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Innovation-focused CEOs and investors across the professional services, technology, life sciences and advanced energy sectors came together through The Alliance For Business Leadership's CEO Summit on Sustainable Business; Growing Margins, Growing Markets at the Harvard Club in Boston October 22nd.
Guided by global thought leaders, engaged by top national policy-makers, and inspired by top innovation CEOs and investors, participants in the Alliance's 8th annual fall CEO Summit initiated and deepened longer-term collaborations to help their companies, the region, and the U.S. move to leadership in the global move to more sustainable business.
Highlights from the Summit are listed below. View the entire recap here.
Andrew Winston, a top business author and a business strategist to companies leading globally in the move to more sustainable business, set the conceptual stage and shared insights from his new book The Big Pivot, which was provided to participants. Andrew made it clear that the global C-Suite is embracing a commitment to more sustainable business as a more strategic approach to continuous innovation and optimization in an increasingly global, resource constrained and knowledge based economy.
Mindy Lubber, the President of Ceres, threw in high-relief how, specifically, a CEO could most effectively "become a lobbyist." She mentioned two specific opportunities for immediate and enduring public leadership by business: Ceres' Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) and its outstandingly successful Climate Declaration; and second, the Clean Trillion campaign, which offers a money-making solution to the existential challenge posed by climate change.
Mari Ryan, CEO of Advancing Wellness, Susan Hunt Stevens, CEO of WeSpire and Norm Gorin, CEO of Instinct Health Science, Inc. were the day's first CEO discussion leaders. Mari provided an introduction and overview to the mission-critical issue of employee engagement and, specifically, how employees might best be engaged for a healthier and more productive workplace respectful of well-being and encouraging innovation and excellence. Susan inspired with her tale of WeSpire's remarkable success, providing an integrated software platform for employees engagement provided by WeSpire and recently invested in by EnerNoc. Norm then shared how his company iDiet had created demonstrable success with dozens of top corporate clients and the MA Museum of Science. Read more about Sustainably Engaged Employees, including blog posts from Mari and Norm, here.
Participating business leaders broke out into separate groups to initiate and deepen collaborations around more sustainable investing and how MA might lead in providing a revenue-neutral approach to pricing carbon pollution.
James Roosevelt, CEO of Tufts Health Plan was joined by Trish Karter, CEO of LightEffect Farms, to update Alliance leaders on the effort they have led to "Clear the Path" for Women in Business Leadership. See below for a recap of their June 11th event at MIT with Mayor Walsh and Governor Patrick.
Kip Hollister, CEO & Founder of Hollister Inc., introduced MA Secretary of Labor Rachel Kaprielian, who provided an update on the Governor's efforts to advance women in business.
Alliance Leaders were pleased to be joined again this year in their fall conference by U.S. Senator Ed Markey - a global leader in the necessary move to a more sustainable economy. Senator Markey joined a discussion led by Alliance Vice Chair Jeff Bussgang that was focused on successful models of public-private partnership.
Jeff was joined by Alliance Leaders Ian Bowles, former Secretary of Energy & Environment in MA and CEO of Wind Sail Capital Group, and fellow Alliance Vice Chair Dr. Joshua Boger, the founder and long-time CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals - one of the nation's fastest growing public companies.
Senator Markey provided an energizing close to the discussions talking about the "Massachusetts' business model" as reflected in the Bay State's top ranking in education- in math and science, in particular, throughout elementary and secondary education- and the success of more than 100 MA colleges and universities in attracting and retaining top knowledge workers from around the U.S. and the world. He also commended the ability of the MA business community to work with government as a partner to empower smaller, innovative companies.
Gathering at MIT on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, Boston business leaders from the banking, tech, service, biomedical, and many other sectors agreed that the time has come for action on closing the gender wage gap, and increasing the number of women on boards.
Alliance leaders Jim Roosevelt, CEO of Tufts Health Plan, and Trish Karter, Founder of LightEffect Farms, welcomed a broad cross-section of Boston-area CEOs to Clearing the Path, an invitation-only event sponsored by Alliance for Business Leadership. Karter and Roosevelt invited attendees to use their influence to jump-start action in the arenas where they lead.
Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter of Harvard Business School provided a compelling review of the evidence that business organizations with women on their boards, and where the pay gap has largely been closed, have a competitive advantage in today's global economy.
But most of the time was reserved for a no-holds-barred discussion led by Betsy Myers, Founding Director of the Center for Women and Business at Bentley University. Contributors shared their experience, frustrations, and accomplishments in the long road to gender equality in the workplace. One discussant summed up the state of affairs this way: "We're not where we used to be, but we aren't where we're going, either."
Participants shared stories and experiences that reflected both the difficulty and the do-ability of meeting these challenges. Many best practices were called out by CEOs who had used them with success. The Alliance will follow up on the conversation by compiling the best practices mentioned and making them available to all who are looking for the best way forward.
The energy in the room will give new impetus to the many organizations (click here) which are already working in this area and which have many successes to share, as well as challenges to meet. While Clearing the Path is not another new organization, the Alliance for Business Leadership will follow up on the conversation and check on progress at its Eighth Annual Fall CEO Summit, "Sustainable Business: Growing Markets, Growing Margins," on October 22nd.
The Boston Globe, Op-Ed, November 11, 2014: “Having no other mines to work, Massachusetts has mined into the human intellect; and, from its limitless resources, she has won more sustaining and enduring prosperity and happiness than if she had been founded on a stratification of silver and gold, reaching deeper down than geology has yet penetrated.” — Horace Mann, 1846 For generations Massachusetts has aimed to build a strong and vibrant economy that creates opportunity and broadly shared, sustainable prosperity. How are we doing? We don’t really know because we don’t have good systems for measuring. Our major measure of economic progress is the gross domestic product. Almost 50 years ago Robert Kennedy described the problems with this measure. “GDP counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. Yet GDP does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy or their play . . . or the beauty of our poetry. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.” It also fails to measure whether our progress is sustainable and whether economic progress is translating into better lives for most of our people. We know that in a lot of specific ways Massachusetts has an enviable state … [Read More...]
Trish Karter, Founder, Light Effect Farms
Glynn Lloyd, CEO, City Fresh Foods
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