Issue 013 / CEO Resignations, Twitter’s Dilemma & A Cheap Fix for Climate Change

Reconsidered is a bi-weekly newsletter curating thought-provoking content on corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social impact. Click here to subscribe. 


This Week's Five Links

Twitter’s Dilemma: What to Do with Trump?Engadget
Twitter’s terms and conditions restrict hate speech and violence on its platform. Which leads to the question — could Trump’s incendiary Tweets lead to his account being suspended? Engadget conducted an analysis and solicited expert opinions.

Corporations in the Age of InequalityHarvard Business Review
An in-depth look at how company strategy and corporate trends have affected the rise of inequality in America. Researchers point to “firm inequality” — the consolidation of the best-educated and most-skilled employees within successful companies like Google, Goldman Sachs and McKinsey — as a key driver.

A Cheap Fix for Climate Change? Pay People Not to Chop Down TreesThe New York Times
Researchers conducted a controlled experiment in Uganda to see if paying landowners small sums not to cut down their trees could help curb deforestation and slow global warming. “Trying to solve this problem through strict laws doesn’t always work,” said Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action, a nonprofit that helped run the study. “You have to build a program that takes into account the needs of people on the ground."

Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber 
The full-text version of the “Google Memo” — software engineer James Damore’s much-discussed treatise arguing that the gender gap in tech is due to inherent psychological differences between men and women. 👉  Additional reading: The Actual Science of James Damore’s Google Memo (Wired).

Social Replication Toolkit 
Have an innovative solution to a social problem — but not sure how to scale it? This toolkit from the International Centre for Social Franchising contains a Replication Readiness Test and a set of tools intended to help scale social ventures.


Every member of Mr. Trump’s advisory councils should wrestle with his or her conscience and ponder Edmund Burke’s famous warning that ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’
— Larry Summers in Why Don’t All CEOs Quit Trump’s Advisory Councils? (Financial Times)

Spotlight: Lines Crossed

The business community took a strong stand against the U.S. president this week, with CEO after CEO resigning from Trump’s advisory councils after his shocking remarks on the white supremacist events in Charlottesville. Within a few days, business leaders had decided to disband the groups entirely (contrary to Trump's last-minute Tweet that he, in fact, decided to end them).

The move was bold — and unprecedented. “In American history, we’ve never had business leaders decline national service when requested by the president,” Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management, told The New York Times in an article that lends insight into the mass defection.

From reports, the CEOs felt tension between engaging with the president and enabling, or even emboldening, him. Many CEOs wanted to stick with him.

I’m typically a proponent of engagement. But over the past 210 days, lines have been crossed again, and again, and again. I cheered when I read economist Larry Summers’ point of view in the Financial Times

"Of course, CEOs might argue that while they also loathe all that is wrong with the Trump administration, they can be more effective by remaining involved. Give me a break. 

Anyone who thinks that by attending a meeting less than monthly with 30 people in a room they are moving the nation is engaged in egotistical self-delusion of a high order. Yes, technical advice on specific issues might be a valuable contribution. But there is no reason why providing such advice requires lending one’s prestige or that of one’s company to Donald Trump ...

There is a long tradition in American history of business leaders as statesmen and moral leaders ... This is the tradition that needs to be honored today."


Social Impact Jobs

Ben and Jerry’s - Assistant U.S. Activism Manager (Burlington, Vermont)
Ethical Trading Initiative - Consultant, India Office (Delhi, India)
Danish Fashion Institute - Business Manager (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Fashion for Good - Investment Manager (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Gap Inc. - P.A.C.E. Global Operations and Engagement Manager (San Francisco, CA) 
Impact Hub Latin America - Regional Manager, Scaling Program (Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil or Guatemala)
Moody’s - Senior CSR Associate (New York, NY)
Sustain Natural - Head of Growth (New York, NY)

Are you hiring for a job in corporate responsibility, sustainability or social impact? Let me know and I'm happy to include it here.


Reconsidered is curated by Jessica Marati Radparvar. If you enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing it!

Issue 012 / Design Thinking, Anti-Disposability and Spicy Multi-Nut Maitake Quinoa Tortilla Tacos 🌮

Reconsidered is a bi-weekly newsletter curating thought-provoking content on corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social impact. Click here to subscribe. 


This Week's Five Links

Google’s Quest to Develop a Plant-Based “Power Dish” More Popular Than MeatFast Company
Blended mushroom-beef burgers. Vegetable broth pho. Spicy multi-nut maitake quinoa tortilla tacos. Google is taking a data-driven approach to finding no-meat and lesser-meat alternatives to rival “power dishes” like chicken sandwiches and grilled salmon, using campus cafeterias as their test kitchens. Yum.

