Wrapping up a special series: A reflection on Forces For Good, live from the Aspen Ideas Festival
As we wrap up our special mini-series of the Forces For Good podcast, created in partnership with Danone and produced by Hueman Group Media, we’re reflecting on the groundbreaking ideas and stories shared with us this season. Recorded live at Aspen Ideas Festival, these episodes reflect the energy and creativity of that space, while still navigating important and hard-hitting issues with hope and ambition.
From inclusive nutrition to reimagined models of leadership in business, tune in to learn about the solutions helping address some of the toughest societal and environmental challenges of our time as we uplift voices from the change-making individuals leading remarkable nonprofits and businesses.
As always, our wonderful host Irving Chan Gomez navigates these conversations with curiosity and humanity, making for inspirational listening.
Not yet had the chance to tune in? Read on for episode highlights and join our community of global listeners from +110 countries.
Episode 1: How do business leaders create impact?
“We've really thought about the impact of our goals on health and nutrition, our goals on farming, on climate change, on packaging, how does that impact the communities that are a part of what we do and also where we operate?”
How are for-profit companies changing the way businesses operate to benefit people and the planet? What challenges do they face along the way? How is B Corp certification helping?
We sat down in Aspen for an honest conversation with Melanie Chow, Vice President of Mission and Sustainability at B Corp, Danone North America, about how Danone is grappling with creating impact in an agricultural industry that demands innovation and effort.
Episode 2: How to take a solutions based approach to climate change
“Climate change is the sun at the center of our solar system. Everything revolves around that… This is a solvable issue. We have what we need to do it. We just need to get people to think about it in a different way, to change their minds just a little bit, to accept, you know, certain solutions.“
As we increasingly witness the effects of climate change, what can we expect for the future of our planet? How can we mitigate these harmful effects? What is the importance of coming together to find solutions?
Greg Gershuny is the Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program, and Co-Director of Aspen Ideas Climate. In this conversation, Greg underscored the importance of convening and how coming together to drive solutions creates the greatest impact.
Episode 3: How can we change the way society approaches nutrition
“I think there's also a dimension to it that's about the joy and power of food. It's about how we have food, not just as a tool for physical health and well-being, but for community health and well-being.“
How are food and justice linked? How can we change the way our society approaches nutrition? How can businesses and individuals be a part of that?
Maya Feller is a nationally recognized, registered dietician-nutritionist who brings a culturally sensitive approach to her work. Curt Ellis is the CEO of FoodCorps, a nonprofit focused on food justice and education. We talked about how to infuse culture, connection, and community into food.
Episode 4: How business purpose drives progress
“You have to think about purpose as a foundation. It's not a slogan that sits in the lobby. It's actually a foundation to an infrastructure that gets established within the company.”
Why does purpose matter? How can for profit companies have a positive impact on their communities? How are purpose and profit linked?
Rob Falzon is Vice Chair at Prudential Financial and a Member of the Board of Directors and Lata Reddy is Senior Vice President of Inclusive Solutions, also at Prudential. When we sat down in Aspen, we talked about impact investing, community work, and balancing purpose in the financial sector.
Episode 5: How leaders create legacies that last
“Leadership can be learned… we recognize it in the fellows from around the world… willing to step up and do new things and, you know, rally people around them. And many times they're doing something which is not popular or not accepted. It's really [about] being moral and having courage. And that combination is very powerful.”
What is philanthropy’s role in finding the next world-changing great leader? What if the solutions to some of the world's biggest problems are out there, but they just need a little help scaling?
Anne Welsh McNulty is the co-founder and president of the John P. and Anne Welsh McNulty Foundation. She joined our host Irving at Aspen to talk about impact centered leadership, what moral courage means, and how the McNulty Foundation is helping develop some of the next great problem solvers.
Episode 6: How supporting entrepreneurs transforms communities
“Every big business was once a medium sized business was once a small business was once a startup. And I don't care what company is Fortune one to Fortune 5000. All of them started as somebody's crazy idea that nobody believed in, right?”
A must-listen, this episode asks ‘Why don’t Black and brown entrepreneurs have the same access and opportunities as their wealthy, white counterparts? How can access, opportunity and support empower these entrepreneurs so that their great ideas are able to thrive and make a difference in the world?’
We had the privilege of sitting down with Jay Bailey, President and CEO of the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE), during our visit to Aspen. Jay shared invaluable insights on the pivotal role that access plays in empowering entrepreneurs. He explained, "At RICE, we're not just focused on teaching entrepreneurship; we're creating a powerful tool for entrepreneurs. Every time they step into our space, they become even stronger."