Photo by Acumen
Well, it’s not really radical (especially compared to all the bad ass ideas and innovations they’ve supported in the past, but it is pretty unique and super cool. Acumen recently launched their new manifesto, and a beautiful new visual identity to go with it. The manifesto is great because it explains not only what the organization is doing (normally found in a mission or vision) but also what they’re learning. So important!
If there is one thing we encourage our clients to do over and over it is to share what’ve they learned. Share the journey, the lessons, the successes the failures. Share and we will all grow. Check out Acumen’s new manifesto and you’ll see what I mean:
Each year, companies and organizations put together a variety of volunteer action days (typically outdoor activities) to celebrate Earth Day.
This year at Saatchi & Saatchi S, we decided to keep it “close to home” and to tend to our sidewalk garden which we installed and planted a few years back. The weeds and other unplanned growth were spilling out onto the sidewalk. We cleaned, pruned, pulled, dug, and planted.
Naturally, we are thankful to all who participated in our 2013 Earth Day activity.
A woman called her husband during the day and asked him to pick up some organic vegetables for that night’s dinner on his way home. The husband arrived at the store and began to search all over for organic vegetables before finally asking the produce guy where they were. The produce guy didn’t know what he was talking about, so the husband said: “These vegetables are for my wife. Have they been sprayed with poisonous chemicals?” To which the produce guy replied, “No, sir, you will have to do that yourself.” [cue the drums]
Yes, Earth Day is around the corner. Yes, you’ll be seeing even more endorsements from celebrities to recycle more, use less, turn off the lights, and on and on. And yes, that is all great. But we believe in order for Earth Day to truly be irresistible, we also have to make it a little fun.
So in order to get you in the spirit, lighten up your day, and remind you to enjoy yourself this Earth Day, I’m posting a video guaranteed to put a smile on your face (courtesy of HuffPost of course).
Of course the message behind Earth Day is no laughing matter: we have one planet with finite resources and we’re destroying it. But the truth is no one is going to change their behavior out of duty. Living a sustainable life should be rewarding, engaging, uplifting. It should be fun!
At Saatchi S we challenge all our readers, clients, colleagues, partners to do something fun on Earth Day. We’ll once again be doing what we love most: playing in the dirt, under the sun. Stay tuned to see all the fun we had, and let us know what you plan to do today that puts a smile on your face. J
San Franciscans hear about hip new gadgets and apps on a pretty regular basis. Just recently, I was invited to check out the Stanford Cool Product Expo 2013, an event that showcases interesting products from various design and manufacturing companies. As I flipped through the brochure of featured products, I was impressed to see several products that clearly make sustainability irresistible. Here are some of my favorites:
When one hears the words sustainability and Asia spoken together, the conversation is more than likely focused on the many challenges that the region faces. However, at Saatchi & Saatchi we believe that the time has come for these conversations to shift to the positive and that the new reality needs to be focused on the incredible sustainability opportunities that exist throughout Asia. That is why we are excited to announce that, as of today, we are adding the sustainability capabilities of Saatchi & Saatchi S to Saatchi & Saatchi in the Asia Pacific region.
Every Thursday night the California Academy of Science hosts NightLife, a chance to see the wonders of this awesome science museum after hours, drink in hand and DJ spinning. A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to share a short presentation about organizations that help us connect with sustainability in our city.
This post first appeared on Sustainable Brands and can be viewed here.
Last week I had the pleasure of participating in a pre-SB’13 program dialogue session organized by some of the leading women in sustainability: Annie Longsworth, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi S; Kellie McElhaney, Whitehead Faculty Fellow in Corporate Sustainability at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business; Jen Boynton, Editor-in-Chief of Triple Pundit; and Aman Singh, Editorial Director of CSR Wire. The topic: The Role of Women in Sustainability. Nearly 100 participants (five of them men) from companies such as AT&T, Visa, Safeway, North Face and many others contributed to a very lively discussion about “women and sustainability,” which is gaining a significant amount of traction these days.
