The Impact Report

Bard MBA in Sustainability

Stories from the front lines of business and sustainability innovation.

All Episodes

Closing the Loop on Commercial Textile Waste: Jessica Schreiber & Camille Tagle, Co-Founders of FABSCRAP Founded by Jessica Schreiber and Camille Tagle, FABSCRAP was created to meet New York City’s commercial textile recycling needs. Materials that traditionally would have gone to landfill are now being properly recycled and made available for reuse. FABSCRAP provides convenient pickup and recycling of textiles for businesses in New York City and Philadelphia. Read more about their impact in their most recent report: FABSCRAP 2020 Annual Report.   Bard MBA’s Adam Rozenberg and Siri Wilson speak with Jessica and Camille about how their backgrounds in waste management and eveningwear design inform their work in transforming the industry. ImpactReportPodcast.com

Nov 19

57 min 56 sec

Activism, Leadership & Purpose: Gilles Mesrobian, Professor & Principal at the Red Queen Group In addition to his role as a visiting faculty member of Bard College’s MBA in Sustainability Program, Gilles is an affiliate consultant with the Support Center for Nonprofit Management, a Certified Governance Trainer through BoardSource, and on the National Training Faculty for NeighborWorks America.  His credentials include over 30 years senior management experience in the non-profit arena, with over 20 years as an Executive Director. His consulting experience covers a broad range of organizational work in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector, including governance training, organizational assessment, leadership development, executive leadership transition, executive search, strategic planning, retreats and trainings. His interest in sustainability has extended to his consulting where he has worked with numerous organizations in the area of social and environmental justice. He has also facilitated numerous leadership training programs including the the New York Foundation for the Arts Emerging Leaders program, the Support Center’s Trajectory Leadership Program,, as well as the CT Council of Family Service Agency’s yearlong leadership program. For this episode of the Impact Report, Bard MBA’s Kiana Cardwell speaks with Gilles about how his activism during the early days of the AIDS Epidemic shaped him as a leader and moved him toward a career in purpose-driven work.

Nov 5

26 min 7 sec

Building Sustainability into a Legacy Company: Robert Pasin CEO, Radio Flyer Robert Pasin heads Radio Flyer Inc., the business founded by his grandfather in 1917. Radio Flyer is an iconic brand that holds a special place in people's hearts because it instantly transports them to a happy time — to the best parts of childhood. Robert works with a wonderful group of passionate "Flyers" whose mission is to create products that bring smiles to kids of all ages and to create warm memories that last a lifetime. Company sales have grown significantly because of Robert’s focus on building a highly committed and creative team. The product line has expanded beyond the iconic Little Red Wagon™ to include tricycles, scooters, and other ride-ons featuring innovative, beautiful, playful design. Robert is the Emmy winning producer of the animated short film, Taking Flight. In June 2021, Robert was named 2021 Top CEO in the Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award.  Among chief executives recognized by employees in the U.S., Pasin received an impressive 100 percent approval rating based on the anonymous and voluntary reviews Radio Flyer employees shared on Glassdoor throughout the past year. Bard MBA’s Jordan Sabine speaks with Robert for this episode of the Impact Report. ImpactReportPodcast.com

Oct 29

21 min 37 sec

Committed to Clean Money: A Conversation with Joe Sanberg, Co-Founder of Aspiration Joe Sanberg is a progressive business leader, anti-poverty advocate, and co-founder of Aspiration, a no-fee, socially-conscious financial firm that keeps its customers’ money away from fossil fuels and private prisons. As a steward of the movement to pass the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income families in California, Joe founded CalEITC4Me, one of the state’s largest anti-poverty programs, which has put more than $10 billion back in the pockets of working families. He successfully led the charge to expand eligibility for the program to low-wage, undocumented workers, who had previously been excluded from the tax credit. Then-California Gov. Jerry Brown’s top adviser Nancy McFadden called Joe the “spark” behind the state’s efforts to execute the new program. Joe also leads Working Hero PAC, a people-powered political organization focused on electing progressive candidates who will fight for affordable housing, good-paying jobs, a sustainable future, and accessible healthcare for all. Bard MBA’s Johnathan Pham & Stephanie Lavallato speak with Joe for this episode of the Impact Report.  ImpactReportPodcast.com

Oct 15

27 min 12 sec

Turning Up The Heat on Financial Regulators to Combat Climate Change Steven M. Rothstein Managing Director, Accelerator for Capital Markets, Ceres Steven M. Rothstein is the founding Managing Director of the Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets.  Ceres Accelerator aims to transform the practices and policies that govern capital markets in order to accelerate reduction of the worst financial impacts of the climate crisis and other sustainability threats. Steven’s 40 years of experience will be critical to explore the most effective strategies for the Accelerator to focus on and move capital markets towards climate sustainability. He has worked at local, state, federal and international levels of government. Steven served on many non-profit and government boards. He has spoken and written extensively and worked with partners in the corporate, non-profit, government and philanthropy sectors. Bard MBA’s Lucien Harlow-Dion speaks with Steven for this episode of the Impact Report. ImpactReportPodcast.com

Jun 25

24 min 5 sec

How FinTech Can Close The Racial Wealth Gap: Ramona Ortega, Founder, My Money My Future Ramona Ortega is the CEO & Founder of My Money My Future. MMMF is a fintech marketplace helping Black and Latinx millennials save, invest, and build wealth with automated financial guidance and personalized product recommendations. Previously she helped launch Azlo, a small business banking platform as Entrepreneur-In-Residence.  Prior to founding MMMF, Ramona was a Wall Street attorney and worked on complex securities litigation and corporate matters in private practice and at the SEC and U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Ramona is a contributor to TechCrunch and HuffPost and is a sought after speaker and thought leader in Fintech. She has a B.A. from UCLA and a J.D. from Fordham School of Law. She is on the board of Village Capital, Camino Financial and Community Health Council. My Money My Future is an all-in-one personal finance platform that helps multicultural millennials make better financial decisions by combining education and unique content with personalized product recommendations and financial advice in a seamless experience. MMMF dashboard provides personalized financial action plans to guide users through a range of decisions, including investing, budgeting, saving, and credit. Series Producer, Katie Ellman speaks with Ramona for this episode of the Impact Report.  ImpactReportPodcast.com

