Hello, dear readers,
I’m beyond thrilled to be writing this letter to you and to be sharing in my first issue of Conscious Company the stories you’re about to enjoy.
Have you heard the story of runner Roger Bannister? On May 6, 1954, the 25-year-old medical student in London became the first person in recorded history to cross track and field’s most notorious barrier: the four-minute mile. A few years later, a handful of men followed in Bannister’s footsteps, achieving a feat previously deemed impossible.
Some of the world’s most significant anthropological advances seem to have exploded onto the scene much like this elite subset of runners did in the 1950s. These include inventions that also happen to be many of my favorite things: farming, art, the domestication of man’s best friend, and delicious creations like bread, chocolate, and wine. While each of these innovations seems to have manifested simultaneously around the globe — a leap in collective human consciousness, if you will — a more plausible explanation is that each started first in a small pocket of civilization before spreading exponentially until it was pervasive. In the case of the sub-four-minute mile, while it would take another year before a second man broke the barrier, the total number of athletes to follow suit 64 years later has climbed to nearly 1,500.
Since the emergence of language, storytelling has been humanity’s most powerful vehicle for connection and a profound resource for inspiring action, just like news of Bannister’s breakthrough changed other runners’ perceptions of what’s possible. I’m hoping the stories of this issue inspire a wave of action in you — a collective hustle to shift conscious business from a movement to the mainstream.
In addition to our second annual list of World-Changing Women in Conscious Business, this issue features a case study on how to ensure the success of impact investments, business models that illustrate the possibilities for chipping away at gender-based violence, and spotlights on four of our World-Changing Women’s journeys: how Sunrun’s Lynn Jurich endured the infamous financial crisis of 2008 to build a $3 billion public solar empire, how Homeroom’s Erin Wade fostered a restaurant culture of collaboration that led to an innovative system for preventing sexual harassment from customers, how Burton’s Donna Carpenter significantly increased the company’s percentage of women in leadership positions over the past 15 years, and how BRAVA Investments CEO Nathalie Molina Niño is lifting up the next generation of women with her unconventional approach to gender-lens investing. Many of these women tout the importance of knowing yourself and listening to your intuition — excellent insight for any leader, gender aside. To hone this skill, you’ll find SoulTour founder Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s tips for tapping into your inner guidance system, and the case for Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages practice from “The Artist’s Way” author herself.
May these stories change your perception of what’s possible and encourage you to take the leap.