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What makes business leader and CEO activism more impactful? Today’s business leaders have more power to solve societal issues than any elected official, and Millennials and Generation Z expect business leaders to speak up on issues that are important to society. Activate World, hosted by Jon Mertz, explores this modern leadership model. Be a part of a think tank in action!

What makes business leader and CEO activism more impactful? Today’s business leaders have more power to solve societal issues than any elected official, and Millennials and Generation Z expect business leaders to speak up on issues that are important to society. Activate World, hosted by Jon Mertz, explores this modern leadership model. Be a part of a think tank in action!
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What makes business leader and CEO activism more impactful? Today’s business leaders have more power to solve societal issues than any elected official, and Millennials and Generation Z expect business leaders to speak up on issues that are important to society. Activate World, hosted by Jon Mertz, explores this modern leadership model. Be a part of a think tank in action!




Social Enterprise Startup: Empowering Energy Equity through Solar! - S5 Ep 7

Solstice deploys “community solar,” enabling households to subscribe to shared solar farms. Co-founder and CEO, Steph Speirs, highlights their business model to achieve greater energy equity. Solstice addresses inclusion issues in the solar industry, works to democratize access to clean energy, and focuses on accelerating the transition to clean energy. Listen to our conversation on how Solstice as a social enterprise is changing business and demonstrating a new generation of...


Social Entrepreneurship: Startup Challenges with Added Value - S5 Ep 6

Applying entrepreneurial principles to serve the poor and protect the planet is the definition of social entrepreneurship at Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship Santa Clara University. Dr. Thane Kreiner, executive director, discusses the Global Social Benefit Institute for accelerating for-profit, nonprofit, and hybrid social enterprises. Our conversation explores the business model of social entrepreneurs – persevering through challenges to achieve greater social and business...


Employee Ownership: Gaining Engagement through Transparency and Responsibility - S5 Ep 5

Loren Rodgers, NCEO’s executive director, shares his perspectives on employee-owned companies as the basis of a new economy focused on broad-based prosperity, limited wealth inequality, shared sense of ownership, and responsibility for communities and workplaces. Learn about employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), the main vehicle for broad-based ownership in the U.S., a retirement plan that invests primarily in company stock and holds its assets in a trust, in accounts earmarked for...


Collectives: Delivering Transparency and Decision-making - S5 Ep 4

Bud Caddell founded NOBL, a worker collective consulting firm in 2014. Worker collectives make decisions by practicing direct democracy versus electing a board of directors. In NOBL’s case, decisions are made by a broad consensus structure of all employees and operates with little hierarchy. NOBL’s four locations have local authority, and everyone has a stake in the company. Twice each year NOBL reboots by asking employees how things could be done differently, effectively creating a new...


Sociocracy: Achieving Results in Circles (Learn, Do, Measure) - S5 Ep 3

Joe Garrison co-founded worker cooperative, Blue Scorcher Bakery Café 15 years ago in Astoria, Oregon. The co-owners wanted equal ownership and decision-making by consent which led them to Sociocracy. A small group mandate has all decision-making members of an organization organized in circles. “Lead-do-measure” allows circle members the autonomy to decide the best way to achieve their goals with outcomes measured. The process is iterative and allows for goal reassessment as part of the...


Cooperatives: Blending Business and Community - S5 Ep 2

Leslie Watson works for a cooperative of consultants whose co-op clients are primarily in the natural foods sector. By definition, “a cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.” Leslie discusses why cooperatives, and their community focus, are increasingly viewed as alternatives to the economic models of capitalism and...


Holacracy: Achieving Clarity and Productivity - S5 Ep1

What happens when a company transitions from a traditional business model to one with distributed authority? At this brought work to the forefront and allowed it to guide the organization’s structure and management process. Morgan Legge shares her experience as a Holacracy Bootstrapper and the benefits and challenges of a model that allows individuals and teams to self-manage while staying aligned with the organization’s purpose. Listen to our conversation with Morgan Legge,...


Intro to Season 5: Business and Organizational Models for a New World

During the 5th season of the Activate World podcast, we will explore if different business and organizational models create more activating dynamics for teams and individuals. Today, cooperatives are being reconsidered and implemented. Holacracy is more than a fad, and Sociocracy is being tested and embraced. Although credit unions have been around since 1849, they remain an organizational innovation in the financial industry. Nothing is pure as some pursue a blend. We will engage with the...


Women in Tech: It Takes Focus, Data, Collaboration, and Intention - S4, Ep 6

How do you create a more diverse tech industry with greater numbers of empowered women? According to Debbie Forster, you stop talking about it and take action by engaging companies to recruit women to tech, collect data, and share best practices. Debbie co-founded Tech Talent Charter which now includes 300 organizations of all sizes and sectors intent on achieving greater diversity. Best practices allow these organizations to learn from one another and improve the diversity of their...


