Net Impact is a global community of over 300 chapters and more than 40,000 student and professional leaders working within and beyond business to tackle the world's toughest problems.
Want more expert panels? More career info? More tools for entrepreneurs? What kind of events and information can DC Net Impact provide for you this year? Let us know! Take the DC Net Impact member survey today!
Dan Schiff, VP of Programming & Events, D.C. Net Impact
With the clock ticking, a roomful of DC Net Impact members and friends took advantage of the opportunity to network with distinguished sustainability and nonprofit professionals at our Feb. 11 Speed Networking event at RFD in Chinatown.
Participants got three 15-minute rounds in small-group sessions with our "celebrity networkers," and the chance to ask them anything about their careers, organizations and sectors -- or just seek general advice.
Throughout the evening, the power of Net Impact's network and its ability to bring together likeminded, passionate people was on full display.
Thanks again to all who attended, and especially to our celebrity networkers who made the event a success:
- Joseph Crea, International Marketing & Communications Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
- Stéphane de Messieres, Director of Operations, Ashoka Changemakers
- Maureen Johnson, Global Sustainability Manager, Deloitte
- Jeff Lundy, Research Manager, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
- Brendan Shane, Director of the Office of Policy and Sustainability, District Department of the Environment
- Adam Sledd, Program Director, Commercial Real Estate Engagement, Institute for Market Transformation
- Joanne Sonenshine, Founder & CEO, Connective Impact
DC Net Impact members and friends filled the lounge at Lost Society on U Street on Jan. 29, celebrating a year of notable accomplishments and kicking off a promising 2014. In addition to great networking opportunities, along with food and libations, President Mikael Baker recapped DCNI's last 12 months -- which included being honored as Net Impact's national professional chapter of the year.
Baker also introduced keynote speaker Laura Asiala, senior director of client relations & public affairs at PYXERA Global. Asiala spoke about her work with PYXERA, which she joined in 2013 after a long career at Dow Corning Corp., where she directed corporate citizenship strategies. PYXERA engages corporate clients to facilitate volunteerism, including through its MBAs Without Borders initiative, and to find shared value with local communities. Asiala told the audience that companies today must earn a "license to operate" in their markets and other stakeholder communities, which requires on-the-ground engagement more than ever.
Asiala also recounted how she first got involved with Net Impact, when she spoke on a panel to an enthusiastic audience at the 2010 national conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She left so impressed by the Net Impact community that she signed on to join the national advisory board and has since become an active member of the D.C. chapter.
DCNI's kickoff offered great reminders about the benefits of Net Impact membership. To join our dynamic community of sustainability and social impact professionals, visit the Net Impact national website here. And be sure to check DCNI's events page to see what's coming up locally.
DC Net Impact's commitment to social impact extends not just to the high reaches of government and industry, but to the community level, too. On Jan. 6, DCNI members and friends spent an evening volunteering at DC Central Kitchen, which serves 5,000 meals daily to homeless shelters, halfway homes and other local nonprofits. Beyond providing those meals, DCCK stands as a unique hybrid of social enterprise and traditional business, with food recycling and culinary training programs alongside catering and food distribution operations. DC Net Impact is proud to support the work of DC Central Kitchen. Thanks to all who came out!
Liz Maw, CEO, Net Impact
At Net Impact, we know it's critical to take time to pause and reflect. Our 21st year has been a remarkable one, thanks to the passionate involvement of the Net Impact community. Our mighty network has grown to over 40,000 strong, with more than 300 volunteer-led chapters spanning the globe, driving impact on campus and on the job. We’re pleased to share some of these successes with you in our newly released annual report.
At the heart of our net impact this year were the outstanding accomplishments of our global network of student and professional leaders. College students on 74 campuses made their first moves towards social and environmental impact through the Small Steps, Big Wins Campus Challenge. Members of one graduate chapter created grade-A sustainability reports first for their university, then town – and will now share their findings nationally. Five professionals became finalists for our Impact at Work Award for creating breakthrough change on the job. You'll find these stories (and more) within this report's pages.
Other things you'll find within this report's pages:
We hope you’ll walk away from our annual report with a better sense of the breakthrough year we built together at Net Impact.
