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The latest news, food for thought, recipes you’ll love, great advice on everything from raising kids to nurturing bees, plus videos designed to entertain, educate and enlighten. If you’d like to find out what’s on our mind – or let us know what’s on yours -- this is place to be.

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Wiping Up History

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Author: the Inkslinger

In 2001, we had a problem with our baby wipes. Or rather with the manufacturing partner who produced our formula for us. What happened next is a case study in the challenges that socially responsible businesses so often face. Literally. By that I mean that University of Oregon Lundquist College of Business Professor Mike Russo and former grad student Dan Goldstein have actually turned the story into one that just won the 2007 oikos Sustainability Case Writing Competition sponsored by the oikos Foundation at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

The case study, Seventh Generation: Balancing Customer Expectations with Supply Chain Realities, topped 22 other submitted case studies to take top honors. You can read it here.

While we were all being interviewed for the project and reliving the days back when, we took the opportunity to turn on our video cameras and make our own little mini-movie about the experience for the archives:

It’s an interesting parable about how difficult it can be for a small socially responsible company when the right thing and the profit thing don’t want to get along, which actually describes a fairly typical day around here. What do you do? Here’s what we did when the wipe out loomed, and while I don’t think there’s anybody here who would ever want to go through it again, I’m also sure there’s no one who isn’t thankful for the lessons learned.

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Things Worth Knowing

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Author: the Inkslinger

They say we live in the age of information. Wireless internet, satellite TV, digital radio, ThisTube, ThatTube, a zillion channels and everything’s on. Information is everywhere. People traffic in it. Profit from it. Spread it. Share it. Find it. Know it. We cram our tired heads with trivia and ephemera and worse, but to what end?

Because the fact is, information is only as useful as the things we can do with it. If we can’t do anything personally constructive or publicly useful with a specific piece of information, that’s the tip-off that we should ignore it and move on. There’s nothing to see here.

Slap that kind of filter over your private inputs and watch the static and the noise drop like a stone. Listen to how quiet it gets. See how very little useful necessary vital information there actually is swirling around out there in the i-storm we call the modern world. 99.99% of it just goes poof. Still, there is always information we can use in some way. There are always some things worth knowing. Here’s a few that are…

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More on Bee-ing and Nothingness

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Author: the Inkslinger

Several interesting developments on the bee front in recent days. For one thing, it’s been gratifying to (finally) see the mainstream media pick up the story. Seems like it took forever, but the issue (and a fair amount of its seriousness) is at last being communicated by TV, newspapers, and other conventional media outlets. People are talking about it. Attention is being focused. That’s a good thing because that’s how action happens. If nobody knows or cares about a crisis, it generally isn’t treated like one.

So the public eye is opening on the fate of the honey bees. But you won’t yet find the real eye-opening news in USA Today or on CNN. Instead, what would seem to bee the big story can be found a report published on the Organic Consumers Association website from the Guerilla News Network.

It says that unlike their captive specially-bred cousins, organic bees doing fine. There are no reports of the so-called colony collapse disorder in organic hives. The scary weird die-off is only occurring among factory-farmed bees living in conventionally maintained hives

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1,200 Change It Applicants!

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Author: Lara Petersen

With less than 12 hours left until the application deadline for Change It 07 I am overwhelmed by the number of students who have already applied.

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Work + Employee Ownership = Happiness

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Author:

Several months ago the U.K.-based Employee Ownership Association published an exceptionally important and insightful report about the tremendous benefits of employee-owned companies. The report has some invaluable observations for all businesses, and I highly recommend it. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Employee owned businesses have the potential to meet two vital objectives, which are too often seen as diametrically opposed. They are ideal vehicles for meeting productivity challenges but also for generating happiness; an employee-owned company is a wellbeing creator as well as a wealth creator.
  • The Employee Ownership Index (EOI) has consistently outperformed the FTSE All-Share. In cash terms, an investment of £100 in the EOI in 1992 would have been worth £349 at the end of June 2003; the same amount invested in the FTSE All-Share would have been worth £161.
  • For a worker on a $65,000 a year salary, an increase from a job satisfaction score of 8/10 to 9/10 delivers as much extra happiness as an extra $35,000 in their annual pay check.
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Today We Give Peace a Chance

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Author: the Inkslinger

Peace is something the world could certainly use a little more of these days. Or a lot more depending on which direction you’re looking. So today, along with a bunch of other people and organizations, we’re thinking about peace and encouraging peace and just sort of ruminating on the idea as way to tap into whatever universal mind there might be and send positive signals into it. The occasion, ostensibly, is the publication of a new book called Where Peace Lives by Debbie Robins. But really peace doesn’t need a day or a moment. It should live and be everywhere always. It’s how we’re going to get where we need to go. From how we treat each other to how we treat nature, it’s really the only road there is to take.

I think when we talk about creating peace we’re really talking about evolving to a higher plane. Because “peace” is not just about no war. It’s not merely a condition of existence, a switch that’s either on or off. It cuts deeper than that. It’s a state of nonviolent being that exists on a higher plane. It’s the culmination of the acquisition of the wisdom needed to expose violence for the cruel madness it is. And once we see, we’ve grown.

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