On the Net Impact Conference: Sasha Purpura

November 19, 2009

I was truly inspired by the turnout at the Net Impact conference this year.  There were over 2,400 attendees, all seeking to positively change the world through business.  At the same time I realized both how unique our Green MBA program at Antioch is, and how even the most traditional business schools are pulling together like-minded students to educate themselves and others on how to incorporate sustainability into business.

The conference gave me the opportunity to meet others, like myself, not only across the country (and world) but from the Boston area.  I’ve already reached out to a couple since the conference has ended and see this growing network as a significant opportunity to connect with others both personally and professionally as I re-define my career.

– Sasha Purpura
Net Impact Member since 2009


On the Net Impact Conference 2009: Brianna Bain

November 19, 2009

Wow, what a conference this year. If you haven’t been before I would definitely recommend it. From the myriad of inspired students and professionals, amazing panelists and key note speakers to mingling after the conference with people who have traveled from across the nation and from other countries, my conference weekend will not soon be forgotten.

The highlight of the weekend for me was the closing Key Note panel . It included Seth Godlman- CEO of Honest Tea, Jeff Furman- Board Member of Ben and Jerry’s and Lisa Lorimer- Founder of Vermont Bread. Their discussion topic was focused on maintaining their social mission while growing to scale, labeled “selling up or selling out”. I was in total awe during this discussion, these three have taken bold strides that to the traditional social driven eye would seem suicidal or at least against all underlying social missions. Once given the chance to explain their
strategic moves, it was clear to me that they are in a sense truest from of change maker. They risk their brand identity to further spread the breadth and depth of their mission and only accepted deals that would allow them to maintain control and ability to to stand for what they believe in. I think too often deals like this are seen as signing your soul over to the devil, but if the devil owns the #1 largest distributing company to spread your product and mission to otherwise unreachable markets, you have the opportunity to have the conversation of why high fructose corn syrup is not in your product as sales steadily climb, while never actually selling any part of your soul, I’d say go for it. Some might say “They” (the big guys) sold out to these social mission power houses. A very good sign! The most sustainable/efficient action is to use what structure is already in place rather than fight against it and
this exactly what they have done.

What an inspiring, eye opening weekend!

-Brianna Bain
Net Impact member since 2008

Event: Learning Lab with Ron Maine

November 11, 2009

Net Impact invites you to join Ron Maine to investigate whether or not a more inclusive approach to opinions, attitudes and values can serve to enhance the sustainability of business enterprise.  Bring your ideas, your questions and your lunch!

Where: Antioch New England
40 Avon Street
Keene, NH 03431
Room E 101
When: Friday November 20, 2009
11am – 12:30
Contact: Chad Braden
(603) 998-4387

There will be a presentation followed by a participatory question and answer. This event is a Net Impact Learning Lab event that is open to all.

Ron will discuss his work using the PAME (Participatory analysis monitoring and evaluation) method. It offers new and promising ideas for appropriate and suustainable development. If flips the traditional top-down development approach to a bottom-up approach which encourages supports and strengthens community and organizational stakeholder’s existing abilities to identify their own needs, set their own objectives and monitor and evaluate them.

The most telling benefits of participatory approaches are realized during planning stages, providing a feeling of ownership and responsibility on the part of the stakeholders.  These adjustments, identified by the cooperating individuals/groups, may well serve to enhance both the acceptability and sustainability of the endeavor.

About Ron Maine:
Ron has 20 years of field experience as a fisheries training officer for the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization).  He worked primarily in Asia and Africa, setting up and monitoring programs dedicated to training for sustainable fishing practices. Ron is an Adult and Extension Education Specialist now retired after serving 22 years in that capacity.  He received his MEd. from the University Of Rhode Island and his PRA Practitioners Training from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), London, UK.

Post Event: Conversation with Joe

November 5, 2009

Having Joe Laur as a guest speaker was a great way to kick off the events for the year. This year’s events are focused on “Communicating Sustainability” and he is a great example of someone who can communicate sustainability to a wider audience.

He spoke of his work as a consultant in working with businesses to establish more sustainable practices – for its profits, its employees and customers, and the environment. He gave us some success stories like the Xerox Lakes Project where they are able to reuse and transform parts of older machines into materials for their new machines to increase their profit margins as well as to reduce their wastes. Another success story was the transformation of Nike whose reputation was damaged by sweatshop allegations to one involved in corporate responsibility.


Make sure to check out some of his work with SoL and Greenopolis too. Keep an eye out for the nearest GreenOps near you!


If you were there, we’d love to hear what you thought!