Going to extremes | Purposeful Connections

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Can we bear to read or listen to daily news so fraught with extraordinary climate events? The Kentucky floods. California fires. The Great Salt Lake disappearing before our eyes. Temperatures constantly hitting triple digits, putting lives in danger. These climate "disasters" are so unprecedented that "risk management strategies based on past climate norms are no longer effective for a more extreme future." If your organization is not already pursuing climate commitments and embedding sustainability throughout operations, you are behind. I give huge kudos to the entrepreneurs and innovators who refuse to give up hope and continue pushing for solutions, legislation, and collaborative action to address climate change.

We have long believed that "strange bedfellows" make for the best partnerships. The International Space Station and Estee Lauder are proving that with their collaboration to launch sustainability research into space. Two winning concepts from the Beyond Plastics Challenge, co-led by the Center for Advancement of Science in Space and Estee Lauder, will have the opportunity to advance their innovations in the ISS's weightless environment. Selected projects aim to reduce the introduction of plastic waste into the environment, seek alternative feedstocks and pathways for polymer production, and reduce virgin plastic manufacturing.

Friendships can help lift people out of poverty. This is the profound finding from an expansive report that analyzed social media connections between 72 million people in the U.S., the largest study of its kind. Put simply, when poor children have more friendships that "cut across class lines," they earn significantly more in adulthood. Researchers called these friendships between wealthy and poor children "economic connectedness," and found that it "had a stronger impact than school quality, family structure, job availability, or a community's racial composition."

Opportunities to volunteer through workplace initiatives can increase employees' sense of purpose at work by 33%. As more companies seek to help their employees discover more "meaning" in their roles, they would be wise to examine volunteer policies and benefits. Beyond giving employees a sense of purpose, volunteering promotes leadership development, expands empathy, and even helps counteract the effects of stress and anxiety.

  • ACCP: How Volunteerism Drives Human-Centric Belonging

Is your workplace ADHD-friendly? Around 1 in 20 adults have ADHD, and it's likely that a few of your employees or colleagues are among those diagnosed with the disorder. When managed and accommodated, ADHD can actually be a "superpower," experts say—adults with the disorder are often more creative, and able to hyperfocus on tasks that interest them. But trying to shoehorn an employee with ADHD into "normal" workplace routines can lead to lower productivity and burnout, among other issues.

  • Inc.: Do You Support Your Workers With ADHD? Here's How You Can.

  • CHADD: Workplace Issues