Carol Sanford: Three Sustainable Business Innovators Who Inspire Me

bunsundesigns January 3, 2015
“At its best, entrepreneurialism combines initiative, innovation, and risk-taking with a desire to bring real value to the world. To do this requires tenaciously challenging the limits (perceived or real) of what is possible.”

-From The Responsible Entrepreneur by Carol Sanford


I AM VERY EXCITED ABOUT CHERYL CONTEE, who is doing some different things with social media to change what people think social media is for. Cheryl, who founded, is working on helping people see how they can serve change through social media. She helped the group MomsRising, which wants to change the way we think about motherhood and the role mothers play and how powerful they are in affecting policy. She has created a company that is helping nonprofits change public policy. She was involved in creating groups to help fight the battle between crack and cocaine. Basically, if you were black, you smoked crack and went to prison for four times or five times longer than the middle class professional white guy whose drug is simply called cocaine. She helped the group who was trying to change this policy using social media, using outrage, and using media in such an effective way that it actually caused Nancy Pelosi to introduce a bill. Congress has since signed the bill and many people are now being released from prison. That is what I call changing the system, really changing the system.


LISA CURTIS AND HER TEAM AT KULI KULI are using a plant substance called moringa that is very high-protein and filled with vitamins to make food products and bars, all while supporting women-owned farming cooperatives in West Africa where they source the plant. Their intention is to change the snack food bar industry. They are making a great product and make a really healthy bar. Most bar options right now are kind of semi-good; there are a few raw bars, but most of them really don’t have enough protein. I am very excited about what they are doing.


THE FUTURE OF FISH IS A NONPROFIT that helps to create a more transparent supply chain for seafood. They have people working together – not just knowing each other, but actually working together – from the boat and the captain, to the people who run the canning process, to the distributors. When you get Future of Fish products at the store, they will tell you the name of the boat captain,the water where it was caught, and who handled it. By tracing the entire supply chain and being transparent about it, the whole system is beginning to shift.

Carol Sanford has been leading major consulting change efforts in both Fortune 500 and new-economy businesses for more than 35 years. Her client list includes Colgate, DuPont, Intel, Agilent and leaders of corporate responsibility such as Seventh Generation. Her work is also used in a Google Innovation Lab. Carol has published work in 10 different languages, including a series of articles in Executive Excellence and Stephen Covey’s newsletter and At Work. She holds undergraduate degrees from UC Berkeley in Economics and Public Law and a graduate degree from California State University, San Jose, in Urban Planning.

Social Entrepreneurship / Stakeholder Capitalism
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