Despite the fact that through the years we have repeatedly been asked to feature this topic on our agenda, we have declined up to now — and I have to personally take responsibility for this. I understand the choice may seem counterintuitive given my personal history, having both scrambled from the bottom to the top of a multinational at one time in my career and given the past decade to helping drive the sustainable business movement forward. After all, the data is becoming increasingly clear, as Ms. McElhaney’s research and others point out: Placing more women in positions of leadership is demonstrated to result in healthier, more sustainable businesses and communities.
In recognition of International Women’s Day and on the heals of a national dialogue about women in the workplace spurred by Sheryl Sandberg’s recently published book, Leaning In, Saatchi & Saatchi S hosted a “Women in Sustainability” conversation last week guided by some of the leading women in sustainability: Annie Longsworth, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi S; Kellie McElhaney, Whitehead Faculty Fellow in Corporate Sustainability at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business; and Jen Boynton, Editor-in-Chief of Triple Pundit. The event, a precursor to a panel discussion on the same topic that will take place at Sustainable Brands conference this June, attracted more than 60 women (and a few men) from organizations such as AT&T, The North Face and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.
Last week it seemed as if Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, was all over the media, including a segment on NPR in which she discussed how the percentages of women in top executive positions and board rooms has remained static for the last ten years. When I heard this, I couldn’t help but be surprised. This seemed counter intuitive to me as I read through the impressive list of women who attended Saatchi S’s Women in Sustainability event, and thought back to an article I’d recently read in Fast Company outlining the basic fact that “companies with more women on boards and in leadership positions outperform, financially and otherwise, companies with fewer women.”
This post first appeared on GreenBiz and can be viewed here.
In recent weeks, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Clorox’s Green Works have been the targets of sometimes scathing criticism for launching sustainability-related campaigns.
While each campaign is different, all three strive to engage consumers around some of sustainability’s hottest issues: transparency, ingredients and behavior change. The more I dig into the critics’ digs, the more it becomes apparent that businesses can’t always please everyone. Taking a risk in the right direction, however, is better than not taking a risk at all.
In the 1990′s when I was in high school, my skateboarding friends and their counterparts across America adopted the phrase skateboarding is not a crime to respond to the growing numbers of towns banning skateboarding in public, despite the number of people who rode bikes, roller blades, and, oh yeah, drove cars just as unsafely as skaters skateboard.
So it made me smile last night, when Sunil Paul, CEO of SideCar and well-respected investor and entrepreneur in clean energy companies, called on the phrase in relation to sharing at the Sharing Economy edition of ClimateOne at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
Last night I went to the Bliss Spa at the W in Atlanta (it’s wonderful, you should go there), and noticed the hours of operation listed on a sign outside the door: Monday – Friday 9 – 9. Sat – Sun 9 – 9.
As I checked in, I asked the young man at the desk if the spa is open 9 – 9 seven days a week, why not just say “9 – 9 everyday”? I asked the question to make conversation and point out something sort of funny; the actual signage doesn’t really matter. But the guy’s answer did. He said, somewhat rudely I thought, “I have no idea. I don’t make the signs.” Part of me fears that that attitude pretty much sums up the world right now. “I don’t know, not my fault, don’t bother me.”
But then I think about last Saturday, when I participated in a competition to help get one group of B-school students on their way to win $1,000,000 to realistically end hunger in the urban slums of the world. Now that matters.
Productivity or Innovation?
Yahoo’s leaked memo to employees eliminating the option to work at home has stirred a great deal of controversy. It appears to move counter to corporate trends around flex working (Vodafone is a good example) and against research showing greater productivity for companies allowing for such flexibility.
So, what’s the deal Marissa?
Perhaps, Marissa, Yahoo’s new CEO, isn’t worried so much about productivity. To keep Yahoo afloat and competitive, what she needs is big ideas, better products and services and potentially a new and disruptive business model. What she needs is innovation.
In this post, we seized on the recent positive news about an uptick in electric capacity coming from renewables to sit down for a Q and A with Keely Wachs, Sr. Director of Corporate Communications for BrightSource Energy. In this role, Wachs is responsible for leading the solar company’s global corporate communications and marketing divisions.
Q: With the recent report by the FERC that in January, 2013 100% of electric capacity added in the US was renewable, does this signify a US energy trend that you see continuing in 2013?
