Jim Witkin is a writer and researcher based in Silicon Valley focused on business, technology and the environment. His work has been featured in the New York Times and Guardian newspapers on topics that include: sustainable business practices, clean tech, the environment and next generation transportation technologies. He holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio Graduate School. Contact him at jameswitkin@gmail.com

SPECIAL SERIES: Education in the 21st Century

How to Engage on the Education SDGs

Companies in alignment with the UN’s SDGs can revitalize their own sustainability efforts while demonstrating how they’re contributing to global and national development priorities. This challenge is especially critical when it comes to education. How do you move beyond the rhetoric, roll your sleeves up and engage with these goals – which clearly are important for our future?


How General Mills Celebrates Honey Bees

National honey bee day is this Saturday. In honor of America’s hardest workers, General Mills teamed up with the USDA to fund the Xerces Society the world’s oldest pollinator conservation nonprofit.

Jerry Brown Kicks Off Campaign with Visit to Solar Company Solaria

Following an easy victory in Tuesday’s primary race, Jerry Brown, Democratic candidate for California Governor, officially kicked off his campaign today, in a contest that promises to have the environment as a centerpiece issue. Solaria Corporation, a Silicon Valley solar panel manufacturer, hosted the event. In opening remarks, Dan Shugar, Solaria’s chief executive, praised Brown’s … Continued

More Solar Panels for San Jose Schools

San Jose extended its commitment to renewable energy this week, with a ground breaking ceremony for a 3.7 MW solar project to be built at six school sites in the East Side Union High School District. The ceremony took place at Santa Teresa High School in San Jose, and was attended by district, government and … Continued

Bloom Energy Finally Comes Clean in Packed Press Briefing

In a standing-room-only press conference today, held at eBay headquarters in San Jose, Bloom Energy publicly launched its Bloom Energy Server, following eight years of highly secret development, and almost $400m in investments, much of it from Silicon Valley’s top shelf VC, Kleiner Perkins. The event kicked off with introductory remarks by Governor Schwarzenegger who … Continued

Despite Recession, Home Depot Keeps on Giving

Last week’s announcement from the Home Depot Foundation suggests that even with sales slumps and layoffs, the nation’s largest retailer of home improvement products still views charitable giving as good business. The company is expecting lower revenues for 2009 when results are announced in February, and for the third consecutive January is cutting its workforce.  … Continued

West Coast Village Capital is Looking for a Few Good Social Ventures

West Coast Village Capital (WCVC) is a social venture program that brings together entrepreneurs to learn from and support each other’s social enterprises. Over the course of 12 weeks, beginning in January 2010, up to 30 social entrepreneurs will work together in groups of five to share their knowledge, strengthen their models, and build their … Continued

C.K. Prahalad Q&A: Lessons from the Bottom of the Pyramid

It’s been five years since the publication of “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits,” the seminal work by C.K. Prahalad, a professor of corporate strategy at the Ross School of Business of the University of Michigan. The book combined a pragmatic framework with inspirational case studies to show companies … Continued

Day Two BSR Conference Highlight: Oceanographer Sylvia Earle

Sure, the BSR conference brought together CSR thought leaders to discuss the latest sustainability strategies. But the Day Two highlight for me was listening to the oceanographer Sylvia Earle, author of several books including her latest, The World is Blue. Ms. Earle was soft spoken, but delivered a powerful lecture on the current state of … Continued

October 15th. Blog Action Day. Join the Climate Change Discussion!

This Thursday, October 15th, marks the third annual Blog Action Day.  The yearly event unites bloggers from around the world to discuss a single issue of global importance. In anticipation of the upcoming international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, this year’s discussion will focus on the very global topic of climate change. Over 5000 blogs are … Continued

The 5 Stages for Achieving Innovation Through Sustainability

“There’s no alternative to sustainable development” begins the recent Harvard Business Review article, “Why Sustainability Is Now the Key Driver of Innovation.” Sustainability and green initiatives are no longer optional contend the article’s authors — Ram Nidumolu, C.K. Prahalad and M.R. Rangaswami. Not only is the business case getting stronger, but embracing a sustainability agenda … Continued

SoCap09 Day 1: Attendance Tops 1,000

Judging by the attendance this year at the Social Capital Markets 09 conference in San Francisco, there is no doubt the buzz around social enterprise and social investing is gaining momentum. The conference began yesterday with attendance well exceeding last year’s turnout of 650.  Over 1,000 participants from 32 countries have registered this year, representing … Continued

E-waste Offsets: A Good Idea but How Effective?

In response to the ever-expanding challenge of electronic waste (e-waste), most developed countries have enacted legislation that mandates the responsible disposal and safe handling of discarded electronics within their own borders. (Thankfully, the US is catching up with the rest of the developed world, state by state.) But what happens to your old TV, computer … Continued