- Our ambitious 10-year strategy, including how we've piloted new initiatives and what we’ve learned
- Profiles from our global network of student and professional leaders, and their outstanding accomplishments
- An overview of our program areas by audience, as well as new developments to come
Dan Last, Chair of Student & University Partnerships, D.C. Net Impact
Are you interested in being a mentor, or perhaps speaking on a panel with other local professionals?
What about hosting a tour of your workplace, or co-sponsoring a student/professional networking happy hour?
There are twelve graduate and undergraduate Net Impact chapters in the Washington DC area -- and many opportunities to share your experience and expertise!
We are here to connect you with students and professionals who like you, want to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally responsible world.
Dan Schiff, VP of Programming & Events, D.C. Net Impact
Long-time Net Impact member and supporter Seth Goldman, "Tea-EO" of Honest Tea, spoke to an enthusiastic audience on Oct. 22 about conscious capitalism and his journey since co-founding the Bethesda-based company in 1998.
Even though Honest Tea has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Coca-Cola Company since March 2011, Goldman pitched his firm as doing work comparable to that of a non-governmental organization:
- helping to eliminate billions of calories from the American diet by offering less-sweetened beverages
- supporting the growth of organic agriculture through a carefully managed supply chain
- spreading fair trade labor standards in the developing world through supplier verification programs
Far from watering down Honest Tea's mission since the acquisition, Coca-Cola now offers Goldman's team the opportunity to leverage its massive distribution capacity, giving Honest Tea access to thousands of additional retail outlets and allowing it to scale up its positive impact on suppliers and consumers. Goldman also plugged Net Impact, of which he has been a member for two decades, praising the organization's commitment to moving corporate social responsibility into the mainstream. Net Impact additionally serves as a platform for bringing together like-minded business leaders and entrepreneurs; Goldman noted that he recently joined the board of another mission-driven food company, Beyond Meat, whose founder Ethan Brown is a Net Impact alumnus.
Goldman left the audience with a Chinese proverb: "Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the people doing it." Though we're a long way from realizing a business world in which every company embraces honesty, transparency and positive social impact, the rapid growth of Honest Tea and others suggests a major market shift is underway.
Want to start a social or environmental movement in your workplace? Use the Impact at Work Toolkit
to kick off a social or environmental project at work, and discover how you can make a net impact
Our free PDF toolkit walks you through the process step-by-step, and includes useful worksheets for any project. Download the toolkit, here.
Guest Post by Daniel Heyman
Bureh happened by accident. We never set out to start a fashion company based in Sierra Leone. Bureh's co-founder Grant, at the time my roommate and colleague, had just returned to Freetown with some cloth from the provinces. We decided to copy an old cloth belt into some fun new ones. When people like you started asking for the belts, we realized the tremendous opportunity to make a difference and share the beauty of Sierra Leone.
Still, there was a long way to go. Creating robust and resilient supply chains in Sierra Leone took time. We agreed at the outset that this would be a Sierra Leonean company, made in Sierra Leone by Sierra Leoneans. This allows us to create jobs, to train workers, to partner with other companies and to contribute to a growing economy, but it doesn't happen immediately. For example, Grant and Fatoma worked for almost a year before we could make one buckle in Sierra Leone of high quality.
Meet our blacksmiths! Check out this video.
Bureh is not a charity and we don’t give money away. We are for-profit, for social responsibility and for Sierra Leone. We provide sustainable jobs, source materials ethically and locally, and reinvest profits into start-ups that themselves can create more jobs and growth in the private sector, all while giving our customers a high quality product they can be proud of.
We are incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to do so far, and all the help that Net Impact has given us. Bureh was able to get off the ground because of our successful crowd-funding campaign. Net Impact was instrumental in spreading the word across its chapters to draw attention to our cause. Bureh made the finals of Net Impact’s Quick Pitch competition, giving us exposure and a platform.
So what next? Our goal is to build out our distribution in the US so we can double the number of employees we have in Sierra Leone. This means new partner boutiques, more PR, and doubling down on sales. If you’re interested in helping out, or know any boutiques who might like our products, please reach out to dan AT bureh DOT com or visit http://www.bureh.com/pages/contact-us.