If You Fix This, You Fix a Big Piece of the Climate PuzzleThe New York Times
Between building more wind farms, eating less meat, improving air conditioners and switching to mass transit, what do you think has the biggest climate impact? 👉  Additional reading: A new book ranks the top 100 solutions to climate change. The results are surprising.

The Man Who's Making Nike More SustainableEsquire
Miniwiz CEO Arthur Huang is beyond sustainable design. He’s more interested in “anti-disposability.” Huang recently partnered with Nike on an Air Max 1 that considers disposability from the recyclable materials used to make the shoe, to the innovative “Air Bag” recycled plastic packaging, to a manufacturing process that could potentially be conducted locally.

By the People: Designing a Better America — Cooper Hewitt
The Cooper Hewitt museum in New York recently staged this impactful exhibition on socially responsible design solutions across America — like a modular housing development that makes it easier for grandparents to watch their grandchildren or youth-oriented mobile farm stands that bring fresh produce to food deserts. Though the exhibition recently closed, the catalog is still online and is a fun browse.

Global Footprint Calculator Global Footprint Network
August 2nd marked Earth Overshoot Day — the date on which we will have used more from nature than our planet can renew in the whole year. This engaging calculator helps individuals identify their personal Earth Overshoot Days based on their daily habits. Though systemic solutions will have a far greater impact on the planet than individual actions, I feel there’s still a role for personal behavior change in driving positive change. This tool can help.

Thank you Christian, Lily, Joana, Auralis, Chelsea, Evan, Nikita and Beth for sharing great links this week.


We need to think through how we can make a better choice easier for people.
— Scott Giambastiani, Google’s global food program chef and operations manager, in Google’s Quest to Develop a Plant-Based “Power Dish” More Popular Than Meat (Fast Company)

Spotlight: Design Thinking

Recently, my eye was drawn to the book Designing for the Common Good at my local library here in Amsterdam. The book features more than 20 global projects undertaken by Sydney-based research center Designing Out Crime, which has the mission to bring design innovation to complex crime and social problems. These case studies show how design thinking helped to reframe a social problem in a way that led to better outcomes — an approach that has wider applicability across the social impact sphere.

Take, for instance, the redesign of Sydney’s Kings Cross neighborhood. Rather than focus on “what we want to fix,” the researchers zeroed in on the question, “what do we want more of?” This repositioning allowed them to look at the broader question of how to build an environment that encourages safe exploration and experimentation for youths, rather than the narrower question of how to banish crime. They noticed that more often than not, violence resulted because youths did not having a constructive outlet for their frustration and confusion about growing up. The result was a 10-year program that involved young people in creating initiatives to help them grow up safely.

When looking at massive social and environmental challenges, new approaches are needed. Here is where design thinking and its close cousin, human-centered design, can be powerful frameworks for blue-sky thinking. In my exploration of this topic, there are a few other resources that have been helpful:


Social Impact Jobs

Echoing Green - Sr. Associate, Global Fellowship Program (New York, NY)
Fashion for Good - Investment Manager (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
NBCUniversal - Sustainability Coordinator (Universal City, California)
Nike - Senior Director, Transparency and Engagement (Portland, Oregon)
NYU Stern School of Business - Associate Director, Social Impact (New York, NY)
Revolution Foods - Director of Marketing/Communications (Oakland, CA)
Singularity University - Program Director, Impact Partnerships (San Francisco, CA)
VF Corporation - Sustainability & Responsibility Manager (Ticino, Switzerland)

Are you hiring for a job in corporate responsibility, sustainability or social impact? Let me know and I'm happy to post it here.


Reconsidered is curated by Jessica Marati Radparvar. If you enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing it!

Issue 011 / Gender Stereotypes, Neoliberalism and Fashion for Good (Plus 🔥 Jobs!)

Reconsidered is a bi-weekly newsletter curating thought-provoking content on corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social impact. Click here to subscribe. 


This Week's Five Links

U.K. Bans Gender Stereotypes in AdsAdvertisingAge
The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority is clamping down on the depiction of traditional gender roles in advertising — which means no more ads depicting women cleaning up a family mess while their handsome but hopeless male partners fail at even the most basic household tasks (whew!). 

Why Don’t You Donate for Syrian Refugees? Blame Bad MarketingThe New York Times
Very little charitable giving has been directed to the plight of Syrian refugees. Why is that? This article explores how successful charities like Charity:Water use tactics from Madison Avenue to raise philanthropic funds.

