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To jump-start the new year, I invited four brilliant individuals to a conversation about purpose, ESG, DE&I, and prosperity in 2023. Spanning public, private, and nonprofit sectors, these individuals covered topics ranging from board diversity to radical creativity. You can listen to my full conversation with Shannon Schuyler (PwC), Damon Jones (Procter & Gamble), Artis Stevens (Big Brothers Big Sisters of America), and Martin Whittaker (JUST Capital) here.
"I think this year, especially at public companies, is going to be a challenging one but an exciting one because boards are going to be able to truly work with their management to drive unparalleled change." Shannon Schuyler, Chief Purpose & Inclusion Officer, PwC
"You can do all the great recruiting, or have all the great charity and cause programs, but when you can design a product for everyone and ensure inclusion is fundamental, I think that speaks to purpose at the highest levels." Damon Jones, Chief Communications Officer, Procter & Gamble
"We'll see continued growth of a younger generation of donors. Companies will pay attention to how they give, how they live, whether that's through engagement with brands, with missions, the way that they shop, or the transparency that they want." Artis Stevens, President & CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
"Board diversity is important. It's not box-checking. This is equipping your company to be able to address evolving sets of risks and responsibilities for corporate boards." Martin Whittaker, CEO, JUST Capital
Few brands fit the persona of "pioneer" quite like Levi's. And the 150-year-old brand is far more than a pioneer in denim - the company leads its industry in innovative ways to reduce the impact of its iconic products on the environment. From its "Water>less" line of denim to its second-hand retail model, Levi's has become a bastion of conscious consumerism. In this interview, Levi's chief marketing officer Karen Riley-Grant shares how the brand is educating consumers about the circular economy and embracing new channels to connect with stakeholders. // AdAge: How Levi's is Tapping into TikTok, Conscious Consumerism and Live Shopping Trends
If you're one of the one in four Americans living with a disability, you're three times more likely to be unemployed. Walgreens Boots Alliance is one of several companies addressing this "disability employment gap" by strengthening commitments that support and uplift employees with disabilities. This includes a redesigned annual bonus plan which will include a disability representation metric - making Walgreens the first S&P 500 company to include such a metric in compensation plans. Walgreens has also launched a partnership with Neurodiversity in the Workplace to help other organizations retool hiring, retention, and talent development programs to better support diverse and disabled employees. // Axios: How businesses can build a disability inclusive workplace
CES is increasingly becoming a showcase for "good" ideas - not just innovative tech, but concepts and solutions designed to address urgent societal problems. Among this year's leading initiatives are Panasonic's Take Back for Tomorrow program, which enables consumers to mail in any electronic personal care device - like beard trimmers or clippers - to recycle the components within and keep e-waste out of landfills. Samsung debuted a number of sustainable innovations, including updates to its SmartThings app, designed to help homeowners optimize the energy settings on their devices and reduce energy bills - and impact. The next phase of Samsung's master planned "net zero community," the Smart City Project, was also unveiled. The concept is being developed in partnership with Siemens and Sterling Ranch in Littleton, Colorado. Finally, Samsung washing machines are taking the company's fight against microplastics a step further with a new "Less Microfiber Cycle" setting. Samsung has partnered with Patagonia on initiatives to reduce the amount of microplastics that make it into the environment. // Panasonic: Recycling Program // Samsung: SmartThings // Sustainable Brands: Panasonic, Samsung Unveil Latest Sustainability Initiatives at CES
Employers love high performers - those employees that go above and beyond by taking on more tasks, picking up slack, working late hours, or consistently moving a company's vision forward. So why are high performers sometimes the least-nurtured employees - leading to burnout, quiet quitting, or leaving the company altogether? Managers can better support their high performers by building an environment of psychological safety, which is one that "encourages team members to care about each other's wellbeing, values contributions, and collaborates to reach shared goals." This requires clear communication from managers and leaders - simply "encouraging transparency isn't enough;" leaders should be models, sharing context and a clear vision for how their teams can accomplish the goals they set out. // Fast Company: Managers, you can support your high performers by asking this question twice