A: The bigger trend seems to be the cleaning of our energy supply away from coal to renewables and natural gas. I think that we’ve hit a critical point in the arc of renewables commercial adoption. 2013 will see significantly more renewables added to the US grid and internationally. Clearly, it won’t be at the same level as we saw in January, but it will be meaningful. Congress’ decision to extend the Production Tax Credit will mean that more wind will be added. The significant cost reductions in solar photovoltaics (PV) will also mean that more of this technology will be coming online. And Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) will be experiencing an unprecedented year with more than 1,200 megawatts of innovative next-generation technologies coming online. 2012 was also a banner year for natural gas and we’ll also see more of its adoption because of low fuel costs.
I recently had a chance to speak with the Adriana Herrera, Founder and CEO of Fashioning Change, an online marketplace that provides a trifecta of fashion alternatives for the stylish, budget-conscious, socially and environmentally aware shopper. Fashioning Change is not only about fashion, though — its stylish, money-saving, nontoxic, and sweatshop-free apparel and accessories provide a platform for shopping with purpose.
And according to Herrera, who has a background in psychology, Fashioning Change is also about behavior adoption (not behavior change).
Oh Panera, the smell of your freshly baked bread, the ease of a decent meal at a truck stop in middle America, and now the fact that you’re talking about your purpose-centric business. This is why I consider you a Lovemark.
Here at Saatchi & Saatchi S, we define Lovemarks as those products, services, and brands that earn ‘loyalty beyond reason’ from the people who play with them, work with them and, well, love them.
Products, services, and brands. What about people?
Can a person be a Lovemark? and earn “loyalty beyond reason” from the people who play with them, work with them, and, well, love them?
I’m not talking about superstars and their brands. I’m talking about you and me, my spouse, my kids, my siblings, my modern family, however defined (OK, throw in the dog, too).
Think about it.
I am not going to answer the question, only pose it.
Will you be my Lovemark?
Happy Valentine’s Day
Most people who know me would not describe me as an optimistic person. Can you really blame me when there are studies and numbers that explain that we, as a society, are headed down the path of global destruction? But being pessimistic does not mean I’m not hopeful; I wouldn’t be at Saatchi & Saatchi S if I didn’t have hope.
It is fitting that February is the month of love, because this month my sense of hope and love for the world has been reinvigorated by our most recent Irresistible Minds speaker: Tom Szaky, Founder and CEO of TerraCycle. In a nutshell, TerraCycle addresses our landfill problem by converting non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle waste into new products or materials. This, I knew before seeing Tom’s presentation, but it wasn’t until after hearing Tom’s full story that I walked away with that warm fuzzy feeling, totally smitten with the irresistibility of TerraCycle’s business model. Here’s why:
I recently had the opportunity to spend time in Bangkok with the Saatchi & Saatchi Asia-Pacific (APAC) team and really enjoyed learning more about all the great work that is going on in our network. In particular, it is always interesting to hear how our sister agencies are incorporating the 4 streams of sustainability (social, environmental, economic, and cultural) into their client work and the creative ways they are finding to produce approaches that go beyond traditional campaigns.
One piece of work I really enjoyed comes to us from the Philippines. It was done for Kraft’s Tiger Biscuits and features a playground that turns kids’ physical energy into electricity, which then helps to power the surrounding village.
Here is a short video that shows the project in action.
Another activation out of the Philippines that’s producing great results is the stamp out the germs initiative that was recently launched for Safeguard soap. The initiative uses a simple hand stamp as a way to remind kids to wash their hands more, as that is the single most cost-effective way to prevent the spread of diseases.
Read more about it here.
The recent lift of the U.S. Military ban on women in combat positions inspired Harvard professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, in an NPR Marketplace segment aired last week, to advise women in corporate America to avoid “the Ps” – Personnel, Public Relations and Purchasing – if they want to get to the top in business.
Kanter’s main point is that for women to be taken seriously and considered for increasingly senior roles within an organization, they need to be aligned with the areas most critical to the long-term success of the business. In her mind, the three “P’s” are soft.
“This is why women in combat is so important. If you are restricted from the heart of what the enterprise does, you’ll never get to the top,” she says.