Category — Social Entrepreneurship

Craft @ PopTech

I’ve been up on the coast of Maine for the past two months with the team at PopTech: prepping for “Sparks of Brilliance”, deep diving into the world of social change, stargazing, exploring, and listening to more than my fair share of country music.  This year’s conference is all about creativity – something that is close to my heart and I believe innate in each of us. We may show it in different ways but it is something so essentially human we can’t lose it no matter how hard we might try.

I can’t wait until Thursday when the Camden Opera House fills with guests from across the globe and speakers guide us on a journey of this central theme. If you can’t be there in person, tune in to watch Thursday and Friday via PopTech‘s live stream: – see you there!

October 22, 2013   No Comments

OKA b. By Clear Films Productions

Love this new promo piece for OKA b. from friends Danielle Bernstein and Jason Maris at Clear Films Productions. Beautiful profile of a smart, socially aware and innovative company.

September 19, 2013   No Comments

Green Building Consultancy Verdical Group Launches in LA

I remember first learning about LEED certification and the emergence of the green building industry in 2008 watching Ian Cheney’s film The Greening of Southie at the Camden International Film Festival. What began as a radical undercurrent has slowly but steadily moved toward the mainstream with the U.S. Green Building Council now boasting “77 chapters, 13,000 member organizations and 196,000 LEED professionals”. So what a pleasant surprise it was to reconnect with fellow Mainer Drew Shula and learn that he had leveraged his training in architecture at the University of Notre Dame to launch his LA based green building consultancy: Verdical Group.

In my mind, Drew embodies the best of what it means to be a social entrepreneur or social innovator. His business helps clients like Ramada Inn, ANEW Foundation and Kaiser Permanente realize business savings by implementing strategic, smart green building elements into their projects. It is a do well by doing good model that has potential to effect real positive change. Add to that Verdical Group‘s participation in 1% for the Planet and their team’s media savvy and my bet is that we will be hearing much more from them in the years to come.

Check out this video produced by Change for Balance for a bit more background on the genesis and vision of the company:

And this short documentary on the construction waste project Verdical Group completed for Kaiser Permanente. They were contracted as a subconsultant to ANEW Foundation with a scope that included researching the construction waste diversion regulations in all municipalities in California where Kaiser has a presence. Love the progressive, forward-thinking approach from Kaiser Permanente:

To learn more about Verdical Group: sign up for their newsletter or visit their LinkedIn, Facebook and U.S. Green Building Council member profile.

July 2, 2013   No Comments

Join a CSA

Looking for a way to get access to locally grown, pesticide-free veggies in NYC? I’m proud to be part of the core team at the Central Park West CSA and we’re accepting members through the end of the month. Founded 4 years ago by Forefront Church‘s Jonathan Williams, all veggies are sourced from Angel Family Farm and fruit from Breezy Hill orchard.

Learn more about Angel Family Farm here:

If you’re not on the upper west side, Just Food has a great database of CSAs in the city. It’s a great way to support local farmers and challenge your culinary skills with new produce each week!

May 24, 2013   No Comments


I’m a long-time fan of Shannon South‘s work. Her handbags are beautifully crafted, feminine without being girly and made from sustainably sourced materials. Without a doubt she is a talented designer and artist. But perhaps lesser recognized, is her incredible business savvy. It’s not an easy market to succeed in, with barriers to entry relatively low and so many new designers coming in and out of the space. But, Shannon’s been at it since 2009 and has made a series of thoughtful, strategic changes to her business model in the time since. If I was a betting woman, my money would be on her.

The latest of these shifts is a return to the place where it all started. Remade USA has re-launched as a service to have your leather jackets re-purposed into one-of-a-kind handbags. Loving her tagline: “Upcycle your memories”.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Sarkilahti

To celebrate the launch, they’ve partnered with The Collective to run the Remake My Leather Challenge. Submit your personal story about your old leather jacket to win a redesign into a new bag.

Find out more about the process on the newly re-launched Remade USA site and follow Shannon’s work on her blog at

May 13, 2013   No Comments