A Magazine Capturing the Story of Health- For People, Environment, Economy & Habitat

Archive for April, 2011

What’s Next for #tsomu —-Applying What We Learned from Stakeholder Engagement

April 2011, Letter from the Publisher

Lavinia Weissman

Boston, MA


In 8 weeks time our readers have come to to view our articles over 2,000 times.

The articles have shaped into reports on meaningful adoption of thought and practice leadership that is empowering a new generation of people to shape the way they work and live into a sustainable marketplace.  While so many of the thought and practice leaders have been at work leading this change into meaningful adoption now going on almost 50 years, we still need to think of this cycle of formation as a phase of early adoption.

The numbers of people who have consciously chosen to work wisely to live well to sustain a life of health for the environment, economy, people and planet are increasing in population, but running interference with a minority of people obstructing this change financially and politically.

Stakeholders of  have conducted or identified economic and  scientifically sound  related research that dates as far back as 1986. This repeated pattern of research demonstrates a growing pattern of economic downturn is a result of declining methods of workforce education.

While Social Responsible Investing has grown into a $26.5 Trillion global portfolio of investments, globally only 80,000 companies file annual sustainability reports that meet the Global Reporting Initiative requirements.

Millions of other companies and institutions continue to manage with emphasis on the bottom line and accumulating total cash reserves of $1.3 Trillion as a practice that obstructs investment in innovation.  Downsizing strategies continue to be a pervasive way to control shareholder return on investment.

Such studies have drawn on the observations of numerous business leaders today who formulated a values strategy to lead companies to form sustainable market value, e.g.  John Pepper,  CEO of Disney and former CEO of Procter& Gamble,  Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric , Sustainable Entreprenuers, e.g. Joe Sibilia and Jeffrey Hollender, or John Sexton, President of New York University who is leading a transformation in education.

No leader has addressed these issues perfectly and perhaps what best defined them as leaders is the maps they drew of a future and strategy from which to learn and act.

Aman Singh, Global Advisory Board member to the, just recently authored a report in Forbes Magazine, Waiting for Superman, Do We Need to Educate Business First?

The only remedy to a down turn economy is to assure ongoing education of the workforce.  However companies and communities that assure education to its workforce are few and far between. As Aman  Singh’s editorial points out, the greatest obstacle to educating the workforce (future and current) is that business needs to educate itself first and all that this implies.

One might ask the question, why is this research finding not getting the response it deserves, if the research and its findings have surfaced over repeated cycles of economic downturn tracing back to the 1960s?

Once can trace a movement of change that was initiated back to 1963 by Dr. Hazel Henderson.

Dr. Henderson, through her publication of 9 books and articles published in 200 newspapers and 250 journals  in 27 languages, used her knowledge to from the leading global web-based publication educating people to social responsible investments and the greening of the economy.

Henderson has been described by Hunter Lovins as a leading thinker of the Ethical Market movement as illuminating as Thoreau, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, David Brower and Dana Meadows. She was invited to represent the Club of Rome as part of a group of international thinkers who recently convened in Brussels to form a thought leadership to move economics beyond the limitations of how the GDP is measured and to foster a ecological economic thought structure that impacts and can measure change in society as much as foster economic growth for business, countries and people.

In light of the hub of education, speculation and intelligence that Hazel Henderson has fostered, an intelligent person who values sustainability one might ask,

“Why has this movement of change not impacted a more mainstream form of change that has lasting impact for every global citizen that assures an end to the growing poverty, harm of global warming, decline in human health and much more?”

Movements of change are fostered by heroes and heroines, who can not fund the level of  accelerated change we need that relies on schemes of learning that require state of the art technology and a leadership commitment of values and ethics that assures accessibility and response to complex issues of diversity to foster quality of education for the current and incoming workforce.

The United States, once a leader in education, now ranks no. 9 in assuring college education for young people entering the workforce.   Furthermore, as proven by the last few months of political debate, the US political system has failed to organize its own economic priorities to serve the education and health of its citizens.

Is change possible? And what is implied by


Summary Analysis of 8 week beta  –

Our growing audience has spoken back to us!  They have let us know what they are passionate about over the past 8 weeks through the articles they have viewed.

We can describe this in a sentence: reader is seeking a new normal based that impacts health.  They have an intention to learn how to live locally in a global economy – engage with the people they work with in community to build initiatives for an economy that is based on sustainable value. They define health as much more than health care. Our readers know that the condition of the environment, economy, planet and people all factor into creating a society today where people can work wisely to live well to organize their lives to sustain in health.

