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

Employers Embracing Wellness

Loving this article, All in a Day’s Work, in the recent issue of Yoga Journal profiling companies that are taking innovative approaches to embracing wellness in the workplace. Having opted out of the traditional corporate culture myself now almost 5 years ago it’s no surprise to read about the negative impacts of sitting still staring at a screen all day.

What is surprising is the sheer number and scope of companies that are really embracing these non-traditional approaches, realizing that it not only keeps team members happy but makes them more productive, engaged and creative.

From the article: “Play breaks make you more efficient, says Scott Eberle, editor of the American Journal of Play: ‘Walk away from your desk, whistle ‘Moondance,’ and spin a yo-yo a few times, and you return refreshed and ready.’ “

Very hopeful, positive trends!

August 12, 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

Music For Tomorrow

There’s nothing quite like shooting a film about an organization to get to know what drives and motivates all those involved. Yesterday I had the pleasure of helping out good friend and co-conspirator Danielle Bernstein on a Clear Films Productions shoot for Music for Tomorrow. We braved the summer heat and lugged gear all around town to document the Music for Tomorrow experience – from the musician’s perspective, the booker’s perspective, and key staff and organizational leaders.

Danielle Bernstein with the event photographer outside O'Nieal's.

In my mind, any day that ends with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, listening to the soul stirring music of Lauren Henderson, is a day well lived. As her band enchanted the crowd at (surprisingly good) O’Nieal’s on Grand, the vision and impact of Music for Tomorrow could be felt so strongly.

Their slogan, “Book a band, create a job”, showcases the simplicity and ease, but the message from all those we spoke with throughout the day was that of a drive that was much more deeply rooted. They believe in the transformative power of music broadly, jazz in particular. They want to celebrate the artists that create that music and make it as accessible to people as possible. A worthy and welcome cause.

June 27, 2013   No Comments