Jun 11

1 hr 8 min

Rethink. Redesign. Repurpose: Brandi Susewitz Founder & CEO, Clear Office Brandi has been in the office furniture industry for over twenty years.  On June 12th 2020, she woke up with a mission: to create the first online marketplace for companies to buy and sell their pre-owned office furniture.  Clear Office has digitized the pre-owned office furniture industry and is the first online marketplace where buyers and sellers of used office furniture connect directly. Bard MBA’s Whitney Smith-Burghes speaks with Brandi for this episode of the Impact Report.  ImpactReportPodcast.com

May 15

31 min 15 sec

Improving the Lives of Pets, Pet Parents & the Planet: A Conversation with Francesca Mahoney of Petco An accomplished retail leader, Francesca Mahoney leads Petco’s sustainability strategy and works with business leaders across operations, products, and supply chain to advance sustainability and drive strategic growth. She is passionate about creating a better planet for pets and pet parents alike and has been the driving force in Petco’s recent industry-leading commitment to increasing its assortment of sustainable pet products to 50% by the end of 2025. She has also spent more than a decade transforming teams, building brands and leading marketing strategies for renowned companies. Before joining Petco, she worked at Target Corporation for +10 years in a variety of Merchandising and Marketing roles. Bard MBA Alum Cory Skuldt speaks with Francesca for this episode of the Impact Report. ImpactReportPodcast.com Petco Sustainable Product Shop: https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/category/sustainable-products-shop Petco Corporate Responsibility  home page: https://corporate.petco.com/corporate-responsibility Sustainable Brands Op-Ed on transforming the pet industry, by Francesca and Cory: https://sustainablebrands.com/read/product-service-design-innovation/how-sustainable-choices-for-pet-parents-can-drive-industry-transformation

May 7

21 min 58 sec

Touching the Future of Textiles: Nicole Meier, Director of Branding at Ultrafabrics Ultrafabrics is reshaping the world of leather-free performance fabrics.  Operating on three continents with over five decades of expertise, Ultrafabrics innovates in sync with emerging customer needs to create versatile solutions for any surface, and for a multitude of industries. Every fabric coming out of their mill is a premium, sustainable and intelligent product that speaks to—and elevates—the senses. They are dedicated to innovation and sustainability and are always improving to continuously deliver superior performance fabrics. As a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Nicole Meier utilizes her merchandising background to position Ultrafabrics as the premier animal-free performance fabric across a variety of worldwide sectors. During her tenure, she has introduced educational programs, material donation and community partnerships while overseeing content development and the overall brand experience. Together with a consulting firm, she leads the Ultrafabrics’ sustainability committee and ensures the strategy is integrated throughout the company.  Bard MBA’s Isobel Modica speaks with Nicole for this episode of the Impact Report. ImpactReportPodcast.com

Apr 30

29 min 31 sec

Population empowers home and fashion brands to embed an integrated approach to sustainability into their business models, brand strategy and marketing. As consultants they blend the creative and strategic to build authentic narratives, safeguarding against performative marketing and greenwashing. From widespread extraction and pollution to over-consumption and waste, industries had been reckoning with their impacts on the planet. We were already at a tipping point, when a global pandemic hit. Fashion brands cancelled orders leaving numerous manufacturers and workers unpaid. Not long after, garment workers put their own health and safety at risk making PPE. And in the midst of all this, George Floyd’s murder catalyzed a racial reckoning and a wave of wokewashing. It may not seem like it, but these problems are interconnected. For this special episode of the Impact Report, Series Producer, Katie Ellman speaks with Population co-founders Lauren Hill and Catherine Tedrow and their co-host of the Unspun podcast series, Danielle Arzaga. ImpactReportPodcast.com  

Apr 23

40 min 32 sec

Strategy As A Service: Gary J. Nix, Founder and Chief Strategist, The BRANDarchist Gary J. Nix is a strategy executive who earned his stripes as a disruptor, innovator, and predictor in the entertainment, magazine publishing, and marketing industries. Known for merging traditional marketing principles with modern marketing techniques, he has used his in-house and agency experience with Fortune 500 companies to open the brandarchist: strategy as a service. Additionally, his expertise & distinct point-of-view has positioned him as a frequently sought after source in the advertising trades, guest lecturer, as well as a subject matter expert on ethics, culture, and community as a business necessity. Furthermore, his perspective led him to be named a 2020 Innovator by the Advertising Club of New York. When not tending to his consultancy, he serves as a senior leadership member for 100 Roses from Concrete & The G.R.O.W.T.H. Initiative and a strategic advisor for the communications agency Bold Culture by Streamlined. Bard MBA’s Olivia Taussig speaks with Gary for this episode of The Impact Report.    ImpactReportPodcast.com

Apr 16

40 min 15 sec

Addressing Embodied Carbon's Role in Climate Change: Stacy Smedley, Executive Director of Building Transparency Building Transparency, a 501(c) nonprofit organization that provides open access data and tools that support broad and swift action across the building industry in addressing embodied carbon’s role in climate change. Formed in 2020, Building Transparency hosts, manages and maintains the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) tool, which provides thousands of digital EPDs in a free, open-source database. Building Transparency strives to provide the resources and education necessary to promote adoption of the EC3 tool, including through the official materialsCAN program, and works with global policymakers to shape a better building future. In her role at Building Transparency, Stacy leads the continued management and development of the EC3 tool and works to educate and engage the building industry on actionably reducing embodied carbon emissions of building materials. Bard MBA’s Sahara James & Kiana Cardwell speak with Stacy for this episode of the Impact Report. ImpactReportPodcast.com