How Chobani’s Hamdi Ulukaya Is Winning America’s Culture War — Fast Company
This article traces Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukauya’s fascinating personal history as a Kurdish immigrant to the United States. Ulukauya’s story sheds light on his efforts to build a company that welcomes refugees and treats its people with dignity and respect.

Neoliberalism Has Conned us into Fighting Climate Change as IndividualsThe Guardian
Buying local, switching to solar, using the stairs — these actions pale against the massive, thorny threat of climate change. In this op-ed, Martin Lukacs argues that neoliberalism — the political philosophy that (among other things) redefines citizens as consumers — has forced us to value individual over collective action around environmental issues. To make real progress, he says, we need to change our approach.

Made in CambodiaRemake
This mini-documentary follows three twenty-something Parsons fashion students as they travel to Cambodia to experience the day-to-day lives of the invisible women behind our clothes. Not gonna lie — I shed a tear. 😢


“Eco-consumerism may expiate your guilt. But it’s only mass movements that have the power to alter the trajectory of the climate crisis.”
— Martin Lukacs in Neoliberalism Has Conned us into Fighting Climate Change as Individuals (The Guardian)

Spotlight: Fashion for Good

Fashion for Good came onto my radar a few months back, when my newsfeed was splashed with colorful dispatches from the initiative's launch in Amsterdam.

Great catchphrase, I thought. But what does “good” mean in an industry so deeply and inherently unsustainable?

I dug deeper. 

And what I found was an initiative that is working to create systemic change by bridging the gaps that exist in making the global fashion sector more sustainable and more just. Like, say, with innovation. There are some incredible, futuristic, Jetsons-style technologies out there — alternative leather made from pineapple husks, all-natural textiles that repel liquids, blockchain technology that allows for full supply chain traceability. But the start-ups creating them are small, often cash-strapped, and don’t have the support needed to scale, expand, and partner with big brands. 

Enter Fashion for Good’s Accelerator Programme, a partnership with Silicon Valley accelerator Plug and Play to incubate and scale early-stage start-ups tackling social and environmental challenges in the apparel industry.

The accelerator is one of six Fashion for Good platforms, which also include:

  • A Scaling Programme for later-stage start-ups 
  • A Circular Apparel Community co-working space facilitated by Impact Hub Amsterdam
  • An Apparel Acceleration Fund to help catalyze access to financing
  • An open-source Good Fashion Guide that provides actionable guidance for creating a Cradle to Cradle product
  • An interactive, visitor-facing Launchpad Exhibition

With an initial grant from founding partner C&A Foundation, Fashion for Good’s ultimate goal is to become the hub of industry-wide collaboration and innovation — and to ultimately make fashion not just “a bit better,” but truly “good.”

Forum for the Future’s Sally Uren assessed the role of Fashion for Good perfectly: "Fashion for Good has the right pattern to transform the fashion system. Each part of the pattern can be mapped onto a different part of the system, and as the pattern is made, as the Fashion for Good collaboration moves forward, different levers in the system will be pulled. In the same direction. And the system will have no choice but to shift."

Reconsidered is proud to work with Fashion for Good. To learn more, visit Fashion for Good's website or follow the project on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Social Impact Jobs *NEW!*

BSR - Associate (Central, Hong Kong) [among other open roles in New York, San Francisco, Paris and Guangzhou]

Cotopaxi - VP of Impact (Salt Lake City, Utah)

DoSomething.org - Chief Operating Officer (New York, NY)

Hello Fresh - (Senior) Manager, Sustainability (New York, NY)

Primark - Sustainable Materials Manager (Dublin, Ireland) 

KIND Snacks - Integrated Communications Specialist (New York, NY)

Are you hiring for a job in corporate responsibility, sustainability or social impact? Let me know and I'm happy to post it here.


Reconsidered is curated by Jessica Marati Radparvar. If you enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing it!

Issue 010 / Zombie Plastic, Minimalism & How We Use Money to Express Ourselves (+ New Social Impact Jobs Board)

Reconsidered is a bi-weekly newsletter curating thought-provoking content on corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social impact. Click here to subscribe. 


This Week's Five Links

Too Hot to Fly? Climate Change May Take a Toll on Air Travel — The New York Times
A few weeks ago, high temperatures in Phoenix, Ariz., forced airlines to ground flights because airplanes were unable to generate enough “lift” to take off. Researchers say that as global warming makes the earth hotter and jet streams more intense, it could change air travel as we know it, resulting in more flight disruptions and greater turbulence in air.

