Episode 35 – Preview Interviews with Sustainable Industries Economic Forum Speakers
October 12, 2011
Each year we at Wendel Rosen look forward to the Sustainable Industries Economic Forum in San Francisco. This year’s theme “The Access Economy” will take a closer look at the relationships between brands and consumers. The San Francisco event takes place on October 20, 2011 and is sure to inspire, as well as provide great opportunities for networking.
Alex Bogusky, iconoclastic ad man, who made Crispin Porter + Bogusky the world’s most awarded agency, then turned heads with the launch of the FearLess Revolution, shares his inspiring story and introduces Common, a collaborative brand for social entrepreneurs.
Bonnie Nixon, who redefined supply chain ethics and stakeholder engagement as Director of Environmental Sustainability at HP, talks about scaling sustainability in the world’s most impactful corporations from her new role as Executive Director of The Sustainability Consortium.
BBMG unveils a new branding campaign and the lessons learned from a case study with the founders of Getaround, a fast-growing, San Francisco-based Access Economy icon, winner of the 2010 BBMG Collective Prize presented by Sustainable Industries.
The featured presentations will be followed by interactive Q&A with the experts moderated by Triple Pundit founder Nick Aster (a prior Wendel Forum guest).
In preparation for the event, show host Bill Acevedo managed to get a few minutes with Bonnie and Alex for Episode 35 of The Wendel Forum(originally aired on October 8, 2011 on Green 960 AM radio). These interviews give a brief preview of some of the themes to be explored on the 20th.
In the first segment, Bill talks with Bonnie about The Sustainability Consortium, a diverse group of stakeholders who have come together to drive a new generation of sustainable products and services. A number of private retail and consumer product companies are engaged in the Consortium, along with representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and academics. All of these stakeholders are exploring ways to advance science to drive a new generation of innovative products and supply networks that tackle the environmental, social and economic imperatives we face today.
Bonnie explains how the future of The Sustainability Consortium is working to enhance science to better inform decision makers on the sustainability of products. This research will generate new indicators and methodologies for understanding and evaluating the environmental attributes and impacts of products. This transparency could empower companies, investors, consumers and other stakeholders to match business initiatives, investment decisions and purchasing choices related to specific companies and products to their own set of values and priorities. Imagine a world where you could use your phone app to scan a product and get a window into its entire lifecycle through the bar code!
In the second half of the show, Bill talks with FearLess Cottage’s Chief Creative Insurgent Alex Bogusky, who spent the first part of his career building great brands for companies. At some point he became disillusioned with what he calls the one-sidedness of the brand/consumer relationship. He took that frustration and founded The FearLess Cottage, described on its website as “an informal clubhouse for insurgents in a new consumer revolution.”
Alex explains that there is a current window of power in the hands of consumers to help shape companies and
products to better match their values through consumption and buying habits. By asserting this “voting choice” the consumer/citizen can influence even the large corporations, which have considerable sway over government — and, in turn, over us. He suggests that, while there is a potential for more transparency, consumers don’t always choose to look as closely as we should, saying that “democracy hasn’t permeated capitalism yet.” He challenges the listener to use resources like Good Guide and to vote with purchasing dollars as a way to combat corporate special interests. It is a challenge we should all take.
For those who are in the Bay Area and have an interest in a deeper discussion of these topics, we’ll see you on the 20th at The St. Regis for the Sustainable Industries Economic Forum.
Listen to the interviews with Bonnie and Alex: Episode 35 of The Wendel Forum
The Sustainability Consortium website: http://www.sustainabilityconsortium.org/
The Good Guide website: www.goodguide.com
The FearLess Cottage website: http://fearlessrevolution.com/
Sustainable Industries Economic Forum event registration: http://sustainableindustries.com/events/economic-forums/sustainable-industries-economic-forum
BBMG website: http://bbmg.com/
Triple Pundit website: http://www.triplepundit.com/
Bill Acevedo online bio: www.wendel.com/wacevedo
Green 960 AM radio website: www.green960.com