Apr 2

19 min 51 sec

Investing for Good: Peter Krull, CEO & Director of Investments, Earth Equity Advisors Peter Krull is a well-known leader in the green business community and a long-time advocate for fossil fuel free and sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investing. He was selected to the 2018 Investopedia 100 list of the one hundred most influential financial advisors in America, and was one of the first individuals to earn the Chartered SRI Counselor™ designation from the College for Financial Planning. His responsibilities at Earth Equity Advisors include managing all of the firm’s sustainable, responsible and impact portfolios. He also coordinates the firm’s marketing activities and works closely with the team to improve operations and processes. He has guided Earth Equity Advisors rapid growth as well as the firm’s rise to prominence as a four-time Best for the World Certified B Corporation. Bard MBA’s Johnathan Pham speaks with Peter for this episode of the Impact Report.  ImpactReportPodcast.com

Mar 19

30 min 7 sec

Media as a Mode for Social & Environmental Good:Jessica Thurston, Director, ESG Strategy at ViacomCBS Jessica Thurston leads ViacomCBS’ environmental, social, and governance strategy. She oversees the development and implementation of key ESG programs across the global company, including ESG reporting and engagement with rankers, raters, and investors. Jessica’s background is in ESG and sustainability strategy and communications. Previously, she worked at New York-based agencies supporting clients including Chipotle, Carhartt, Keurig Dr Pepper, Merck & Co., Inc., and more. She previously worked in sustainability at Tiffany & Co., and started her career at the U.S. General Services Administration, where she worked in sustainable procurement policy and communications. Bard MBA’s Olivia Taussig speaks with Jessica for this episode of The Impact Report.  ImpactReportPodcast.com

Mar 12

50 min 16 sec

Making Cities More Resilient By Eliminating Food Waste: A Conversation with Natasha Dyer, Senior Recycling Program Coordinator for the City of Atlanta In her role with the Mayor’s Office of Resilience, Natasha Dyer focuses on creating municipal programs that increase wasted food diversion from landfill as part of the City’s Climate Action and Food Access plans.  This includes programs that recover edible surplus food to feed food insecure residents and collaborating with external partners to create decentralized composting systems that then benefits local urban agriculture.  In her role with the City, she has also created and administers a citywide Sustainability Ambassador Leadership Program that graduates just under 100 participants per year. Bard MBA's Emma Chandler speaks with Natasha for this episode of the Impact Report. ImpactReportPodcast.com

Mar 5

35 min 40 sec

The Future of Agriculture is Local and Greenhouse-Grown: A Conversation with Paul Sellew Paul Sellew, founder and chief executive officer of Little Leaf Farms, had a vision to grow lettuce in New England year-round after mastering the growing and distribution of greenhouse-grown tomatoes with his previous company, Backyard Farms. Founded in 2015, Little Leaf Farms grows flavorful, crisp, leafy baby green lettuce in a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient, sustainable greenhouse facility in Devens, Mass. By innovating greenhouse growing, capturing rainwater, and using sunlight, Little Leaf Farms is an industry leader in controlled environment agriculture, allowing the company to grow lettuce and ship it to stores within 24 hours thereby surpassing competitors on taste and quality. Little Leaf Farms is able to reduce food miles and waste by growing locally as compared to 95 percent of the lettuce grown and trucked cross-country from California and Arizona. Using captured rainwater allows the company to use 90 percent less water than field-grown lettuces. Using natural sunlight over electric lights contributes to the company’s efficiency in growing practices. No human hands touch Little Leaf Farms’ lettuce throughout the growing process to ensure safe growing practices and to reduce any risk of contamination. A socially responsible company, Little Leaf Farms also works with nonprofit charity partners, Greater Boston Food Bank, Loaves to Fishes, and Daily Table, to name a few. ImpactReportPodcast.com

Feb 26

24 min 21 sec

Reducing Risks for Responsible Mining: A Conversation with Karen Chovan, CEO & Founder of Enviro Integration Strategy Enviro Integration Strategies is focused on helping leaders to rapidly integrate sustainable choices and practices into mining designs and operations.  After 20 years in mining, CEO and Founder, Karen Chovan has gained a breadth of experience and knowledge working as a geological engineer and project manager. She has also worked as an organizational change agent helping teams to solve environmental problems, avoid risks in future major projects, and create programs and protocols to improve performance within the sustainability realm. From problem identification, all the way through to change implementation, Karen has helped teams get to the other side, and she has a very large network to find any unique support the project might need to get there. Bard MBA’s Patrick Connolly speaks with Karen for this episode of the Impact Report.  ImpactReportPodcast.com

Feb 12

31 min 4 sec

Collaborating to Accelerate the Textile Industry's Move From Linear to Circular: A Conversation with Karla Magruder, Founder & President of Accelerating Circularity  Karla Magruder has 35 years of global experience from fiber to finished garments. Accelerating Circularity is a 501(c)3 with a mission to divert textiles from landfill and incineration for textile-to-textile circular supply chain systems. Karla also founded Fabrikology International, a textile consulting company in 2003. She led the apparel launch of Ingeo fibers, the 1st manmade fiber created from 100% annually renewable resources and developed Textiles Exchange’s first preferred fiber and material strategy and their rPET Working Group. During her tenure leading the group she successfully facilitated a commitment of over 60 major brands and retailers to increase their recycled polyester use by 25% by 2020.  Karla is currently a Textile Exchange Governance Board member, UNFCCC Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action Steering Committee Member and Co-Chair of the Raw Material Working Group and a Gr3n Advisory Board Member. Bard MBA's Kirstie Dabbs speaks with Karla for this episode of the Impact Report. ImpactReportPodcast.com

