Jay Coen Gilbert - Co-Founder of B Lab and the B Corp Movement
Jay Coen Gilbert joins Sustainable Nation to discuss:
Creating and growing the B Corp movement
Updates on the state of B Corp worldwide
The importance of an inclusive economy
Advice and insights for sustainability leaders
Jay Coen Gilbert Final Five responses:
What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?
Reach out, reach out, reach out. There's power in community that doesn't exist inside your company and seek out or build for yourself a robust community of practice that can help you accelerate your learning and the progress that your company will make. You'll move much faster when you're working with people than if you're working on your own.
What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainable business?
Actually, I would say what I'm most excited about is the work around building an inclusive economy. I think that the work in sustainability is beginning to orient itself more directly and clearly and explicitly with the here and now needs of everyday people who are feeling left behind. I think that's one of the most exciting things that I see happening right now. And I see that leadership coming not just from sort of social first B Corps, but even from folks who are considered to be a sort of an environmental first B Corp are beginning to do work to build an inclusive economy in their businesses and their supply chains in a way that I hadn't seen two, three, five years ago.
What does one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?
What is one book that I would recommend sustainability professionals read? You know what, it's a great question. I don't think it's a book about sustainability. And I think that the most important things that I've read have been things that reminded me about the "why" we're doing this and not the "how." So I think one of the most important texts that I think that has been read is Martin Luther King's Letter From Birmingham Jail. I think it's one of the most important pieces of writing in the twentieth century. And I think it speaks to this particular moment in history and not just to one from 55 years ago. It really issues a clear call to action, and asks us to really question whether we are being to moderate in our demands of ourselves or companies, or the companies that we are doing business with. And so for me, that's not a book, but since most people don't have time to read whole books anyway, I would say, get yourself a copy. Google "letter from Birmingham jail." Read that. And think about how it's calling us to move from a place of moderation to a place of being drum majors for justice and sustainability and what that means in our current environment.
What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really helped you in the work that you do?
I'd say the most important resources or the people that I work with every day. I learned a ton from the folks at B Lab, not just in our North American organization but through all of our global partners. And so the most important tool I have is the phone and the computer, so that I can be in touch with leaders around the country and around the world who can tell me all the cool things that they're doing, and then I can benefit from their wisdom and their innovation.
And finally, where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading?