Business Partnerships: The Building Blocks of the New Relationship Economy
On Friday, May 10, 2013, SBN hosted the 2nd Annual Sustainability Leadership Summit! This year marked SBN’s 24th Annual Conference on Sustainable Business– the longest running sustainability conference in the region.
“Inspired, Engaged, Motivated, Hopeful, Ready…” were just a few of the words that we heard during the Closing Process of our Summit.
We, too, were inspired by the passion, creativity, and ingenuity shared over the course of the day. From our dynamic keynote speakers, to our thought-provoking breakout sessions, and finally, to the wealth of innovative Local Economy Action plans developed, we have no question that the work we did last Friday was important and will go a long way towards achieving our goal of a local, green and fair economy for all.
Although this year’s Summit is now over, our real work is just beginning. Let’s continue to build on our new relationships, transform our newfound knowledge into action, and commit to implementing our action plans to ensure the continued growth of the movement. See below for a complete list of Action Plans.
Over 100 participants learned from pioneers and visionaries in the local and sustainable economy movement. Our incredible line-up of keynote and pillar speakers featured:
- Judy Wicks, Co-Founder of BALLE, Founder of SBN Philadelphia, Founder of White Dog Cafe (a sustainable eatery) and author of the new book Good Morning, Beautiful Business!
- David Levine, Co-Founder and CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council, former Director of Sustainable Economies at the Environmental Health Fund, Founding Director of Continuing Education & Public Programs at The Graduate Center, and Founder and executive director of the Learning Alliance.
- Gilda Nogueira, President and CEO at East Cambridge Savings Bank, member of the East Cambridge Savings Bank Board of Trustees and Clerk of the Board of Investment, Clerk of the East Cambridge Savings Charitable Foundation, Massachusetts Bankers Association, Legal & Regulatory Committee Member and Federal Liasson Committee Member.
- Senator Jamie Eldridge, State Senator for Middlesex and Worcester Districts, Vice Chair of the Environment Committee. This year, Senator Eldridge helped pass legislation creating the Water Infrastructure Finance Commission to make sure our communities have clean, safe drinking water for generations to come, in addition to sponsoring many other important environmental bills such as the E-Waste Bill, which will vastly reduce the amount of hazardous chemicals leaching into landfills from e-waste disposal.
- Senator Brian Joyce, Representing Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth Districts, Senate Chair of the Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets, as well as the Senate Vice Chair of the Health Care Financing Committee and Vice Chair of the Financial Services Committee. He is a member of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, and sits on the Economic Development & Emerging Technologies, Elder Affairs and Transportation Committees. He was also appointed to the Probation Reform Working Group.
- Tom Willits, Trustee of the Lydia B. Stokes Foundation (a major supporter of local and sustainable food initiatives), Co-Founder and President of MRW Connected, Inc., a web design and communications company, and Executive Director of MAPS (Music and Poetry Synchronized).
- Eric Hudson, CEO of Preserve Products, a sustainable consumer products company based in Waltham, Massachusetts
- Joe Grafton, Director of Development and Community Engagement at American Independent Business Alliance, Founder Somerville Local First
- Ed Goldman, Vice President of Sales and Business Development for Roxbury Technology Corporation, a minority and woman-owned toner cartridge remanufacturer located in Boston.
- Richard Rossi, Cambridge Deputy City Manager. The City of Cambridge has published a 60-page guide on doing business with women and minority-owned businesses in Cambridge, and has worked for many years to make it easier for local businesses to work with the City of Cambridge.
- Tanya Pope, Executive Director of Construction Business Services at Columbia University. Tanya works with small businesses to improve their capacity to meet the needs of institutional buyers. She served as Executive Director of Education and Corporate Programs at the NYC Department of Small Business Services. In 2012, she was honored as a Women of Excellence by the NYC Women’s Chamber of Commerce—the annual award given to women who have supported the efforts of women, minority and locally owned businesses in NYC.
Colin A. Coleman, Lawyer and Benefit Corporation Specialist, Innovative Business Law Group, PC
Meghan Hubbs, Café Developer, Equal Exchange
- Stacey Cordeiro, Co-op Organizer for the Boston Center for Community Ownership (Moderator)
- Rebekah Hanlon, Marketing at Valley Green Feast. Member representative to the Valley Alliance of Worker Co-operatives, Board Memeber of the Co-operative Fund of New England, and former Co-manager of People’s Market at UMass Amherst.