We concluded this observation based on top 5 ranked articles read of the 35+ articles posted over the last 2 months:

Rank Author Title
1 Wann THE NEW NORMAL: An Agenda for Responsible Living
2 Wann Judy Wicks, a Philadelphia Restauranter, Redefining the Global Economy Locally
3 Weissman The Economy of Health – Will it Ever Become Sustainable?
4 Weissman Sustainable Value versus Accountability
5 Page The Benefits of Sustainability Employee Engagement

The trial offering for brought us 2000= viewers, comments, testimonies and feedback.

The greatest reward for us came in looking through our data to see what articles people paid the most attention too!  Our audience’s own the bottom line that education is primary to embedding sustainability as part of our culture, society and the way we work.

We have developed a new program focused on the idea that in part we want to make an offer based on how people (our readers) are paying attention and also an offering that will “make a difference.”

The learning derived from this analysis is helping us create a new stage of offer for our readership and audience, which is building us an audience we are enjoying getting to know and creating referrals for our sustainability education programs.

While some articles have only been posted for a few weeks and showing similar popularity, the value of our review has helped us to define and improve our publishing and format plan.

We have established a goal to provide you a routine of 6-7 free sharing articles on a regular cycle as we begin to construct a center for paid content that will be designed to organize our growing research base of knowledge on sustainable value business and community practices.

This content can be organized for communities and employers as customized educational centers to make working groups and communities more effective at responding to the challenging problems we face globally and locally in redirecting the global economy to be sustainable for all.

This all developed after considerable thought and discussions with members of #tsomu  Editorial Advisory Board that include Frederic Page, Sustainability Practitioner, Sarah Peyok,, Christina Carvahlo Pinto (Mercado Etico), Rosalinda Sanquiche, Aman Singh, and Dave Wann, Author and Journalist.

As publisher, Lavinia is leading into practice a hub of learning and custom content publishing firm into devising a new format that we will be publishing a new format of free sharing articles into  6-8 week publishing cycle.

Over a two month period, our readers will  find on articles based on

1.   A  periodic  update from the Publisher (like this news release);

2.   A report on how Corporations Impacting Health;

3.   News reports on  Community Success Stories;

4.   Building Blocks for Sustainability;

5.   A Column on Cures and Treatment Innovations for Health;

6.   Lessons from the Field.

Beginning in June we will be creating an archive of our content based on these categories which will be available to companies as custom research and briefing packages or content that we will draw on for development of sustainability initiatives for clients.

High on our list of priorities is to

1. launch a bookstore where you can purchase the thought leadership that we draw from in preparation of our articles.

2. publish the bios of our global advisory board and editorial associates.

3. build the necessary partnerships to fund and accelerate our activity.

Plans are now in the works to produce

1.    formulate and build a custom educational content program; we are seeking 5 companies or educational programs for which we can beta this product/service and leverage our first income;

2.   an annual meeting activity of leaders to form an inquiry that will grow into a stakeholder engagement for all our activity. We are assessing the possibility of locating this inquiry and annual meeting at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, since we believe the best education practice forms out of practices that sustain personal health;

3.   build a certification program of educational sensemakers that can facilitate community and business education programs of applied learning that combine the knowledge practice of social media with the value for developing applied learning centers that adopt use of social media to accelerate applied learning;

4. identify 4 custom content project beta’s from which we can devise our structure and service for custom content.

Our statistics and comments from our readers has shown us that Dave Wann’s popularity based on what he writes represents a talent pool of people who work in or want to work in companies that commit to embed sustainability in all they do.

As a result, Dave Wann and I plan to create based on our combined research of The New Normal, Simple Prosperity and Foundations of Portfolio Work an introductory curriculum for all forms of audience (community, corporate, leadership) to introduce people to the way in which today’s workforce lives their lives and integrate their work to insure they can live wisely to live well.

And of course, we will from time to time be posting short snippets of our opinion and findings with our global partners CSRwire talkback, and

With much appreciation

1.   to all of you who have helped build our following for over the last seven weeks;

2.   and to the leaders of the sustainability movement who have formed a social network of support for this long cycle startup —-Dave Wann, Rosalinda Sanquiche, Jan Morgan, Sarah Peyok, Christina Carvalho Pinto, Aman Singh, Dave Meyer, John Friedman, Elaine Cohen, Bernie Kelly, Hazel Henderson, Art Kleiner, Asok Kumar Basu, Frederic Page, Whit Tice, Kathryn Canney, Juan Villamayor and many others in my social network.