Dec 2020

31 min 5 sec

The Great Pivot: A Conversation with Ben Vandenwymelenberg, Chairman & Founder, WOODCHUCK USA WOODCHUCK USA manufactures technology-driven wood products and specializes in customization. WOODCHUCK USA was founded with a simple mission: putting nature back into people's lives. Their passion is to be a daily reminder of our planet's vulnerability by using real wood products and planting a tree with every product sold. Their way of making a better world for future generations is us bringing jobs back to America while bringing quality products to our consumers.  Ben founded WOODCHUCK USA as an undergraduate senior at the University of Minnesota and is the true visionary behind the company. Ben graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2012 with a degree in Architecture and Landscape Architecture. He grew up on a small farm in Wisconsin and learned the importance of strong morals, hard work, and a deep love for nature, which he infuses into everything the company does today. Ben was named “40 Under 40” by the Minneapolis/ St. Paul Business Journal, “Power 50” by Minnesota Business Magazine, and “32 Under 32” by the Minnesota Ad Federation. For this episode of the Impact Report Series Producer, Katie Ellman speaks with Ben about entrepreneurship, learning from missteps and putting people and planet first in business.   ImpactReportPodcast.com      

Dec 2020

27 min 54 sec

Purpose, Prosperity & Priorities: A Conversation with Jane Lawrie, Global Head of Corporate Affairs at KPMG International. Jane Lawrie joined KPMG International as the Global Head of Corporate Affairs in late 2019. With more than 30 years’ communications experience, Jane has worked for global brands including Coca-Cola, Diageo, Boots and most recently Tesco.  A member of the Tesco Executive Committee from 2016 to 2019 she led the Group Communications function through the company’s turnaround including the acquisition of Booker.  She led the Tesco Board Corporate Responsibility Committee and established a new sustainability program, The Little Helps Plan. Throughout her experience, Jane has focused on stewarding businesses to make the right decisions to protect and shape reputation. She has fronted developments in companies from policy decisions through to digital investments. Jane was recognized as PR Week’s No1 Corporate Communicator in 2018. Jane sits on the Cass Global Women’s Leadership Council.\ Bard MBA's Molly Kiick speaks with Jane for this episode of the Impact Report. ImpactReportPodcast.com

Nov 2020

25 min 19 sec

Leveraging Business to Protect Wild Places: A Conversation with Brady Robinson, Executive Director of the Conservation Alliance.  Brady Robinson is a conservationist, climber and educator whose career has included over a decade at Outward Bound and 11 years running the Access Fund, the national organization that keeps climbing areas open and conserved. He was Director of Strategy and Development for Tompkins Conservation, which creates terrestrial and marine national parks in Chile and Argentina, reintroduces missing species and conserves biodiversity, and now serves as the Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance, which works with businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places. For this episode of the Impact Report, Bard MBA's Sean Reckert speaks with Brady about the need for better representation, diversity and inclusion in the conservation space and the future of this work in light of the pandemic. ImpactReportPodcast.com  

Nov 2020

34 min 51 sec

Putting Sustainability at the Core of Business: A Conversation with Trista Bridges of Read the Air   Trista Bridges is a marketing strategy and sustainable business expert, who's passionate about changing business for good. Strongly believing that sustainable business = smart business, she co-founded Read the Air to shift mindsets, business strategies, and ways of working towards business models that put sustainability at the core. Her extensive career experiences span various geographies, from Europe to the Americas and Asia, and sectors including consumer products, media and tech, healthcare, and financial services.  Trista is co-author of the recently released "Leading Sustainably: The path to sustainable business and how the SDGs changed everything".   Bard MBA's John Murray speaks with Trista for this episode of the Impact Report.   ImpactReportPodcast.com

Oct 2020

37 min 33 sec

Transforming Degraded Landscapes into Regenerative, Circular Economies: A Conversation with Neal Spackman of Regenerative Resources Co. Neal Spackman is the CEO/Founder of Regenerative Resources Corporation.  He lived and worked with tribes of bedou from 2010-2018 in Makkah Province, Saudi Arabia, where he cofounded and directed the Al Baydha Project.  He is also the founder of Sustainable Design Masterclass, a free webinar series on the intersection of entrepreneurship, ecology, and agricultures. Neal is an alumni of Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, and has a Bachelor's in Middle East Studies/Arabic from Brigham Young University.   ImpactReportPodcast.com

Oct 2020

36 min 52 sec

Parks for the People: A Conversation with Mitchell J.Silver Mitchell J. Silver became Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in May 2014. Commissioner Silver is also the immediate past president of the American Planning Association. He is an award-winning planner with more than 30 years of experience and he is internationally recognized for his leadership in the planning profession and his contributions to contemporary planning issues. He specializes in comprehensive planning, place making and implementation strategies.  As Parks Commissioner, Mitchell Silver oversees management, planning and operations of nearly 30,000 acres of parkland, which includes parks, playgrounds, beaches, marinas, recreation centers, wilderness areas and other assets. One of the nation’s most celebrated urban thinkers, Commissioner Silver has been elected to Planetizen’s list of the 100 Most Influential Urbanists (2017), and named an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (2017), a fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences (2016), an honorary fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia (2015), a fellow of the American Planning Association (2014), and an honorary lifetime member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (2014). In addition, he has been honored as one of the top 100 City Innovators in the world by UBM Future Cities, and in 2012 the Urban Times named him one of the top international thought leaders of the built environment. Bard MBA’s Sahara James, Justin McAmmond and Tessa Rainbolt speak with Commissioner Silver for this episode of the Impact Report.  This episode of The Impact Report is sponsored by reSET Social Enterprise Trust, a Hartford based organization advancing the social enterprise sector through its Impact Accelerator, Food Incubator, and advocacy work. reSET invites you to join our virtual Beyond Business as Usual conference on October 8th at 9am. Use code Bard2020 for a special discount. You can find more information at www.resetco.org 