Boycotts And Buycotts: How We Use Money To Express OurselvesHidden Brain/NPR
In this podcast, Hidden Brain host Shankar Vedantam speaks with Georgetown University researcher Neeru Paharia on how consumers use their purchasing power as a way to signal their political leanings, moral values and status. 

Zombie Plastic. or Why Our Stuff Just Won’t DieLinkedIn
Futerra’s Solitaire Townsend reframes the plastics epidemic as a question of life and death in this thoughtful LinkedIn post. 

American Chipmakers Had a Toxic Problem. Then They Outsourced It — Bloomberg
Thirty years ago, scientists discovered that women working in U.S. computer chip factories experienced significantly higher rates of miscarriage, reproductive disorders and cancer. Toxic chemicals were pinpointed as the cause and were supposed to have been phased out from the production process. But recent incidents show that the problem wasn't eliminated — it was exported to South Korea, where issues persist in factories for Samsung, SK Hynix and LG.

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
Our culture is consumed by “stuff.” This film explores the backlash against this obsession through the eyes of families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker — all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less. Available to view on Netflix or Vimeo.


What I’ve found with minimalism is it’s a way to say, let’s stop the madness.
— Leo Babauta, Zen Habits blogger (and fellow Guamanian! 🇬🇺  ) in Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

Spotlight: Plastic-Free July

I read something shocking the other day: every minute, one million plastic bottles are bought around the world. EVERY MINUTE. That number’s set to jump another 20% by 2021, which could lead to an environmental crisis as serious as climate change. 

A couple months ago, I wrote about the tragic ocean waste problem that’s turned Bali’s beaches into landfills. If this disposable plastic trend continues as it’s expected to, it’s predicted that by 2050, the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish. 

This is unacceptable. And it’s a problem that most people — myself included — contribute to directly. 

Thoughtlessness toward plastic is also a behavior that can be changed… starting this month with Plastic Free July

Here’s your challenge: This month, #ChoosetoRefuse single-use plastic.

  • Avoid products in plastic packaging (choose alternatives)
  • Reduce where possible (opt for refills, remember your reusable shopping bags)
  • Refuse plastics that escape as litter (e.g. straws, takeaway cups, utensils, balloons)
  • Recycle what cannot be avoided

Make your pledge here.



Reconsidered is curated by Jessica Marati Radparvar. If you enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing it!

Issue 009 / JOBS!, Python Farms & What The Amazon-Whole Foods Merger Means For Conscious Capitalism

Reconsidered is a bi-weekly newsletter curating thought-provoking content on corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social impact. Click here to subscribe. 


Lots afoot at Reconsidered — including a new website facelift! 💁 

When I'm not curating this newsletter, I help organizations build impactful social responsibility strategies, communications and community – all with the goal of driving positive behavior change. The new website reflects this and dives deeper into the different services I offer. Click on over to learn more! And shoot me an email if you think we can work together.

I'm also excited to introduce a new Reconsidered feature — a bi-weekly listing of the coolest Social Impact Jobs to cross my radar. The first list includes exciting opportunities with Facebook, GOOD, Hasbro and The Walt Disney Company. Scroll down for the full listing. And if your company is hiring, let me know! I'm happy to spread the word.

'Til next time,
Jess


This Week's Five Links

So Much for “Conscious Capitalism”Slate
Last week’s Amazon-Whole Foods merger generated a lot of buzz about the future of retail. Less discussed is what the merger means for “conscious capitalism” — the phrasing pioneered by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey to describe his social and environmental approach to running the business. This Slate article is an exception and questions how the Amazon acquisition tests not just Whole Foods' commitments, but triple bottom line business models more broadly.

Luxury Brands Are Snapping Up Farms to Control their Supply Chains — Business of Fashion
Hermès breeds alligators in Louisiana. Paolo Zegna owns a stake in an Australian sheep farm. Kering recently bought a python operation in Thailand. In their push to embrace vertical integration, luxury fashion houses are building supply chains that go to the source of precious raw materials. The strategy allows them to build competitive advantage, as well as (in theory) protect animal rights and market sustainability credentials to increasingly conscious consumers. 

One Way to Fix Uber: Think Twice Before Using ItThe New York Times
Oh, Uber. Where even to begin? The scandals that have emerged in recent weeks are shocking to the senses. Yet, it’s still the go-to ride-sharing app for millions of people. If you don’t think Uber deserves to be behind the wheel of the transportation revolution, columnist Farhad Manjoo says you have the option (for now) to choose differently.
TAKE ACTION → #DeleteUber... or at least consider other transport options the next time you turn to use it.

