Net Impact invites you to join Mark Bates of the Continuum Design Consultancy and Jeff Rosen of Antioch University New England for a morning exploring issues of communication facing social purpose businesses in today’s marketplace. How can businesses translate their message of sustainability to consumers and investors in order to find success?
||Antioch New England
40 Avon Street
Keene, NH 03431
||Friday February 12, 2010
10am – 12:30
This event is free and open to all.
Mark Bates will present the Colorblind research study. Increasingly, Green issues are influencing purchase decisions, but what does Green mean to a consumer? There’s no right answer, of course, but there are several ways to think about how consumers make choices in regards to sustainability, recycling and product lifecycle. And choice is the key. Consumer’s purchase decisions depend upon many factors. Green issues add to the knowledge and opinions that affect the decisions and may swing the balance one way or the other.
To help to answer this question the Continuum Design Consultancy started a conversation with consumers in the form of the Colorblind research study. Colorblind is an ever-evolving study of how consumers feel about sustainability. Continuum engaged hundreds of consumers from across the country to find out what “Green” means to them.
Jeff Rosen will speak on the challenges of running a social purpose business profitably and in a way that attracts investment. Social purpose businesses are constantly faced with the difficulty of internalizing external costs and locating customers who are willing to pay a premium for their products while competing with other businesses that are equally socially purposed in operations and intent.
Social purpose entrepreneurs to be able to communicate the value of blended returns – social, financial and environmental – in order to attract social capital.
About Mark Bates:
Principal, Product Innovation, Continuum
As a principal in the Product Innovation group, Mark is responsible for leading design teams in creating successful solutions for our clients, their users, and the planet in a wide range of industries, including consumer products, industrial equipment, business and medical equipment. Working with our client team, our internal team and external resources, Mark directs design teams that define and balance the needs of the client with the needs of their customers and consumers in a sustainable way.
Since joining Continuum in 1995, Mark has been involved in the design and management of several major programs. Projects include; consumer goods for P&G, Coleman, Sunbeam, Oster, Charbroil, OXO, KVH, Winiamando; business electronics for Motorola, APC, PictureTel, and IPC; and medical and life science products for Herman Miller, BioMerieux, Dade, OraPharma, and US Genomics.
Mark has taken a leadership role on several initiatives aimed at growing and positioning Continuum as a leader in the industry. Initiatives include the development of a robust and consistent project management experience for both our clients and our project teams. After extensive design research in main-land China, Mark has helped define and strengthen Continuum’s presence in China. Mark is currently leading Continuum’s efforts to become a more sustainable company.
Prior to joining Continuum, Mark held the position of Manager of Industrial Design at Motorola’s Information Systems Group. He also gained significant experience in all aspects of product development at Data General Computer (acquired by EMC).
Mark holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design from the University of Bridgeport.
About Jeff Rosen:
Adjunct Faculty, ANE Department of Organization and Management
Financial Manager, Solidago Foundation
As a resource economist, working in the mid 90s, Jeff focused on viable methodologies for analyzing project impacts, according to rigorous sustainability requirements.
He has been a serial entrepreneur, owning several start-up small businesses, and serving as the financial officer for several food sector companies on their own growth trajectories. He has also served as the senior financial manager for several non-profits, including his current role at a progressive grant maker, the Solidago Foundation. In this role, he heads up the foundation’s social purpose investments, and gets to work with many other foundations, working to carve out the new social capital marketplace.
At Antioch, he urges his students to think small. He designs course content to help students to think in numbers, to understand what it takes to convert big thought into daily business or community practice. Jeff feels strongly that the next challenge for the sustainability movement lies in developing practitioners who can implement its broadest objectives in the smallest components. He helps his students recognize that even patient capital investors require a return and to identify the common and sustainability oriented skills they will need to run profitable businesses, or serve a community that calculates both social and financial returns.
Jeff has a degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and a Masters of Science in Resource Utilization from the University of Maine.