Oct 2020

29 min

Breaking the Mold on Investing: A Conversation with Lily Trager of Morgan Stanley Lily S. Trager is an Executive Director and the Director of Investing with Impact and Head of Impact Solutions for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Since 2006, Lily has dedicated her career to sustainable and impact investing. Lily joined Morgan Stanley in 2014. In her current role, Lily works to provide individual, family and institutional clients with investment products, solutions, research and tools to capture the opportunities and mitigate risks posed by key sustainability and impact themes. Previously, Lily worked for Veris Wealth Partners in New York, a Registered Investment Advisory focused exclusively on serving clients with interest in sustainable and impact investing, most recently as Head of Research & Due Diligence. Lily began her career at Cambridge Associates in Boston, where she worked on teams overseeing $3.9 billion in nonprofit, high-net-worth and foundation investment portfolios. Lily was named to the 2018 class of MAKERS @ Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, a recognition that celebrates women who are ground breakers, advocates, and innovators in their given field. Lily earned a M.B.A in Sustainable Business from Presidio Graduate School (formerly Bainbridge Graduate Institute) and her B.A. in Anthropology from Bates College. She also co-founded Women Investing for a Sustainable Economy (WISE), a professional networking group in New York City with chapters in Boston, Washington DC, San Francisco, Toronto, London, Los Angeles and Philadelphia Bard MBA's Emma Jenkins and Lucien Harlow-Dion speak with Lily for this episode of the Impact Report. ImpactReportPodcast.com

Sep 2020

28 min 43 sec

Strong Returns, Measurable Impact: A Conversation with Alexa Blain and Fernando Alvarado of Deetken Impact Deetken Impact is a Canadian impact investing firm. Their priority is delivering strong, uncorrelated stable returns to clients.  They differ from other firms in two striking ways: their focus is geographic and their mission is to make a social and environmental impact in  the Americas, with a deeper focus on Latin America and the Caribbean, a region which — like other emerging markets — is projected to grow at 2x the rate of advanced economies in the next 5 years. Access to capital is necessary to capture and nurture this growth. Two, they focus  investments on businesses and social enterprises that promote entrepreneurship, provide or improve access to basic services, and have a positive environmental impact. They seek-out untapped opportunities for growth in five different sectors that positively impact communities in the Americas. Bard MBA's Leigh Anne Statuto and Stephanie Lavallato speak with Alexa and Fernando for this episode of the Impact Report.  ImpactReportPodcast.com

Sep 2020

54 min 43 sec

The Pioneer of Purpose: A Conversation with Carole Cone Carol Cone pioneered the field of social purpose in the 1980s, and today is widely recognized as one of the world's foremost social impact experts. Her work has built global movements, garnered hundreds of awards and raised billions of dollars for a variety of worthy causes. For this episode of the Impact Report, Bard MBA’s Lindsay Moreau speaks with Carol about finding the power of purpose during the pandemic and the push to end systemic racism.  The Impact Report brings together students and faculty in Bard’s MBA in Sustainability program with leaders in business, sustainability and social entrepreneurship. ImpactReportPodcast.com

Aug 2020

47 min 4 sec

Leadership During Crisis: A Conversation with Eric Adams Eric Adams started out as a police officer, serving 22 years in law enforcement. He began his political career representing Brooklyn districts as a State Senator. Today, he serves as the Borough President of Brooklyn, advocating for a healthier, safer, and better Brooklyn and New York City. The work of the Borough President, including his lifestyle medicine and food initiatives in Brooklyn and NYC, such as Meatless Mondays and the plant-based lifestyle medicine clinic, can be found here. For this episode of the Impact Report Series Producer, Katie Ellman speaks with Borough President Adams about police reform, leadership during the pandemic and how change is always possible.  The Impact Report brings together students and faculty in Bard’s MBA in Sustainability program with leaders in business, sustainability and social entrepreneurship. ImpactReportPodcast.com

Aug 2020

22 min 12 sec

Using Design to Combat Extinction: A Conversation with Mitchell Joachim It has been said that the goal of architecture is to improve human life but throughout history, built environments and urbanization have destroyed natural ecosystems.  The balance between meeting the demands to house the growing population of the world and reducing harm to habitats has proven mostly elusive in practice. Last winter, Bard MBA Alum, Konstancja Maleszynska spoke with Dr. Mitchell Joachim, Co-Founder of Terreform ONE a nonprofit architecture and urban design research-based consulting group. They talked about how pioneering acts of design can combat extinction and illuminate the environmental possibilities of habitats, cities and landscapes worldwide.    The Impact Report brings together students and faculty in Bard’s MBA in Sustainability program with leaders in business, sustainability and social entrepreneurship. ImpactReportPodcast.com

Jul 2020

31 min 28 sec

Transforming Waste Into Valuable Products: A Conversation with Isaac Nichelson, Co-Founder & CEO of Circular Systems  Isaac has been a creative leader and entrepreneur in the apparel industry for 25 years. He's best known for propelling cutting-edge product and market innovation in realms of sustainability and circular resource efficiency.  As CEO and Co-founder of Circular Systems, Nichelson created a low-impact production process that will redefine the meaning of sustainable materials in the fashion industry. In 2018 Isaac and Circular Systems won the H&M Foundation’s coveted Global Change Award for their revolutionary Agraloop Bio-Refinery process. The process turns food crop waste into sustainable fashion by generating food-crop fiber out of plant waste that is left by the harvesting of food crops. For this episode of the Impact Report, Bard MBA’s Nicole Pamani speaks with Isaac about his work. ImpactReportPodcast.com

Jun 2020

56 min 48 sec

Powering End-to-End Product Digitization: A Conversation with Natasha Franck, Founder & CEO of Eon.  Natasha Franck is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Eon.  Eon powers connected products for industry's largest global brands and retailers. Eon is the leading Internet of Things platform in fashion, apparel and retail – powering end-to-end business intelligence, customer engagement, new business models and more. Advancing industry’s transition to a sustainable and circular economy, Eon leads the development of industry's CircularID™ Protocol — the global protocol for digital identification of products in circular economy. Eon brings transparency and sustainability to the entire product lifecycle by digitizing products in alignment with the CircularID™ Protocol. Before Eon, Natasha led global design and development for smart cities and sustainable urbanism at Delos and Jonathan Rose Companies. Natasha holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgetown University. For this episode of the Impact Report, Bard MBA’s Savannah Parsons speaks with Natasha about Eon’s mission to power connected and circular business.  ImpactReportPodcast.com

