An Inspiring Welcome and The Circular Economy


A report from the Sustainable Brands Conference in San Diego

“The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.” – Arthur C. Clarke

It’s been a very exciting time for our team at the Sustainable Brands Conference in San Diego, with sessions that dare us to think of the “what ifs” of business, design, technology, social change, and more. Our CEO, Sue Kochan and Director of Insight, Renee Lertzman, PhD, continue to enjoy inspiration and real change-making dialogue.

Change Makers that have inspired them so far:

  • Rich Fernandez, @searchinsideyou VP of Learning and Organizational Development for Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI), started the week off by telling us to go inside to reimagine our future. “There are 1,440 minutes in a day. Take a few and reimagine life and work as if your vision is being accomplished by every action. Live life as if your vision is accomplished with my every action.”
  • Gil Friend, @gfriend Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Palo Alto, made reference to the leading quote from Arthur C. Clarke by discussing how cities are the main sites of leadership and innovation and that “design is the basis of sustainability.”
  • Andrew Winston, @AndrewWinston Author, Founder, The Big Pivot, Winston Eco-Strategies – In referencing stores halting the sale of tobacco products, he asked the vital question, “Can we stop selling products that don’t fit our mission?” He also reminded us what a popular CEO recently told his shareholders about company goals: “If you want me to do things only for [ROI] reasons, you should get out of this stock.” – Tim Cook, Apple
  • Dean Scarborough, @chester1955 CEO, Avery Dennison – shared his thoughts on the evolution in CEOs’ realizations about how sustainability applied to their business. “Sustainability is about creating value” and “Sustainability is great lens for innovation.”
  • A true high point of the week so far has been the session “Reimagining True North: The Circular Economy” by Alexander Collot d’Escury, CEO, Desso. In an effort to start a new era of friendly flooring, where more than 50% of their carpet tiles are made from recycled waste, they exemplify the overall circular economy with their vision of: make the floor work for our health and well being. It was such a refreshing approach to see in their products! They want to prove to the business world that their goals are attainable with their enlightening “Cradle to Cradle®” approach to corporate responsibility, which can be found here:

“Sustainably is about making a better life for all of us” – Alexander Collot d’Escury, CEO