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Table Stakes

Business & Economics Podcasts

In today’s business landscape, responsibility and sustainability are no longer optional or “nice to have.” Modern stakeholders don’t just expect an environmental, social and governance (ESG) focus, they demand it. Being a good corporate citizen today is “table stakes.” Simultaneously, many of the corporate social responsibility departments companies launched in the last 30 years aren’t thinking enough about innovation, growth, business-focused results and resilience. Table Stakes discusses the issues of sustainability with forward-thinking leaders to forecast the future of responsible business. Being ethical, human and sustainable is no longer optional – it’s table stakes.


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In today’s business landscape, responsibility and sustainability are no longer optional or “nice to have.” Modern stakeholders don’t just expect an environmental, social and governance (ESG) focus, they demand it. Being a good corporate citizen today is “table stakes.” Simultaneously, many of the corporate social responsibility departments companies launched in the last 30 years aren’t thinking enough about innovation, growth, business-focused results and resilience. Table Stakes discusses the issues of sustainability with forward-thinking leaders to forecast the future of responsible business. Being ethical, human and sustainable is no longer optional – it’s table stakes.








25. The Intersection of AI and ESG in Today's Regulatory and Ratings Environment

The buzz on AI and specifically Generative AI has reached an all time high in today's technology zeitgeist. Sustainability and ESG leaders are experiencing the AI wave first hand as they see more investors, ratings agencies and even consumer and employee readers using AI to evaluate their reports and progress. In today's episode, Veerless CEO and technology expert Charlie Beck joins us to talk nuts and bolts of AI, how AI is already at use in sustainability and ESG ratings and regulations, and what considerations we should all make in tailoring our reports to an ever-changing AI landscape.


Environment Isn't Enough - When Fair Treatment and Fair Pay Lag in Otherwise Standout Sustainability Leaders

One of the more shocking trends in ESG and sustainability is when a stand-out leader in one area of ESG (environment, for example) lags behind significantly or experiences concerning controversy in another area. Today on Table Stakes, we're examining three examples of companies (Kaiser Permanente labor strikes last week, Patagonia controversy in fair pay of textile workers, and Ben & Jerry's role in a migrant child worker crisis) whose fair treatment and fair pay initiatives just don't hold up against their impeccable environmental programs. What can we do to influence the fair labor work of brands we already respect?


23. Your Bereavement Leave Policy Probably Sucks - And How to Change It

In the corporate world, some policies, procedures and processes take years to change. But others may just require a small group of individuals who say "there's a better way to do this." Today, we're talking about one of those policies in particular - bereavement leave. Unfortunately, most companies have archaic bereavement leave policies in place that don't consider the personal and cultural differences we all might face when it comes to the loss of a loved one. In today's episode Veerless leaders Marcy Twete and Kristen Fischer outline the steps your company can take to build a better bereavement policy in your company.


22. Our 2023 Return to Table Stakes: Update from Marcy and Veerless

It's been over a year since Table Stakes brought you the news of corporate responsibility, sustainability and ESG on this platform, and we are back! Today's episode is a quick message from your host, Marcy Twete, updating our listeners on what's been going on this past year. Learn about the exciting new developments in Veerless, our newly rebranded company, and what's to come for the future of Table Stakes.


21. Raising Your Ethics Game with Lisa Beth Lentini Walker

The link between compliance and ESG is clear. We are all working to make our companies stronger, more ethical, more sustainable, and encouraging our colleagues to "do the right thing." The skills necessary for success in these roles is also the same - influence over authority, understanding over commanding, listening more than talking. Today's guest Lisa Beth Lentini Walker joins us to share her experience as a compliance leader and the co-author of the book Raise Your Game, Not Your Voice: How Listening, Communicating, and Storytelling Shape Compliance Program Influence.


20. The Power of Your Personal Carbon Footprint to Change Big Business

We know that companies and governments must be leaders in fighting the threat of climate change. But individuals have a clear role to play as well. Our guests today lead Aurora Sustainability, an innovative platform for individuals to calculate, understand, and address their carbon footprint. Aurora's model is unique in that it brings together individuals and the companies they work for to collectively address carbon footprint and climate change.


19. Acknowledging the Messiness of "People Business" with O'Brien McMahon



18. 2021 Trends Forecast in ESG, Ethics and Corporate Responsibility

For our 2021 trends forecast, we've broken down four overarching trends and definitions of those trends. And in each of those four areas, outlining a trend in action (happening right now), a trend in development (starting to happen), and a trend in decline (was a trend in recent years but diminishing today). From diversity to CEO activism, from body positivity to corporate philanthropy, these trends span the fields of CSR, ESG and sustainability in 2021.


17. Your 2021 Impact Plan to Create the World You Want with Author Tammy Tibbetts

We all want to have a positive impact on our communities and the world we live in. But it's easy to get stuck on where to start and how to achieve our impact goals. In Impact: A Step-by-Step Plan to Create the World You Want to Live In, authors Tammy Tibbetts and Christen Brandt give readers a workbook for anyone who wants to reevaluate the impact they make in the world personally. You set a strategy for your financial life, your career, your family - you should have a strategy for your social impact as well. January is the perfect time of year to go through the steps in Christen and Tammy's book and set your intentions and goals for 2021.