May 2020

23 min 57 sec

Making Tomorrow’s Farms More Sustainable And Stable For Farmers, Investors And Consumers: A Conversation With Don Wiviott Of Tomorrow’s Farms Don Wiviott, works with his own business, Tomorrow’s Farms, LLC and investors who manage or own 80,000 acres in organic farmland. The financial model includes a path to ownership for farmers while providing stable assets for investors and institutions committed to the growth, protection, and stewardship of organic farming. Don has a BA in Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard. He has written solar legislation and lobbied with the Farmers Union; he sees agriculture and soil science as a viable path to end climate change. Bard MBA’s Lucien Harlow-Dion speaks with Don for this episode of the Impact Report. ImpactReportPodcast.com

May 2020

36 min 31 sec

Killing Color Trends in Fast Fashion: A Conversation with Journalist/Author Elizabeth Segran Elizabeth Segran is senior staff writer at Fast Company, whose work has appeared in a range of publications including The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The Nation, The New Republic, The Chronicle of Higher Education and Salon. Her latest book The Rocket Years was released on March 31, 2020 by Harper Collins.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in the field of South and Southeast Asian Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender and Sexuality. She is an expert on India, having devoted a decade to studying its history, literature, culture and gender dynamics.  She is a global nomad who grew up in Brussels, Paris, Singapore, Jakarta and London before moving to New York to attend Columbia University. She currently lives in Cambridge, MA with her books, her husband and her baby girl.  For this episode of the Impact Report, Bard MBA’s Kirstie Dabbs speaks with Elizabeth about her new book, the rise of fast fashion and the growing consumer desire and need for durable products that stand the test of time.  ImpactReportPodcast.com  

May 2020

45 min 44 sec

Body Positive & Planet Positive Products For Women: A Conversation With Meika Hollender, Co-founder & President Of Sustain Natural Meika Hollender is the Co-Founder and President of Sustain, the leading brand of all-natural, vagina-friendly sexual wellness and period care products. Also an author, activist, and entrepreneur, Meika has consistently made marketplace history with a myriad of product innovations in the sexual wellness space that redefine the stigmatized narrative around female sexuality.. Meika teamed up with her father Jeffrey Hollender, the Co-Founder and former CEO of Seventh Generation, to launch Sustain Natural in 2014. Speaking to the fact 40% of condom purchases were by women, the company introduced its flagship product—the world’s most sustainable condom. Sustain has since grown to include wipes, lubricant, and 100% organic cotton tampons and pads as well as reusable period products. Touting the 10%4Women initiative, 10% of all pre-tax profits benefit women’s reproductive healthcare organizations in the U.S.  In August 2019, Sustain was acquired by Grove Collaborative, a leading digital-first brand and e-commerce platform for natural home and personal care products. Meika joined the Grove Collaborative team as Head of Communications, while remaining President & Co-Founder of Sustain.  For this episode of the Impact Report, Bard MBA’s Michelle Aboodi speaks with Meika about social entrepreneurship, body positivity and reframing the conversation and market around sexual wellness.  ImpactReportPodcast.com

Apr 2020

26 min 46 sec

How The 50th Anniversary Of Earth Day Is Going Virtual In The Face Of Covid-19: A Conversation With John Oppermann, Executive Director Of Earth Day Initiative For this episode of the Impact Report, Bard MBA’s Kristin Hanczor speaks with John about how Earth Day is now more relevant than ever and how individuals and organizations can participate while social distancing. ImpactReportPodcast.com

Apr 2020

31 min 4 sec

Working to End Childhood Hunger In The U.S.: A Conversation with Billy Shore of Share Our Strength

Mar 2020

25 min 52 sec

Better Decisions With Better Data: A Conversation with Sarah Tuneberg, CEO & Co-Founder of Geospiza

Feb 2020

28 min 49 sec

Playing for Change: How the Green Sports Alliance Mobilizes Sports Fans 16 leagues. 194 teams. 195 venues. Members of the Green Sports Alliance embrace renewable energy, healthy food, recycling, water efficiency, safer chemicals and other environmentally preferable practices—and they inspire millions of fans to follow their lead. The Alliance believes that the sports industry is uniquely positioned to make large-scale impact in the environmental performance of many of the world’s largest public spaces. It also believes that sport teams place a special role in influencing citizens and mobilizing communities to action.  To find out more about how the Alliance leverages the cultural and market influence of sports to promote sustainable practices, Bard MBA student Kristin Hanczor spoke with Roger McClendon, the organization’s Executive Director. McClendon joined the Alliance just over a year ago, after serving as the first ever Chief Sustainability Officer for Yum! Brands, whose holdings include Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC. He and Kristin also spoke about McClendon’s own career journey and his decision to switch to the relatively niche world of green sports.  

Feb 2020

31 min 30 sec

Smart Grids for the Future: A Conversation with John Radgowski, Vice President of Portfolio Management at Landis + Gyr For more than 120 years, Landis+Gyr has been an industry leader in energy management solutions. Using their advanced metering infrastructure and other cutting-edge smart grid technologies, they’ve helped utility companies all over the globe improve their operations, protect their assets, lower their operating costs and provide better customer service. With a focus on quality, reliability, and innovation Landis+Gyr’s portfolio of products and services can help customers do the same and modernize their smart grid for the future. John Radgowski is the Vice President of Portfolio Management for Landis+Gyr Americas.  In this role, he is focused on providing cross-functional smart grid solutions that span from the customer to the grid operator.  Bard MBA's Molly Kiick speaks with John for this episode of the Impact Report. 