Big Brands, Big Impact: A Marketer’s Guide to Behavior Change
This fascinating report centers on the ways that CSR teams can partner with marketing teams to encourage consumer behavior change. A project of the Sustainable Lifestyles Frontier Group — a coalition of brands facilitated by BSR and Futerra — the report shares research findings and case studies from five global companies: AT&T, eBay, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., McDonald’s and Walmart.

Online Course: Who Made My Clothes? — University of Exeter
Fashion Revolution has teamed up with the University of Exeter to introduce a free online course that explores the intricacies of global apparel supply chains. The interdisciplinary course kicks off on June 26th and runs for three weeks.


Ride-sharing, as an industry and a civic utility, is too big an idea to be left to a company like the one Uber is now. The company that wins this industry is bound to become one of the world’s most powerful corporations. Its executives and culture will indirectly shape how we build cities, how we use energy, how we employ and pay people.
— Farhad Manjoo in "One Way to Fix Uber: Think Twice Before Using It" (The New York Times)

Spotlight: CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion

Last week, more than 175 companies signed on to CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, an executive-led alliance focused on the following commitments:

  1. We will continue to make our workplaces trusting places to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion
  2. We will implement and expand unconscious bias education
  3. We will share best—and unsuccessful—practices

Commitment #3 has resulted in a robust library of "Actions" — company-submitted case studies on topics like family leave policies, business resource groups, mentorship programs, pay parity efforts, and more. "Our focus is not on metrics, but creating a forum that will help many companies benefit from sharing their experiences, both successes and failures," said Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture North America and an early supporter.



Reconsidered is curated by Jessica Marati Radparvar. If you enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing it!

Issue 008 / Climate Change, Climate Change and Climate Change

Reconsidered is a bi-weekly newsletter curating thought-provoking content on corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social impact. Click here to subscribe. 


He really did it. Last week, President Donald Trump officially pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement on climate change. The historic accord united nearly every country in the world to address the very real impacts of global warming. Only Syria (in the midst of a crippling civil war) and Nicaragua (which thought the agreement didn't go far enough) abstained. Now we can add the world's largest economy to that list.

But not all is lost. Cities, states and businesses across the country are joining the We Are Still In movement to send a message to the world that the United States doesn’t need the federal government to meet its Paris commitments. Michael Bloomberg has personally committed $15 million to the United Nations, which will cover the U.S.'s share of the climate accord's operating budget. And individual citizens are fired up in a way that the climate movement has never seen before. As AutoDesk Foundation president Lynette Cameron puts it in the op-ed below, Trump’s announcement may inadvertently be the best thing that ever happened to the planet.

There's reason to be hopeful, but there's also a lot of work to do -- especially for businesses. This week’s Reconsidered deep dives into the climate change debate and the ramifications from last week's announcement. Have you come across any other good articles or resources lately? Send me the links; I'd love to read them.
 

Jess


This Week's Five Links

What Is In the Paris Climate Agreement? — BBC
First things first, what is the Paris Agreement and why is it so dang important? This primer covers the basics. [Tweet this]

We Need to Literally Declare War on Climate Change — The New Republic 
In this brilliant 2016 article, Bill McKibben draws parallels between the fight against climate change and World War II, arguing that we need to embrace a wartime mentality in order to make real progress. As in the 1940s, this mobilization effort could result in significant social and economic benefits, like creating jobs and driving innovation. [Tweet this]

How G.O.P. Leaders Came to View Climate Change as Fake Science — The New York Times
A look at how the Republican party’s views on climate change have been influenced by the private sector over the past decade. Surprise, surprise: the fossil fuel industry and the Koch brothers are involved. [Tweet this]

Paris Agreement: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver — HBO
Everyone's favorite ragey Brit skewers Trump for his decision to leave the Paris Agreement and fact-checks his withdrawal speech. [Tweet this]

Trump May Be the Best Thing That Ever Happened to the Planet — CNBC
Lynette Cameron, president and CEO of the AutoDesk Foundation, was both “devastated” and “oddly ecstatic” about Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. "Trump's decision to bet against science and diplomacy is catalyzing the action, innovation and collaboration that is core to our American values," she writes. "Perhaps he will be remembered for the way his actions rallied each of us to take our future in our own hands." [Tweet this]


“Here’s what is most important for the world to understand: In the U.S., emission levels are determined far more by cities, states, and businesses than they are by our federal government.”
— Michael Bloomberg in “Americans Don’t Need Washington to Meet Our Paris Commitment"

Spotlight: A Brief History of Climate Change

When someone tells you, “The climate is always changing,” show them this cartoon. (via Grist)


Reconsidered is curated by Jessica Marati Radparvar. If you enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing it!

