3p Contributor: Nick Aster

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of TriplePundit.com

TriplePundit.com has since grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He was instrumental in the creation of TreeHugger.com, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years as well as an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

Recent Articles

Video: Judith Weisinger of Mills College Talks Diversity at Net Impact ’14

| Wednesday November 26th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Judith “Given all of the corporate crises [we’ve seen] over the past several decades, it’s important for businesses to step up and emphasize ethics and socially responsible leadership,” Judith Weisinger, associate professor of business at Mills College, said at the 2014 Net Impact conference in Minneapolis last month.

“The demographics suggest that the nation is becoming increasingly multicultural, and the nexus between business and society is ever-increasingly important. Therefore, an emphasis on diversity is really imperative,” she continued. “It’s not really an option anymore.”

As part of our Talking Diversity video series, Weisinger goes on to explain how diversity matters at the Mills College Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Management, where she teaches the new generation of business leaders, in this 90-second clip.

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Video: Tawanna Black of Northside Funders Group Talks Diversity at Net Impact ’14

| Tuesday November 25th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Tawanna Black Headshot- Bus.“Simply having diversity does not produce results for the bottom line,” Tawanna Black, executive director of Northside Funders Group, said at the 2014 Net Impact conference last month.

“We’ve known that just mixing people up one way or another doesn’t actually produce results — in fact, sometimes it creates more conflict and more challenges that may hinder business sustainability and growth. But inclusivity does.”

The concept of moving beyond diversity to inclusion came up several times in our Talking Diversity video series. In this two-minute clip, Black makes the business case for going that extra step to ensure inclusivity and why it’s important to allow employees to bring their “whole selves” to work.

“Americans spend more time at work than anywhere else,” Black noted, “so why wouldn’t we want [our workplaces] to be places that we enjoy?”

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Video: Maggie Davies of Net Impact Talks Diversity at NI14

| Tuesday November 25th, 2014 | 0 Comments

MD-headshot 1b“Zooming out entirely: The global challenges that we face are massive and very complex, and it’s going to require everyone being involved,” Maggie Davies, chief of strategy and talent for Net Impact, said at the 2014 Net Impact conference in Minneapolis.

“We need diverse people and diverse perspectives in order to be the most effective.”

In this clip, which is part of our Talking Diversity video series, Davies goes on to explain what Net Impact is doing to address diversity, including a recent partnership with Symantec that allowed Net Impact to grow its network, particularly in historically black and women’s colleges. She also shares success stories from participants in those programs, so be sure to stick around for the full two minutes.

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Video: Maya Weisinger of the Walker Art Center Talks Diversity at Net Impact ’14

| Monday November 24th, 2014 | 0 Comments
Located in Minneapolis, the host city for this year's Net Impact conference, the Walker Art Center is "a catalyst for the creative expression of artists and the active engagement of audiences."

Located in Minneapolis, the host city for this year’s Net Impact conference, the Walker Art Center is “a catalyst for the creative expression of artists and the active engagement of audiences.”

“Diversity is important in our society because for so long we’ve had a certain set of accepted rules and socializations that basically determined how a big group of people think — and right now this group of people is very different,” Maya Weisinger, learning initiatives coordinator for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, said at the 2014 Net Impact conference.

“It’s the first time in a long time — or ever, maybe, in our country — that these different ideas are becoming more exposed … and we are having issues because of that. And it’s not a bad thing. It’s just new.”

As part of our Talking Diversity video series, we asked thought leaders from all backgrounds about diversity and how it fits into the broader sustainability conversation in business. Many of our interviewees referenced changing demographics — noting that the younger generation of top talent is different than any other that came before.

As a recent college graduate working in her hometown of Minneapolis, the host city for NI14, Weisinger is more equipped than most to discuss the attitudes of this younger generation — and why they should matter to businesses.

In this two-minute clip, she makes the business case for diversity and touches on why the topic will only become more important in the coming years.

