know what your savings are funding? When you open an account with Walden Mutual Bank (yes, Thoreau's Walden), your hard-earned money is put to work for local, sustainable food producers. Think: a New York dairy farm, a Maine malthouse, or a New Hampshire mushroom farm. These are real examples from Walden's home page, and founder/CEO Charley Cummings hopes the bank will become a new model for funding much needed change in local systems, while giving consumers a friendlier—and simpler—set of services than big banks.

🛩️ Lightening the food (and fuel) load: To the layperson, AI may seem like a tool to speed up manual work or generate funny images. To changemakers and social impact innovators, AI presents almost limitless potential. Supply chain and operations are two areas where AI has been put to the test for several years, and companies like KLM are now reaping the benefits. For the Dutch airline, AI has helped reduce food waste by analyzing historical flight data to determine how many ticketed passengers will actually board each flight—thus right-sizing the amount of meals prepared and loaded onto each leg. So far, KLM is seeing a 60% reduction in food waste.

🧴 Wild, remote—and polluted: Antarctica's first flag, designed in the early '90s for an atlas, showed the continent as a clean, unblemished white slate. Its most recent iteration paints a more realistic picture: the continent—one of the most remote areas on Earth—is full of microplastics. The new flag, which has tiny dots splashed over a dark blue background, was created by Agenda Antarctica to accelerate global efforts to tackle the plastic pollution crisis. The NGO says, “Antarctica stands as our last bastion of pristine wilderness, yet it grapples with the pervasive issue of plastic pollution. Microplastics have infiltrated the snow, fish, birds, and seawater in this untouched region.”

Remembering the Parkland 17: Last Wednesday marked six years since the horrific Parkland school shooting. CCOP associate Casey Sherman shared her reflections on the day, and how it inspired her to accelerate her career in social impact. We're honored to have her on our team, and stand with her in remembering the 17 who lost their lives that day.

We invited Margaret Spence, an advocate for change in the DEI landscape, to share where companies currently stand with DEI and what needs to change. With a commitment to challenging the status quo, questioning barriers, and leading inclusively, Margaret offers a compelling vision. Her expertise extends beyond just talk by proving that DEI is not just a checkbox but an ongoing commitment.


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