- Karen Gould, Farmer and Coop Board Member, Pioneer Valley Milk Marketing Cooperative (Our Family Farms)
- Daniel Fireside, Capital Coordinator, Equal Exchange
- Chris Durkin, Director of Membership and Community Relations, Harvest Coop
- Julia Shanks, Owner and Principal, Julia Shanks Food Consulting; Regional Leader, Greater Boston Slow Money; advisory board of Future Chefs; and Co-Founder and Author of several CSA cookbooks
- Lisa Sebesta, Member of Sprout Lenders LLC; quantitative equity analyst and portfolio manager in the investment management industry; launching Sage Impact Investment Research and Consulting
- Dan Pullman, the President of Sprout Lenders, LLC; Chairman of the Spence Group; serves various corporate and advisory boards including the Yale Sustainable Food Project, FERN, and FarmPlate.
- José Luis “Pepe” Rojas, Senior Loan Officer, Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation; former head of lending at Root Capital that focused on financing small and growing rural businesses in Latin America and Africa.
- Stephen H. Burrington, Founder, Renew Energy Partners LLC, an energy efficiency project development and finance firm serving commercial, industrial and non-profit enterprises; Stephen helped state and local leaders and diverse private sector organizations carry out strategies in sustainable energy, transportation, and land use; principal of Serrafix, Inc.; previously served as commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.
- Holly Sklar, Executive Director of Business, Shared Prosperity
- Michael Lapham, Responsible Wealth Project Director, United for a Fair Economy; Member of the Social Venture Network.
- Meghan Hubbs, Café Developer, Equal Exchange
- Arya Shekar, Manager of Legal Strategy and Operations, Dimagi, Inc.
- How the Pioneer Valley Leverages Capital to Grow the Local Food Economy—Led by Tom Willits
- Shifting Markets and Policy: Business leaders Creating Change– Led by David Levine
- Building the Local Economy Movement: One Community at a Time—Led by Joe Grafton
- The Power of Local Procurement to Transform the Local Economy– Led by Rich Rossi, Susan Labandibar, Ed Goldman, and Tanya Pope.
- Building Self-Reliant Local Economies: What Steps Can We Take?– Led by Judy Wicks
- Building a Successful Green Business–Recycling and Manufacturing for Profit–Led by Eric Hudson
- Food Cooperatives and the New Food Economy– Featuring Meghan Hubbs, Stacey Nicola Williams, Karen Gould and Chris Durkin.
- The Many Benefits of Becoming a Massachusetts Benefit Corporation– with Colin Coleman, Katrina Kazda (Moderator), and more.
- Raising Local Capital: Stories from the Field– with Julia Shanks, Lisa Sebesta, Dan Pullman, José Luis “Pepe” Rojas and more.
Action Plan Development
Our Summit is organized in a unique format that incorporates the most dynamic open space technology designs. The core of the Summit is the spirit, knowledge, and know-how of participating local economy leaders and the format leverages interactivity and conversation with a focus on measurable results. All speakers offer several Calls to Action in their presentations as a way of seeding new ideas and getting the creative juices flowing. The Open Space for Local Economy Actions sessions will galvanize the energy in the room as folks gather around Calls to Action that Summit participants are passionate about.
This year’s Summit generated over a dozen diverse Calls to Action’s, many of which will be actualized throughout the year!
The remarkable growth of the sustainable business movement has opened up new opportunities for strengthening existing networks, building partnerships, and discovering new solutions to the economic challenges of our time. The intention of the Summit is to strengthen and connect local business networks to result in concrete actions that build our local economy.
The Summit is organized around five topic areas and pillars of a
strong local economy:
- Building Strong Local Economies and Vibrant Communities through Local First Networks
- Growing the Green Economy
- Deepening the Local Ecosystem of Business to Business Relationships
- Raising Capital for Localized Economic Development
- Transforming the Local Food System
The 2013 Summit featured short inspirational keynote speakers, interactive networking activities, breakout educational sessions, and open space technology programs to generate new action plans for change.
Join us next year for a day of connection, sharing, learning and, most important, advancing our movement in New England and Beyond!
For more information on previous Summit conferences, check out these links:
SPONSORED in part by:
Special thank you to our Community Sponsors:
Save That Stuff
Recycled Paper Printing
Irving House at Harvard
The Elephant Walk Waltham
Somerville Sustainable Cleaning Interise
Les Harris/Heartland Payment Systems