The Power of Diversity-Centered Design - S4 Ep 5

Phim Her is a Hmong-American refugee who uses art and design to impact sociocultural innovation. Her interests are in helping people from diverse backgrounds become empowered, have a voice, and find a path forward in the design industry. She teaches young designers professional development and the importance of finding mentors, allies and advocates at their workplace. Phim believes “We must move from the talking about the world of design to talking about the design of the world.” Her work...


Getting a Seat at the Table – DEI in the Workplace - S4 Ep 4

Christine McCarey has developed diversity, equity, and inclusion programs for her former employer, RetailMeNot, and her own consultancy, Impact DEI. Describing the terms: diversity is “invited to the party,” equity is “playlist picks for everyone,” and inclusion is “asked to dance.” All three work holistically to create a fully diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. Christine discusses a range of DEI topics including leadership buy-in, data grounding, and generational differences....


Bringing Meaning to Diversity and Inclusion at Work and in Community - S4 Ep3

Michaela Ayers shares her experiences on diversity and inclusion as a lead with the Diversity Task Force at Payscale, a compensation research company. Objectives include teaching people the language needed to talk about inequities as a precursor to thinking about them and ensuring everyone feels safe to bring their whole selves to the workplace. She emphasizes that leadership must set the example, as employees need to see leaders modeling and embodying principles of diversity & inclusion....


Taking a “Goodish” Approach to Becoming a Better Leader - S4 Ep2

Dr. Dolly Chugh discusses research on the psychological constraints on the quality of decision-making with ethical import, a phenomenon known as "bounded ethicality." She has special interest in unintentional forms of unethical behavior. Dr. Chugh’s research shows that accepting we’re not always good is necessary for growth. Mistakes allow us to learn, so, it’s better to be “goodish” than good. She discusses being aware of bias, diversity, inclusion, and privilege and acting intentionally on...


We Need Social CEO Celine Schillinger Engages Change Leadership - S4 Ep 1

Change leadership presents challenges as Celine Schillinger, an expert on organizational change, corporate activism, and social networks, knows well. Celine discusses her experience working at pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur, where she used the Kotter change model, social media, cross-hierarchy dialogue, and other change agent concepts to create a community of people who care for each other and facilitated the change process. Our conversation includes insights on the necessity of...


AYA Founder Ben Brown Gives Young Americans a Political Voice

Although you probably heard of the AARP, representing individuals who are 50 plus in age, you may not have heard of the Association of Young Americans. Ben Brown started the Association of Young Americans to insert the voices of 80 million young Americans, ages 18 to 35, into everyday politics. We explore the community being built, along with the key focus issue areas: student debt, climate change, campaign finance, and criminal justice. From hiring a lobbyist to organizing the 80 million...


McCombs School of Business Professor Sekou Bermiss on Political Misfits in the Workplace

Do you discuss politics at work? How do you feel if political issues are discussed in the workplace? With limited research on how an organization’s focus on political ideology impacts employees, Dr. Sekou Bermiss, along with Dr. Rory McDonald, Associate Professor Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, explored what happens when an employee’s political ideology differs from the firm where they’re employed. What happens to conservatives in a liberal workplace, and what happens...


Creative Startups co-founders Alice Loy and Tom Aageson on the creative economy revolution

The creative economy opens many doors for entrepreneurs, businesses, and communities. An empowering capability of the creative economy is discovering unexpected benefits in unexpected places. Creative Startups sparks a revolution in the creative economy by bringing together diverse entrepreneurs to create exciting and innovative companies. Join the conversation on how creative talent generates exciting opportunities of change for individuals, companies, and communities.


Good Returns President Kyle Lukianuk Innovating Business Impact Investing

Corporations seek innovative ways to create social and environmental impact with the most effective giving solutions to mission-aligned challenges. Maximizing stakeholder value translates to being good corporate citizens. Good Returns enables a new approach to corporate social responsibility with meaningful social impact and illustrative stories engaging employees and community. Join our conversation with Kyle Lukianuk, President of Good Returns Network. Listen to the Activate World...


New Politics Founder Emily Cherniack Discusses Midterm Election Outcomes

How do you create a community of servant leaders who run for political office? A new organization – New Politics – is engaging former military and service volunteer leaders (e.g., Teach for America) and supporting their election campaigns. Gain insights from the midterm elections as a diverse class enters the U.S. Congress and servant leadership begins to transform politics and the way we serve our country. Can our politics change through the efforts of organizations like New Politics? Join...


Social Venture Partners Dallas CEO Tony Fleo Engages Good Leaders to Do Good

When a business leader begins to look for opportunities to give back, options range from charitable organizations to social ventures. Organizations, like Social Venture Partners, exist to engage business leaders and leverage their expertise and passion to help build social good capacity in social enterprises and charitable organizations. The CEO of Social Venture Partners Dallas, Tony Fleo, offers his insights and experiences on how to engage locally and make an impact. Participation in...