I came to reSET for one purpose: to enable more businesses to thrive from a socially impactful perspective. Celebrating Earth Day during a global pandemic, it’s glaringly obvious that we have no choice but to consider how our actions affect people and the planet. I’m deeply concerned that as we emerge from this crisis, there will be a draw to go back to “business as usual” when what we really need is to evolve business for the better. 

Businesses who set out to create positive impact, in addition to financial gains, do better. They do better financially: publicly traded companies that measure sustainability against Environmental, Social and Governance metrics are outperforming their non-ESG counterparts right now, and have been, even in our darkest days over the past six weeks.

They also do better for people and the planet. Forward-thinking companies have responded to this crisis with socially-driven solutions, meeting very real emergency needs and making sure they can keep their lights on. 

For instance, reSET alumni Adam Lazar made use of his food industry contacts through his business, Asarasi Sparkling Water, to establish Front Porch Grocery Delivery, which helps food service distributors move bulk food from their warehouse to consumers. Impact includes preventing food waste, connecting farmers with more customers, and providing food delivery jobs. In addition, the initiative is donating groceries to first responders. 

Other examples include MakerspaceCT jumping into action to make personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, Hartford Flavor Company producing hand sanitizer, Craftbird Food Truck has been offering up meals to healthcare and hospitality industry workers… the list goes on. Whether they’re doing it purely to stay in business, or because they care for community, they’re doing something good, and something right.

We’ve outgrown the profiteering systems that were set up by previous generations.  Today’s world thrives on connection and meaning in our work. Work-life balance is more than a mantra, it’s become an integral part of our lives. There is a need to be more collaborative and community-driven. To prioritize the health of our employees and of the environment. To make enough money, but not to be driven purely by short-term returns.

It’s going to take patience, participation, listening, and working together to build a future that we want to live in. Over the coming months, I’d like to work with anyone who is moved to join us in creating pathways to a future that we design together.

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