Issue 007 / Conscious Travel, Activist Artwork and How Walmart Tricks People into Saving Money

Reconsidered is a bi-weekly newsletter curating thought-provoking content on corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social impact. Click here to subscribe. 


This Week's Five Links

How to Trick People into Saving MoneyThe Atlantic
A fascinating look at how Walmart uses behavioral economics — and lessons from the lottery industry — to convince users of its prepaid MoneyCard to build up their savings. The program targets the nearly 67 million low and middle-income Americans who are “unbanked” or “underbanked" and helps them not only save money but also access a financial ecosystem they were previously crowded out from.

My Dream Job’s Uniform Turned Into A Health NightmareGOOD
A flight attendant shares how donning a new uniform led to a range of health problems — from thyroid issues to anxiety to a cough that wouldn’t go away. She claims that thousands of her colleagues have had similar reactions to airline uniforms, which are often coated with special chemicals to make them more stain-resistant and wrinkle-free.

Where There’s a Wall There’s a Way: Artists Take Aim at Sumatra’s Palm Oil IndustryThe Guardian
A group of international artists led by Ernest Zacharevic recently launched Splash and Burn, a collective artistic response to the global palm oil industry. Through a series of public art projects on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, Zacharevic hopes to start a dialogue around deforestation, the displacement of wildlife and other issues connected to palm oil.

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the WorldUnited Nations
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are big, audacious and seemingly unattainable. But rather than shy away from the challenge, the UN encourages you to take action! They argue that everyone — even the most indifferent, laziest person — has a role to play and outline a few simple ways to take action.

Why Your ‘Organic' Milk May Not Be OrganicThe Washington Post
This investigative report exposes how deep flaws in the certification process for USDA Organic milk make it possible for producers to bypass regulations on grazing and grass-feeding. 


“Where can you do good work? The answer is so obvious as to be painful. Right where you stand. That’s where you do good work.”
— Designer and author Mike Monteiro in “Ethics Can’t Be a Side Hustle,” an open letter to designers that’s just as applicable to the rest of us. 

Spotlight: Traveling Consciously


Few things bring me greater joy than traveling. But with adventures come impacts, not least the high carbon footprint of airplane transport. To mitigate these impacts, I’ve started making some shifts over the years. Here are some changes you can consider:

  • Travel with less. Not only does this save fuel on flights, but it also makes it easier to choose less impactful transport options when you're on the ground, whether that’s walking, hopping on the bus or taking a train. 
  • Spend locally. By supporting locally-owned hotels, restaurants and shops, you ensure that the money you’re spending stays in the community — crucially important when you’re traveling in less-developed countries.
  • Avoid short flights. Airplanes use a lot of fuel when they take off and land, giving short flights a proportionately higher carbon footprint than longer-haul journeys.
  • Consider taking an impact trip — but make sure to do your research. With the growth of “voluntourism” has come many projects that are run poorly and can actually harm the communities they aim to help. One outfit worth exploring is Journey, an impact travel company run by a former non-profit executive. 

Happy trails!


Reconsidered is curated by Jessica Marati Radparvar. If you enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing it!

Issue 006 / Upcycling, Poetry as Protest and the Next Big Food Craze

Reconsidered is a bi-weekly newsletter curating thought-provoking content on corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social impact. Click here to subscribe. 


This Week's 5 Links

Corporate Backers of Hate
In the 100 days that U.S. President Donald Trump has been in office, countless U.S. citizens have risen up to #resist his agenda. This new online platform, launched by The Center for Popular Democracy and Make the Road New York, makes it even easier for activists to direct that energy to corporations that allegedly support or profit from Trump’s “anti-immigrant, anti-worker” agenda. Current companies include JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Disney, Boeing, IBM and Uber.
☞ TAKE ACTION: Visit the website to learn more about these companies’ links to the current administration. If you don’t like what you see, click the buttons to “give ‘em hell."

Everything We Knew About Sweatshops Was Wrong — The New York Times
It's commonly said that factory jobs — even those with appalling working conditions — are “an escalator out of poverty” because they are better than existing alternatives in less developed countries. Expecting to prove this argument, two researchers headed to Ethiopia — one of the next frontiers for garment manufacturing — to perform the first randomized trial of industrial employment on workers. In this article, they share their unexpected findings.