Dec 2019

27 min 4 sec

Regenerating Natural Capital in the Rainforests of Costa Rica When Amanda Wilson, Joshua Hughes and Sara Czarniecki founded Blacksheep Regenerative Resource Management in 2015, they committed to honoring their custormers, communities, workers, shareholders and the land. Based on 178 acres in the rainforests of Costa Rica, the Blacksheep team works alongside local neighbors to regenerate degraded land into biodiverse mixed forests. Their competitively priced turmeric products are the result of the reforestation process, and they create livelihoods for Blacksheep’s worker-owners. Now Blacksheep is scaling. The company offers a suite of services to help other teams start regenerative projects and to connect investors with landowners in environmentally exhausted areas. It’s also working to secure private investors to fund an agricultural processing center in Costa Rica.  Bard MBA students Michael Conway and PJ Connolly spoke with Wilson, Hughes and Czarniecki about why it’s important that businesspeople enter the agricultural space, the company’s services, and Blacksheep’s plans to scale. impactreportpodcast.com

Dec 2019

34 min 59 sec

Charging the Future By Making Batteries Obsolete: A Conversation Yuval Boger, CMO of Wi-Charge Yuval Boger has served as chief executive, chief marketer and evangelist for technology companies from seed stage to NASDAQ. He led business and product development programs that generated over $200M in revenue. Wi-Charge is the leader in long-range wireless power technology. WiFi eliminated the data cord, and Wi-Charge will eliminate most power cords. They  provide a new way to power to smart, mobile and IoT devices, delivering more power than batteries and more freedom than power cords. Their patented light-based system is the only way of delivering several watts of power at room-sized distances while earning all required UL and government safety certifications. With Wi-Charge, devices appear to charge themselves without user intervention, cables or charging pads.  Mr. Boger holds an MBA from the Kellogg school at Northwestern University and a M.Sc. in Physics from Tel-Aviv University. He is also a TALPIOT graduate and laureate of the Israel Defense Award. He plays violin with the Columbia Orchestra, and once a year with the world-renowned Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Bard MBA alum Heather Bowden speaks with Yuval Boger for this episode of the Impact Report. ImpactReportPodcast.com  

Nov 2019

26 min 21 sec

ESG Data and Nasdaq’s Leadership on Enhanced Disclosure Nasdaq has promoted corporate responsibility for over a decade, playing its part in creating a more efficient and sustainable capital market system. Today, Nasdaq Global Head of Sustainability Evan Harvey and his team are at a nexus of companies, regulators, and investors working to enhance environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure. Since 2014, the cost of ESG-related scandals and controversies at S&P 500 companies has amounted to $534M losses in market capitalizations—and that number is rising. After California power company PG&E’s recent bankruptcy filing and subsequent stock market plunge, forecasted outages due to risk of wildfires could cost the state economy more than $2B.   ESG is a data-driven attempt to understand long-term performance, and Nasdaq has co-authored reports that assist companies in identifying and disclosing ESG-related factors that are material to corporate performance, as well as addressing the gap in quality, reliable ESG data. Nasdaq is reminding capital players that the growth, transparency and standardization of ESG reporting will improve market efficiency.  MBA student Roxi Sharif spoke with Nasdaq’s Evan Harvey about how materiality can help manage ESG data and about SDG investing and reporting. impactreportpodcast.com

Nov 2019

26 min 30 sec

The View From 20—GM’s Global Sustainability Energy Manager Reflects on Changes at the Automaker Rob Threlkeld, Global Manager of Sustainable Energy, Supply and Reliability for General Motors, began his career at the automaker as manager of the powerhouse and wastewater treatment plant operations at GM’s Lordstown, Ohio assembly complex. In the almost 20 years since, his sustainability career has grown alongside the company’s sustainability commitment. From an initial focus on energy efficiency, both his role and the company’s efforts have expanded to encompass renewable energy procurement and EV integration. General Motors is now on track to meet the electricity needs of its global operations with 100% renewable energy by 2050. Bard MBA student Sahara James spoke with Threlkeld about how GM has responded to changes in the renewables landscape, how company leadership reacted to his team’s pitch to join RE100, and why there’s still power in numbers. IMPACTREPORTPODCAST.COM

Oct 2019

21 min 54 sec

A Behind-the-Scenes Account of McDonald's Sustainability Journey: An Interview with Bob Langert Starting in the 1980s, McDonald’s was repeatedly challenged on hot-button social and environmental issues by powerful NGOs. It spent over a decade in defensive mode, as groups like Greenpeace and PETA demanded that the company rethink its approach to issues like packaging, animal welfare, deforestation, and nutrition.  Eventually, though, the mega brand shifted to strategically solving issues with NGO partners. As it integrated sustainability into its core mission, it began to rebuild brand health with consumers. Former McDonald’s VP of Sustainability Bob Langert recounts the company’s sustainability journey in his new book, The Battle to Do Good. It’s an insider’s view of the company’s highs and lows, as well as a guide to making business stronger and more relevant. Bard MBA alum Ben Volk spoke with Langert about the company’s toughest challenges, how McDonald’s made the shift to integrating sustainability, and where it can continue to lead by example. ImpactReportPodcast.com  

Oct 2019

34 min 44 sec

Waste-less School Supplies: Wisdom Supply Co.’s Mission to Reduce Plastic Waste, An Interview with Founder, Heather Itzla Unless you have school-age children, you may not realize that we’ve just come through the second biggest shopping season of the year. According to Deloitte’s July 2019 Back-to-School Survey, US shoppers will have spent $27.8 billion, or $519 per student, on everything from clothing to calculators. Of that, $6.1 billion will have gone to purchasing school supplies. Heather Itzla reads that last figure and thinks plastic waste. Realizing how back-to-school shopping encourages the rote purchase of disposable plastics, Itzla and partner Nicole Kozlowski founded Wisdom Supply Co. to provide affordable, zero-waste alternatives to most school supplies. The company’s paper-covered binders are 100% recyclable. Its refillable dry erase markers feature aluminum barrels and replaceable nibs. Its highlighters are made of wood and wax. Plus, Wisdom Supply Co. has been a B Corp since its 2017 launch. Impact Report producer Katie Ellman spoke with Itzla about the company’s origin story, how it designs its products, and why affordability is a key component of its mission. The Impact Report brings together students and faculty in Bard’s MBA in Sustainability program with leaders in business, sustainability and social entrepreneurship. ImpactReportPodcast.com  

