This Friday and Saturday was the Conscious Capitalism conference and it attracted hundreds of people who try to be purposeful about their lives and others’ future while running some of the top innovative and interesting companies in the world. I got to meet the founders of Natures path, do crafts, put away some coats, see the first solar powered scooter, learn what early birds look like, and get to know about WholeFoods more and why Every Monday Matters.
First off, what’s conscious capitalism? My housemate was wondering if that meant the rest of the capitalist world were unconscious (maybe, why else would people make food that will promote their majority of population being obese or add toxins to their lakes-also they might just be unaware that we can live well and assist others!) … Well, the conference is powered by the views of John Mackey (Whole Foods Market cofounder) and Raj Sisodia (cofounder of Conscious Capitalism, Inc.), who co-authored a book with the same name. The duo argue for the good of both business and capitalism exists if the companies can use: higher purpose, stakeholder integration, conscious leadership, and conscious culture and management in building strong “conscientious” businesses.
Day one, understanding the people behind the companies:
The first day started at 8am, and early birds got to hear the founder of Whole Foods followed by talks from some of the coolest, interesting, and valuable companies in this space. My favorite talk came from Method cleaning products’ founder Eric Ryan, who came out wearing a white jumpsuit and started the talk saying. “Hi my name is Eric Ryan and I make soap!” Who would have thought something so simple as going “green” in the soap world could also make you lots of money- in 2012 they sold to Ecover, a Belgian green cleaning product company. Together the brands all gross sales if approximately 200million USD. The first bottle of dish soap created by them was designed by Karim Rashid, who Timemagazine in the past has called him the ‘Most Famous Industrial Designer in All the Americas’ for his work. To say the least this company was started by some winning people.
Many of these companies were those I knew about from when I had started Dutiee.com and written about social good. Yet, now I was learning about the people behind these products and companies.
My favorite family that I met was definitely the founders of Nature’s Path, Aaron and Ratana Stephens. They started Nature’s Path in 1985, in British Columbia, with their first product being Manna bread and now are North America’s largest cereal brand. Their granola “Iove crunch” was a hit and I was happy to take some home with me to crunch on and remember the truly lovely nature of this family!
Day One was packed and after some great talks that you can view at the Conscious Capitalism site, and some time bonding with old and new friends, everyone was ready to get to do some cocktail hours and sleep and await for day two and it’s many workshops. Yet the day didn’t end without me getting a glimpse of some tech gear: the first solar powered scooter, that I social cam’d about. The scooter is a bit pricey with it going for just above 1k, but still looked like a lot of fun.
Day Two was about getting deeper understanding:
Day two for the conference was filled with sessions to help foster leadership, learn from Whole foods and their amazing bond with their teams, and also learn a bit about myself and why Mondays matter.
The sessions were full of creative chats, some more interesting than others (as is always the case) and with two sessions with 7 options falling before and after a super yummy lunch. I’m not sure I’m one to want to volunteer in anything where you need to be up early, but the amazing stories I learned were worth all of it! I can’t fit all of the experiences on here at once, so I will be sharing some of my Instagram photos and creating a post on why Every Monday Matters.
Check out photos from #cc2013 on twitter at the hash tag and @consciouscap
Thanks to Christine Mason McCaull for getting me a volunteer spot and all the lovely people I met this weekend for adding some insight into what it means to be a conscious capitalist!
Here’s a noisy but funny video of the scooter from Day One:
Below are some photos from Day One and the amazing lunch spot from Day 2.