Sweden Opens an Entire Mall Full of Reclaimed Goods — Inhabitat
Leave it to progressive Sweden to introduce the world’s first shopping mall offering exclusively used and upcycled goods. ReTuna Återbruksgalleria sells items that have been collected from surrounding communities, fixed up or repaired if needed and distributed across 14 themed shops. 

The Five Levels of Building an Ethical CultureBSR
It’s one thing to embed sustainability into business operations. But how do you build an ethical company culture from the ground up? This new working paper from Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) suggests that businesses should embrace systems thinking and group dynamics theory at an individual, interpersonal, group, intergroup and inter-organizational level.

Poetry as Protest and Sanctuary: Jane Hirshfield’s Magnificent Poem Against the Silencing of Science and the Assault on Nature — Brainpickings
“The facts were told not to speak / and were taken away. / The facts, surprised to be taken, were silent.” So goes this evocative poem from Jane Hirshfield written for the 2017 March for Science in Washington, D.C.


Only by educating people to a true solidarity will we be able to overcome the “culture of waste,” which doesn’t concern only food and goods but, first and foremost, the people who are cast aside by our techno-economic systems which, without even realizing it, are now putting products at their core, instead of people.
— His Holiness Pope Francis at TED2017

Spotlight: Are Crickets The New Kale?

People love a good food trend. There were ramen burgers, then kale, then avocado toast, then poke… what’s next?

A few recent media reports claim to have found the answer — crickets. Yep, bugs. 

Let’s set aside the immediate “ew” reflex and think about this for a minute. 

In a 2013 report, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations proclaimed that edible insects were an untapped resource for solving global hunger. Already, an estimated 20% of the world’s population consumes insects as part of their diet. They are a great source of lean protein, they're high in essential amino and omega acids and they’re chock-full of calcium and vitamin B12. And unlike other protein sources like beef and chicken, insects have a teeny-tiny ecological footprint — they emit very few greenhouse gases, require very little water and do not need significant space in order to be raised humanely. 

A crop of new start-ups have started to explore this new market opportunity. Bitty Foods makes cricket baking flour and posts Pinterest-worthy recipes for banana bread and apple persimmon cranberry cobbler. Exo cricket protein bars have found a following among athletes and paleos. Or, go all in with Aspire Food Group’s Aketta whole roasted crickets, available in flavors like Texas BBQ, Sour Cream & Onion and Sea Salt & Vinegar. Bon appétit!


Reconsidered is curated by Jessica Marati Radparvar. If you enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing it!

Issue 005 / The March for Science, Silicon Valley Scandals and Why Looking Good Can Be Extremely Bad for the Planet

Reconsidered is a bi-weekly newsletter curating thought-provoking content on corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social impact. Click here to subscribe. 


This Week's 5 Links

Earth Day and the March for ScienceNPR
Tomorrow, thousands will descend on Washington D.C. (and partner cities) to stand up for climate science and commemorate Earth Day at the national March for Science. In this Q&A, Adam Frank speaks with Earth Day Network president Kathleen Rogers about the history of Earth Day, the Industrial Revolution and the recent convergence of science and politics.
☞ TAKE ACTION: Join Earth Day Network's campaign to reach three billion "Acts of Green." Here are a few ideas to get started.

A Woman’s Death Sorting Grapes Exposes Italy’s ‘Slavery’The New York Times
A heartbreaking story about modern slavery in Italy, where job scarcity is driving workers — especially women in agriculture — to pay off corrupt middlemen and accept exploitative working conditions.

The Ugly Unethical Underside of Silicon ValleyFortune
“Silicon Valley has always seen itself as the virtuous outlier, a place where altruistic nerds tolerate capitalism in order to make the world a better place.” But with an uptick in reports of questionable ethics — and downright fraud — is this still the case? Erin Griffith explores how characteristics of the modern tech industry encourage and even incentivize unethical behavior. 

A Guide for Brands That Have Recently Discovered Women — McSweeney’s
A brilliant satire calling out companies whose policies and cultures contradict their rah-rah attitudes around diversity and inclusion. Dare you not to laugh out loud.

Above the Bottom Line 
I love the positive energy emanating from this weekly newsletter, which looks at how the world’s most influential companies are taking a stance on important issues. Plus, the animated GIFs are on point.


Hell has no fury like a scientist whose integrity is questioned.
— Earth Day President Kathleen Rogers in "Earth Day and the March for Science" (NPR)

Spotlight: Fashion Revolution Week

"Looking good can be extremely bad for the planet," stated a recent headline in The Economist. I tend to agree. For nearly a decade, I have been thinking about and working on ways to change this. Because clothing isn’t inherently bad. In most cultures, it’s necessary. It can be empowering and liberating. It’s a powerful representation to the outside world of who you are and what you stand for.

