Good-will hunting for big brands
San Diego, California – Washing us clean of branding design challenges, the day kicks off with Marc Mathieu of Unilever who does a fine job of introducing us to the players of the day. We move onto scaling the stark face of climbing with Ed Viesturs, a professional mountaineer, who has scaled all the major peaks He expressed his dismay and motivation for becoming a change maker as a result of other climber littering the mountain with discarded oxygen. Being a adventure risk taker, he decided not to use oxygen and initiated a clean up of the landscape.
His path to becoming sustainable initially began, simply, because it was cheaper. The same philosophy is true of things. Every year, lots of people will buy new item this year as last year’s is passé. He doesn’t as a deliberate part of his personal culture. He also discussed the next level we are moving into of minimization among groups. Shared goods economy consists of creating ways people can rent locally, share things like cars, computers, network, and in this case mountain gear, Changes in their systems of tourism now enables people to diminish their impact through car pooling to the mountain. They still have their vacation and adventure needs, without the hassle of lugging the gear, with the compliment of less resources being used.
An esteemed panel discussed Jan Wikman’s system Eco-Bonus with folks from GoodGuide, Soap Group, Haberman, and SPINS. Apparently cereal boxes with rewards are highly coveted by children and motivate a lot of sales for cereal companies. Taking the same approach, Eco-Bonus will reward customers for choosing sustainable brands, and then reward brands with more purchases and loyalty to products.
Michael Dupee talks about Green Mountain Coffee Roasters’s agenda of rethinking Consumer Engagement through methodical plan as part of their corporate culture. Green Mountain coffee spoke about the addressing the single serving devices. People like to see big leaps, but the Green Mountain folk are more methodical to addressing problems one step at a time. They see incremental change on a mass level as a significant catalyst for tipping point.
That doesn’t mean innovative and rapid change is not welcome – it is a reality check and study of how to effect change in the real world. All of this takes a massive analysis of data – or should I say DATA…there really is a mind-boggling amount available that needs to be parse.
So thankfully, we have stellar companies to help us with sorting through the massive amounts of information available. In comes Peter Graf presents solutions by SAP, a company who helps make the lives of millions of people safer and healthier through their software systems. By putting the operational data into the hands of the key business decision makers, SAP empowers them to make the best decisions for their brand. Without that, businesses around the world would miss key miss opportunities to reduce risk and find areas for cost efficiency. SAP builds software to enable 170,000 customers to correlate this data, embedding sustainability in those core processes. They also have some great sustainability programs such a women’s coop.
This current state of technology is a power for change that didn’t exist 5 years ago. The question is do we have an interest in changing human or consumer behavior? By creating main-stream movements and mass audience with incremental changes can have a massive impact according to Ian Yolles of Recyclebank. Technology – particularly the internet – has created vehicles for change affecting millions in radically accelerated cycles than ever experienced in history. Harnessing the internet for global solutions is one of our greatest tools for transformational change.
Starbucks is embracing the model of sourcing local – on all levels, down to the wood on the table. Using architectural design integrating local materials, arts, resources (such a felled ash tree, 3 miles from their store), to reflect their “shared planet” sensibility. Starbucks is reinforcing local influences, an incredible feat within 50 countries where they are making each store lead certified. As a result, Starbucks brought lead certification to China. Arthur Rubinfeld, President Global Development, Starbucks explains that the brand is agrarian, earthy and into dirt. Other aspects of branding include positioning coffee retailing without many words to reflect the 3% of global. Attention to detail is so deep, they address the ergonomics of each culture, such as smaller chairs in China to accommodate the smaller frames.
Chris Librie fills us in on the remarkable work by SC Johnson working in Rwanda and Kenya as examples of the positive impacts of business within third world countries. Life at the bottom of the pyramid is one of the greatest design challenges of our future and opportunity to shift humanity up another level. Working with the local communities in Rwanda, SC Johnson has been able to re-educate a population who lost the knowledge that created economic stability in a society torn apart by violence.
Panera’s Pay What You Can Stores is a new approach to philanthropy to address poverty in America. Reinventing food shelters by creating restaurants to feed people and create environments to bring people together offers dignity to a food insecure US population struggling with 10% unemployment. Ronald Shaich, Founder & Executive Chairman, Panera Bread is excited to have discovered a concept to create a sustainable model that replaces the disempowering food kitchen.
How does Panera create a self-sustaining community restaurant, and empower communities to take care of each other? They opened restaurants in diverse neighborhoods to serve the hungry and also bring in paying customers to sustain the restaurants. Learning lessons included discovering that their signage was useless resulting in personal greeting to communicate the shared responsibility to keep the restaurants open. People want to contribute so they learned to manage the balance of volunteers, community needs. It’s more than a simple handout. They are training youth in job training and collaborating with local organizations. Trust and transparency is the foundation of the model to help the community. People talk about it, feel it and appreciate it. Standing ovation by SB11.
The day continued with more education. Frankly, the breakout sessions are so prolific it has been hard to choose which amazing thought worker to listen and learn from. Meanwhile, these people are immortal. The attendees have been absorbing days of incredible information, laden, jam-packed educational sessions after the tequila shots, wine and guitar the night before! But they are still rocking! There’s a full band jamming upstairs. So while I would give anything to sit in the sauna and Jacuzzi at this delicious spa we are at by the sea called The Portola Hotel I am driven to go upstairs and have another moment with these amazing brilliant people.
Play is celebrated and recognized here as a driving factor of productivity. Work hard, play hard – I’ll say! I need a nap.
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