Jul 5, 2016 • 23M

#434: Cotopaxi Striving to ‘Do Good Well’

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Some of the world's great changemakers join host Devin Thorpe to share leadership lessons you can use to increase your impact.
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Never miss another interview! Join Devin here: http://bit.ly/joindevin. Read the full Your Mark on the World article and watch the interview here: http://bit.ly/296CBda. Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes by clicking here: http://bit.ly/ymotwitunes or on Stitcher by clicking here: http://bit.ly/ymotwstitcher. Lindsey Kneuven, Chief Impact Officer at venture-backed Cotopaxi, recently told me, “Businesses can be a force for immense good; let’s ensure they do good well.” At the moment, she’s focused on making sure that Cotopaxi does good well. The social enterprise is scaling quickly and her role is to ensure that they don’t lose focus on the targeted impact. Lindsey brings valuable experience to Cotopaxi, having spent time with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation helping some of the area’s largest companies with their corporate philanthropy. She is concerned that startups today need to become more disciplined to have the impact they want. She asks, “As more young companies build models that integrate their social and environmental goals, how do we create a movement to ensure that they are leveraging best practices from the development sector? How we capitalize on the enthusiasm for social impact in a way that ensure models are informed, that effective solutions/interventions are prioritized, builds on the collective impact model, and prevents the dilution of donor dollars?” The type of legal structure a company uses has an impact on its ability and commitment to having an impact. “Cotopaxi incorporated as a Benefit Corporation and was the first company to take this structure and then receive venture funding. We are committed to infusing social impact and sustainability into all aspects of our work. This takes shape in our giving, our employee engagement, our supply chain, our operations and our design and development philosophy,” she says. One of the challenges she faces in her work at Cotopaxi is dealing with the rapidly changing context of her work. With rapid changes in supply chain, for instance, she must quickly react to ensure that each supplier meets the company’s impact standards, stretching her capacity. Read the full Your Mark on the World article and watch the interview here: http://bit.ly/296CBda. Need a speaker for an event, learn more about Devin Thorpe at devinthorpe.com.