But is that representation an accurate one? Does it align with your values and what you believe in? Most people don't know, which is why the folks behind Fashion Revolution Week are trying to push for greater transparency in the fashion industry by encouraging consumers to ask themselves and their favorite brands a simple question: "Who made my clothes?” This year's campaign — which commemorates the fourth anniversary of the horrific collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh — kicks off next week.

☞ TAKE ACTION: Here are a few ways you can join in:


Reconsidered is curated by Jessica Marati Radparvar. If you enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing it!

Issue 004 / Ocean Waste, Equal Pay & Why Trump’s Climate Rollback is Absurd

Reconsidered is a bi-weekly newsletter curating thought-provoking content on corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social impact. Click here to subscribe. 


This Week's Five Links

Trump’s Climate Rollback Will Hurt the Economy, Not Help It — Harvard Business Review
Andrew Winston delivers an impassioned point-by-point takedown of Trump’s executive order on climate change. Winston calls Trump’s outdated views “absurd” and “factually wrong,” pointing to the job creation potential of clean energy, the capital and labor factors contributing to the death of coal and the cost — both in dollars and disruption — of climate change impacts as evidence.

Will Wall Street Embrace B Corps?B the Change Magazine
In 2015, Etsy became the first B Corporation (or "B Corp") to go public. Now, in order to remain a B Corp, it must decide whether to change its corporate structure to become a “benefit corporation,” a move that would require a shareholder vote. Confused? Yeah. Marc Gunther breaks down the difference between the two classifications, traces their history and considers their future as they are put to the ultimate test — the financial markets.

Cat Eyes for Climate Change — The Adaptors
I’ve been enjoying "The Adaptors" podcast, which profiles people who are coming up with creative, out-of-the-box ways to adapt to climate change — like Matthew Liao, an NYU philosopher who proposes bio-engineering humans to have more energy-friendly characteristics like meat allergies and — yes — cat eyes. 

The “Ask Cindy Gallop” Chatbot
"Message me to get the absolute goddamn f***ing sh*t tonne of money you deserve," says British advertising consultant and MakeLoveNotPorn creator Cindy Gallop. Click into this Facebook chatbot — a collaborative project launched on Equal Pay Day by R/GA, The Muse, Ladies Get Paid, Reply.ai and PayScale — and Gallop will serve up saucy advice on how women can navigate a salary increase.

The Story of Microfibers
Did you know that 60% of clothing is made from synthetic materials that contain plastic? When these garments are washed, they release microfibers that travel into our rivers, lakes and oceans, poisoning fish and ultimately the humans who eat them. This three-minute video from Story of Stuff’s Annie Leonard gives a primer.


“In other provinces that have adopted western diets you see pretty young girls but when they smile they have rotten teeth, because the sugar has broken down their teeth. We don’t want that to happen here.” 
— Father Luc Dini, a community leader in Torba Province in the Republic of Vanuatu; more in "South Pacific Island Looks To Ban All Imported Junk Food” (GOOD).

Spotlight: Ocean Waste


Over the weekend, I took a trip to Padang-Padang Beach in Bali, where I am currently based for a few months. I had memories from a previous trip of brilliantly blue water, soft white sand and the odd palm tree. Instead, everywhere I looked I saw… trash. Plastic bottles, styrofoam containers, bottle caps, errant flip-flops, glass shards — in the water, on the sand, littering the shrubs rimming the shore. Turns out that during rainy season, the frequent downpours sweep garbage from the island out to sea, where it mingles with ocean waste from other coastal areas and ultimately returns with the tides. It’s heartbreaking to see Bali’s natural beauty choked by this onslaught of rubbish.

But there’s reason to be hopeful. I am inspired by Melati and Isabel Wijsen, the teen-age founders of Bye Bye Plastic Bags, who recently gave an incredible TED Talk on their efforts to ban plastic bags on the island. I am also encouraged by recent innovations — notably in the apparel industry — that find creative uses for ocean plastic, like Adidas’ partnership with Parley to transform Indian Ocean waste into high-performance sportswear, Aquafil’s innovative ECONYL nylon made from discarded fishing nets and Bionic Yarn, a start-up that makes yarn from shoreline plastic and counts Pharrell Williams as a creative director. Though these solutions have an unfortunate byproduct — see the “Story of Microfibers” link above — they are a sign that innovation is at work to tackle this issue and restore the ocean to its natural beauty.


Reconsidered is curated by Jessica Marati Radparvar. If you enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing it!