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Video: Ian Fisk of Mentor Capital Network Talks Diversity at Net Impact ’14

| Monday November 24th, 2014 | 1 Comment

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When we spoke to Ian Fisk, executive director of the Mentor Capital Network, as part of our Talking Diversity video series at Net Impact 2014, he identified three types of diversity to frame his approach: visible diversity, or diversity of race, ethnicity, background and sexual orientation; diversity of culture, or the way people are used to working; and diversity of perspective, or making sure a broad range of ideas come to the table.

“Intellectual diversity, which can overlap with diversity of color and of culture but doesn’t necessarily, is making sure that you are looking at a problem from different angles,” Fisk explained. “You’re going to miss something if you’ve trained your people to address a problem all in the same way.”

In this two-minute clip, Fisk touched on the two remaining types of diversity and why they should matter to businesses.

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Video: Kathy Hopinkah Hannan of KPMG Talks Diversity at Net Impact ’14

| Friday November 21st, 2014 | 0 Comments

Kathy Hannan Bio_Short 250 “I don’t think you can have a discussion about sustainability without talking about talent,” Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, national managing partner of diversity and corporate responsibility for KPMG, said at the 2014 Net Impact conference. “And given the shifting demographics we have to be looking at diversity in talent.”

“When we bring together diverse perspectives, we will get the best innovation and best solutions for our customers.”

As part of our Talking Diversity video series, Hannan goes on to describe why the business community should care about diversity and the reasons it’s important to KPMG in this two-minute clip.

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Video: Jose Corona of Inner City Advisors Talks Diversity at Net Impact ’14

| Friday November 21st, 2014 | 0 Comments

nina “… Where creativity and innovation really happens is by bringing together different people, different backgrounds and different approaches on how they think to come up with great ideas,” Jose Corona, CEO Inner-City Advisors, said at the 2014 Net Impact Conference.

Based in Oakland, California, Corona’s organization serves inner-city communities throughout the Bay Area. By and large, these are very diverse communities as far as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, language and background, he said. But local companies have been “called out,” as he put it, for lack of diversity — particularly in Silicon Valley.

As part of our Talking Diversity video series, Corona goes on to describe why diversity matters to Inner City Advisors, as well as why it should matter for the greater Bay Area, in this two-minute clip.

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Video: Muneer Panjwani of DoSomething.org Talks Diversity at Net Impact ’14

| Thursday November 20th, 2014 | 0 Comments

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“When you have differing opinions, it just makes everybody’s work better,” Muneer Panjwani of DoSomething.org said at the 2014 Net Impact conference this month. “One thing that happens in a homogenous environment is you sort of start to agree with everything that’s going on, because you all come from the same experience.”

“By having other perspectives in the business, it allows you to broaden your perspective and the product and service you’re providing as a company.”

As part of our Talking Diversity video series, Panjwani goes on to explain how diversity impacts DoSomething.org, an organization that aims to reach young people of all backgrounds, and how it can drive innovation in any company.

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Video: Amy Lazarus of InclusionVentures Talks Diversity at Net Impact ’14

| Thursday November 20th, 2014 | 0 Comments

net impact “There are so many problems that we’re trying to solve, from environmental impact, to education, to health care. In order to solve all of those problems, it takes the best ideas,” Amy Lazarus, CEO of InclusionVentures, said at the 2014 Net Impact conference this month. “That means it takes people who are different from each other, talking and working effectively with each other.”

While many consider diversity an issue of race, gender, sexual orientation or background, an indisputable fact is often ignored: With a diverse group of people comes diverse ideas — ideas that could very well revolutionize the way your company does business.

As part of our Talking Diversity video series, Lazarus goes on to make the business case for diversity and inclusion in this 90-second video. Keep an ear out at 00:45 for a stat that’s sure to shock you.

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Video: Cecily Joseph of Symantec Talks Diversity at Net Impact ’14

| Wednesday November 19th, 2014 | 0 Comments

SYM_Vert_RGB-72dpi-300x290“Diversity has been around companies for many years,” Cecily Joseph, VP of corporate responsibility and chief diversity officer for Symantec, said at the 2014 Net Impact conference in Minneapolis this month. “And unfortunately I don’t feel we’ve made … the kind of progress that we need to make to be successful and to have an impact.