16. Set a 2021 Sustainability Resolution

January 1, 2021 is right around the corner, and as you think about setting your 2021 resolutions, we're challenging you to make one big commitment related to a sustainability or social issue. In this episode, Marcy takes you through her 5-year journey of setting a sustainability challenge/resolution every year, how to do it, and what you'll learn.


15. Embedding Sustainability in the DNA of a 200 Year Old Company at Monadnock Paper Mills

When we think of leaders in sustainability, it's unlikely we might think first of a 200-year old company. But a company's age doesn't always mean "old-school." Today, we're joined by the team from Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc. Their work is a gold standard example of a company who has built sustainability into the DNA of its business. With a passion for the environment and ingenuity, Monadnock is turning ideas into reality.


14. Investing in Talent Sustainability May Just Save Your Business - And Your People

A special crossover episode with our sister podcast, Office Baggage. As companies around the world cope with the ramifications of a global crisis, it's more important than ever to ensure our company's leaders and future leaders feel engaged and supported and have the tools necessary to future-proof your talent and succession strategy. There needs to be a massive shift in how we are training and building successful and sustainable workforces at every level of seniority. Partners Kirsten Ramos, Elevate Performance Solutions and Sophia Ruffolo, femmebought, and Marcy Twete, MT Consulting, are sharing their new program - Upskilling Remotely, Building Talent and Trust for the Future - inspiring companies to invest in managerial trust, preventing "diversity drain" and more.


Help! My Sustainability Report Sucks - 4 Pieces of Advice to Make It Better

For many CSR and sustainability professionals, we are entering the dreaded "reporting season." For many of us, sustainability or CSR reports are one of the most important aspects of our roles. So why do we hate these processes so much? Why are they so frustrating and headache inducing? Today's solocast from host Marcy Twete gives you four actionable pieces of advice that can help make your reporting process run smoothly.


12. Are ESG Leaders Naturally "Wired for Disruption"?

In today's VUCA world (short for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous), businesses around the world are asking what skills and traits are necessary for those leaders who will weather the storm well. What does it mean to be resilient during disruption? Today's guest Henna Inam answers those questions and more in her new book "Wired for Disruption." She highlights in our conversation five types of agility necessary for leaders to weather today's storm and the storms of the future, and how ESG issues are at the forefront of the future of business and its ability to remain agile and resilient.


11. Building a LEED Certified Home Doesn't Mean Spending Million

We've all probably heard about LEED Certified buildings, but mostly related to commercial buildings. Your home can also be LEED Certified. But most of us have some common misconceptions of so-called "green" homes - that they're wildly expensive, that the process takes years of planning, that they're out of reach for most of us. Our guest today, Aaron Stash, and his family, built a LEED Platinum home in the suburbs of Chicago - a home that continues to inspire his family to lead a more sustainable life. Tune in to see how this process might inspire you as well.


10. Integrated Reporting 101 - A Lesson in Intangible Value and Its Relationship to ESG

In 2008, only 358 companies globally were producing a sustainability report in accordance with GRI standards. Today, more than 30,000 companies use the GRI framework globally. As sustainability reporting has grown these last 10 years, another like-minded framework has risen simultaneously – the notion of integrated reporting and more deeply integrated thinking. The founder of the U.S. Integrated Reporting Community, Mary Adams, joins Table Stakes to dive deep on integrated reporting - what is it, how does it work, what are the barriers to adoption and how is it different and similar to sustainability reporting?


9. Until Justice Just Is - The Work of the Racial Justice League from the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis earlier this year spurred a national movement toward racial justice different than any in recent years. Months later, many of us are asking ourselves: "What now?" How can we continue to invest in racial justice, help to spur the much needed change in our society, and ensure those actions are catalytic rather than performative in nature? The YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago's CEO Dorri McWhorter joins us to talk about their new initiative to move the needle on anti-racism - The Racial Justice League. With their campaign "Until Justice Just Is," and the resources they provide, the organization gives us all action steps to move forward.


8. The Anatomy of a B Corp - More Than Just a Patagonia Rubber Stamp

Google "B Corp" and you'll find: "Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit." But what does that really entail? We're diving deep on B Corp certification with B Corp business owner Emily Lonigro of LimeRed. What is a B Corp? How does it work? And are there flaws in the B Corp system?


7. Sustainability in Jewelry - Making Your Purchasing Power Values-Based

For those invested in sustainability, we are often thinking about how our purchasing patterns are connected to our values. We know the importance of reduce, reuse, recycle. We've had all the difficult conversations about "fast fashion." But have we considered how some of the largest purchases of our lives - for instance, our wedding rings - are syncing with our values systems? Joined by gem expert and founder of All the Brilliants, Melissa Dusenberry joins the podcast to open our minds to the world of sustainably sourced, thoughtfully designed jewelry.


6. Navigating the Issues of Employment and Change Management During COVID-19 (in Partnership with Office Baggage Podcast)

Today's episode is a special "crossover" between Table Stakes Podcast and Office Baggage Podcast. In the environment of COVID-19, the issues surrounding employment and change management are affecting everyone whether through layoffs, furloughs, working from home, or training and safety for essential employees. All of us are dealing with both macro and micro economic issues as we consider a return to work and continued change and transformation in our work. CEO of the Prinz Law Firm, Kristen Prinz, and The Parker Avery Group's Kathi Toll join us with expert commentary.