Last Friday, I had the opportunity to speak with Toby Usnik, the Chief CSR Officer and International Director of Christie’s fine art auction house, about starting an inaugural corporate social responsibility (CSR) program at the private establishment.
For those of you not familiar with the story of St. Matthew’s Island, a remote island in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska, allow me to recount the tale. It is a factual story and shines a light on animal behavior, including our own, in the face of seemingly unlimited resources.
We are natural creatures, animals born from this earth. Undoubtedly, however, we have a knack for the artificial. Take cities, for example. Those big cosmopolitan, sky-scraping metropoli that signify “the future.”
Capital, most often financial capital, represents how much money is available. Financial capital also generally refers to saved-up wealth, often saved to one day start or maintain a business and purchase goods. Everyone wants capital, and generally more of it.
Money, at least in the United States, is indeed colored green, and it can be spent in a way that promotes sustainable practices, environmental initiatives, and just and fair treatment to all global citizens. By showing companies that you care enough about their ethics to especially (or especially not) invest in them, you can enact change and better business operations.
In my curriculum, I am constantly asked, “What makes a good leader?” The best answer I’ve heard so far is: “Someone who encourages others to lead.” Frances Beinecke may be the ultimate in this.
Everyone wears clothes, and most people wear clothes that were made by someone else, somewhere else. Clothes are wonderful: they keep us warm, help us express ourselves and enhance our self-esteem. Unfortunately, current global fashion is highly unsustainable, meaning its dependence on harmful chemicals, cheap labor, and inbuilt obsolescence is a hazard to people and the planet.
The tides of change are upon us. Nowhere is this more apparent than the actual changing tides that are starting to inundate U.S. states like Florida, threaten the safety of New Yorkers, and eat up the coastlines of states like Louisiana, and California.
Mike Tidwell is the Executive Director at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN), a nonprofit/grassroots organization based out of Takoma Park, MD, that is committed to combating climate change in the DC-Maryland-Virginia metropolitan area.