Sep 2019

31 min 30 sec

Rethinking Wealth & Investing for Impact: A conversation with Matthew Weatherley-White,Co-Founder of Caprock   The principal architect of Caprock’s Impact Investing Platform and the creator of the now-independent impact reporting platform iPAR,Matthew is a sought-after speaker and thought leader in the discipline, most recently being honored as an Industry Pioneer. In addition to keynoting conferences and lecturing at leading business schools around the world, he serves as a strategic advisor to several Impact Investing funds, and has appeared in Barron’s, Yahoo Finance TV, International Business Daily, Bloomberg Business Week, Journal of Philanthropy, Forbes, Conscious Company, The New York Times, Financial Times and many more. More recently, he successfully shepherded two pieces of legislation through the Idaho Statehouse, the first authorizing Pay For Success Contracting and the second awarding legal status to businesses structured as Benefit Corporations. Prior to co-founding Caprock, Matthew was a partner in The Owyhee Group, a boutique advisory team within Smith Barney. During his thirteen years with the company, he was a member of Citigroup’s elite Leadership Development Program and helped craft the firm’s Private Wealth Management platform. Matthew graduated from Dartmouth College, has competed internationally in five different sports and continues to serve as a Director for the Lee Pesky Learning Center, an organization he helped launch 20 years ago.  Bard MBA’s Emma Jenkinsspoke with Matthew in the fall of 2018 about his career journey, investing for impact and the advice he would give to someone just starting out in the field.   ImpactReportPodcast.com  

Sep 2019

49 min 39 sec

The Blue, Green and Orange Economies Merge in St. Lucia’s Sustainable Development Agenda: A Conversation with Dr. Gale Rigobert Dr. Gale TC Rigobert made history in 2014 by becoming the youngest and first female Leader of the Opposition in St. Lucia. Then in 2016, when her United Workers Party won the federal election, she was appointed Minister of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development for the Eastern Caribbean island nation. Passionate about the ways in which policy, education and innovation intersect in sustainable development, Rigobert works to leverage business to protect the wellbeing of St. Lucians.  As she remarks, for St. Lucia, sustainable development is about “the urgent need for survival.” Bard MBA student Jesse Gerstin spoke with Rigobert about the role of the private sector in sustainable development and her approach to “people-centered” engagement. The Impact Report brings together students and faculty in Bard’s MBA in Sustainability program with leaders in business, sustainability and social entrepreneurship. impactreportpodcast.com

Aug 2019

52 min 45 sec

Building a Brighter, More Equitable World: A Conversation with Dory Trimble of the Honnold Foundation “There’s no point supporting environmental causes that don’t support standards of living to help people.” Adventure rock climber Alex Honnold came to that realization in 2010, when he traveled to Chad on an expedition. Struck by local communities’ lack of access to power, Honnold began to think about how he could impact global inquality while addressing climate change.  Two years later, when Honnold and fellow climber Maury Birdwell founded the Honnold Foundation, they came to another realization: solar power is the solution. Today, the Foundation addresses inequality by supporting solar energy initiatives worldwide. It awards grants to bold and ethical organizations driving innovation in the solar industry. Bard MBA alum Sam Monkarsh spoke with Honnold Foundation Executive Director Dory Trimble about the Foundation’s mission, how the organization has evolved, and why it focuses on solar.  ImpactReportPodcast.com  

Aug 2019

35 min 9 sec

Cooperating to Bring the Good: A Conversation with Jonathan Reinbold  In 1988, a handful of Midwest family farmers fed up with the state of American agriculture gathered at the Viroqua, WI courthouse to talk about doing farming differently. Thirty years later, the farmer-owned cooperative they started, Organic Valley, represents more than 2,000 farmers in 34 US states and achieved $1.1 billion in 2018 sales. Building on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley has embraced a wide range of sustainability initiatives. It has committed to switching all of its remaining fossil fuel-based electricity to renewables by this year. It keeps the distance its milk travels as short as possible via a regional distribution model that includes a biofuel-powered fleet. And its Grassmilk products use dairy from 100% grass-fed cows, promoting animal and soil health, and sequestering C02. Bard MBA alum Ben Volk spoke with Organic Valley’s then Senior Manager of Sustainabiltiy Jonathan Reinbold in the fall of 2018. They talked about the company’s cooperative business model, its new community solar initiative, and the future of the industry as a whole. ImpactReportPodcast.com

Jun 2019

19 min 17 sec

Canvas is on a mission to create a world of superhealthy people: A conversation with founder, Sarah Pool. Sarah is the Co-Founder & CEO of Canvas, a healthy beverage company committed to improving individual and global health through functional nutrition and innovative technology applications. Sarah is the former Founder/CEO of Pacific Superfood Snacks, later acquired by Made In Nature. Sarah is a graduate of UC-Berkeley (M.A., B.A.). Canvas is creating a new category of functional health beverages for improving the microbiome. Utilizing plants and science, our beverages are designed to optimize digestion and overall well-being. Canvas is driven by a dynamic, intelligent, and passionate team committed to improving individual and global health through functional nutrition, innovative technology applications, and better food systems. Their mission is to create a world of superhealthy people. Partnering with VX Ventures and InBev, Canvas is using new technology to utilize spent brewers grain in their beverages.  This process will prevent billions of pounds of grain from being discarded each year and will provide a nutritious drink option to people worldwide.   Bard MBA Alum Alexander Lykins spoke with Sarah in Fall 2018 about entrepreneurship in the food industry and how upcycling spent brewers grain is a game changer for the industry. impactreportpodcast.com

Jun 2019

24 min 19 sec