“If we adopt diversity as a [corporate social responsibility (CSR)] issue and use the same framework that we use to drive other sustainability issues through our organization, I think we’re going to be a lot more effective.”

As part of our Talking Diversity video series, Joseph goes on to provide three tactics for doing this, as well as the business case for diversity, in this two-minute clip.

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Video: Sol Salinas of Accenture Talks Diversity at Net Impact ’14

| Wednesday November 19th, 2014 | 0 Comments

10297727_10154080571610374_8250599455945505293_n“Diversity for me is actually a very personal topic,” Sol Salinas, managing director of global strategy and sustainability for Accenture, said at the 2014 Net Impact conference earlier this month.

Salinas was born in Nicaragua and came to the United States when he was 7 years old. He was, as he put it, the “recipient” of many other people’s efforts — efforts that ultimately gave him a chance to succeed.

With those experiences in his back pocket, Salinas has a unique vantage point from which to consider diversity issues: “The least productive meeting that one can have is if everybody sits around the room and nods their head,” he continued. “With lack of diversity, you’re more likely to have that sort of result.”

As part of our Talking Diversity video series, Salinas goes on to describe the ‘most productive’ type of business meeting — and how to achieve it through diversity and inclusion — in this three-minute clip.

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BSR Conference 2014 Livestream Video

| Tuesday November 4th, 2014 | 0 Comments

The TriplePundit team is at BSR 2014 this year in New York and the line up is better than ever. If you can’t make it this year in person, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. All plenaries and most other major speakers will be broadcast below. Just bookmark this page and hit play!

For complete coverage of the BSR Conference 2014, visit http://bsr14.org/

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SXSW Eco Interview: Paul Dillinger, Levi Strauss & Co.

| Monday October 27th, 2014 | 0 Comments

This post is part of Triple Pundit’s ongoing coverage of the SXSW Eco conference. For the rest, please visit our SXSW Eco page here.

levis_jiu_jitsu_sustainability_carePaul Dillinger is VP of Product Design and Innovation for Levi Strauss & Co.  We’ve talked to Paul on a number of occasions, so I was thrilled to chat again at this month’s SXSW Eco conference.

I asked him: How can creativity and design solve problems of sustainability?  

It might seem obvious that creativity is part of any problem-solving process, but it’s not always obvious how to create the conditions wherein creativity can thrive.  In the video below Paul offers some stories from his experiences at Levi Strauss as well as other anecdotes that might help…

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SXSW Eco Interview: Ian Hughes, Goose Island Brewery

| Saturday October 25th, 2014 | 0 Comments

This post is part of Triple Pundit’s ongoing coverage of the SXSW Eco conference. For the rest, please visit our SXSW Eco page here.

gooseisland1Goose Island is one of my favorite Chicago beers and like many quality beers has a solid sustainability story to share.  At this year’s SXSWeco conference, Goose Island’s Assistant Brewing Manager, Ian Hughes and I had a good talk about the efforts the company is making to be more sustainable.  Perhaps of equal importance, we also talked about how consumers can be better educated about the efforts of breweries like Goose Island.

Ian and I both agreed that the story of sustainability in brewing should be more widely known – so drink to that next time you sit down for a pint.

More in the video below….

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SXSW Eco: Walter Wang Talks About Adaptive Gas Taxes

| Saturday October 25th, 2014 | 4 Comments

This post is part of Triple Pundit’s ongoing coverage of the SXSW Eco conference. For the rest, please visit our SXSW Eco page here.

gas-taxNo one like paying taxes, although most readers of this site would agree that reasonably high gas taxes can help drive consumers in a more sustainable direction.  That said, there are inherent inefficiencies with our current system which isn’t even keeping up with inflation.

Walter Wang has an idea called an adaptive tax system which is based on a fluid tax rate that adjusts with the frequency and quantity of one’s gas fill-ups instead of just how many gallons they use.

Walter explains it all in the video below…

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