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About a week ago, I was in Boston participating in a conference that I had helped to organize with Peter Senge. For two days, the Summit on the Future of the Corporation explored how to redesign the corporation to maximize its positive effect on society. The conference was one of the most stimulating and exciting that I have been to in a long time – and I go to way too many of them.
There were many wonderful speakers that I had never before met including author and organizational behavior specialist Charles Handy; Business Strategist Arie de Geus; Michael Marx , Executive Director of Corporate Ethics International; Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter; and corporate governance expert Robert Monks.
The following day I spoke to the entrepreneurs club at New York University’s Stern Business school, followed by a talk at the
Ad Age idea Conference at the Nokia Theatre, where I felt compelled to challenge the industry to exercise some more control over the recent spate of deceptive “green” advertising. (Inkslinger’s post yesterday has a link to a brief video clip of my presentation.)
The conference was followed by an interview with Fortune Magazine that resulted in an online story titled “A Green Giant Warms Up to Wal-Mart.” The subtitle, “Household products outfit Seventh Generation says it’s considering doing a deal with the controversial retailer” wasn’t quite true. The truth is that:
- We have not had any conversations with Wal-Mart about selling Seventh Generation products.
- The article was really triggered by our recognition of Wal-Mart’s improved performance in a recent analysis we conducted evaluating the social & environmental performance of major retailers. (I’ll have more to say about our new analysis in the November edition of our e-mail newsletter, the Non-Toxic Times, which is coming out next week.
- We wouldn’t make such a decision without first checking in our consumers and stakeholders and hearing their concerns and points of view(on that note please let me know what you think.)
A day or so later, AD AGE MAGAZINE selected Seventh Generation as one of the top 50 marketers of 2007. Our box of facial tissue was strategically placed next to Steve Jobs and the iphone. (Inkslinger’s post yesterday also has a link to this special magazine feature.)
After that, it was on to a Greenpeace board meeting in Washington, DC to strategize on how to stop global warming. Then back to New York for lunch with the President of Martha Stewart Omni Media. And finally to the dentists for dentist appointment for the last of three visits to perform a root canal. On and off during the week we also completed our 2008 budget.
Now I’m back in Vermont and ready to relax with my family and celebrate the days ahead. On that note, I hope everyone has a terrific holiday filled with all the things that matter most. My thanks and good wishes to you all!