3.   And most important my daughter, Katherine —who shared the struggle of an inhumane and unforgiving downturn economy no single mother with a daughter should have to survive; it is through the many years and cycles of this lifestyle that my daughter and I learned  that the real source of sustainability is to be part of a community and economy that values education, health and sustainable income.

Movements of change do not survive without the heroes and the heroines fostering a road map of resource in which people can learn to live the values the heretics espouse. We believe members of our team exemplify the leadership principles and practices of leaders today fostering innovation and leading change by

  • a passionate curiosity
  • battle hardened confidence
  • team smarts
  • a simple mindset
  • fearlessness

Without living life in light of these habits, leaders who opened the frontier of sustainability would not have known intuitively of the change we had to foster for future generations before the science proved the need and established the baseline of necessity, e.g. 350 parts per M related to carbon reduction to counteract global warming.

Thank you for reading and keep letting us know if we are providing you content and learning of meaningful use.

All the best,

Lavinia Weissman


What About the Patient?

Can sustainability practices bring about better patient care? – Post 3

By Lavinia Weissman


Boston MA

original date of publication in CSRWireTalkback 08 December 2010

The final thought on the potential Sanofi Aventis and Genzyme M&A – and what this could mean for sustainability practices in #biopharm. Click here for Post I and Post II.

The Sanofi Aventis bid of $69 per share for Genzyme expires on December 10, 2010. Genzyme responded to this bid, claiming a share value of perceived $89.

Part of the Genzyme valuation was based on projected sales for Campath, a drug that has just cleared five years of clinical trials with multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.

By November 22, 2010, Genzyme had begun internal discussion about structuring a ”contingent value right” (CVR), based on future benchmarks, as a possible gesture indicating they may accept less than $89 per share. Filing of a CVR insures shareholders can receive benefit from future achieved sales and regulatory targets that exceed expectations at the time of a merger.

Fan of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Black Swan could easily mark out an explanation of why nine Wall Street financial analysis of sales projections for Campath were inaccurate. These nine analysis also included predictions by Sanofi’s of $700M and Genzyme’s of $3.5B in annual sales in the range of $350M and $1M offered by other analysts. I perceived one critical loophole in this analysis, which is pivotal to authoring a sustainable merger acquisition strategy:

Has Sanofi or Genzyme consulted with MS patients regarding their needs?

According to the World Health Organization, there are over 2.5M people globally diagnosed with MS. The United States population is the largest country population, now estimated at 1.5M patients. Every hour someone is diagnosed with MS.

MS symptoms occur as result of symptoms to a patient’s myelin sheath. When the myelin sheath is attacked by autoimmune disorders, the patients central nervous system is compromised and the patients nervous system stops communicating clear signals. Autoimmune disorders can be activated by al toxins or genetic defects due to the same. MS patients then find themselves living with pain, muscle spasms, speech impairment, bladder control problems and increased susceptibility to allergens.

The rapid increase in frequency of occurrence of this disease is related in part to increased number of cases and an improved capability in diagnosing the disease, which was first diagnosed 150 years ago. It is not clear how many cases in the past year were undiagnosed. There is no cure for MS; drug treatments focus on treatment of the symptoms and can result in the development of more symptoms or potential harm to circulation, kidney and liver functioning and more.

There is no drug to cure or prevent this illness. It is estimated it would take a $1B+ investment to find a cure. In the past the growth economy claimed it was hard enough for high-mid cap firms to raise those kind of funds without a 60X rate of return. In the emerging eco-growth economy, it is not possible for one biopharm company to raise this kind of investment.

What are patient views of experience with MS and what kind of unmet need now exists for these patients?

Emmy award winner, Montel Williams is one of the most well-known MS patients to date that has articulated the situation and need of his co-patients.

Williams was diagnosed with MS over 10 years ago, when someone threatened to make this information public. In response to this threat, Williams (a talk show host and actor) arranged to be interviewed by Dr. Mehmet Oz on the Oprah Show to make his diagnosis and experience public.

Montel has made known the challenges of depression and suicidal tendencies that patients may experience as a result of learning to come to grips with two major threats:

  • the potential of losing ones ability to be independent and a breadwinner;
  • the fear that you meet every morning that you may wake up and not be able to walk.

Since this first appearance on Oprah, Montel has dedicated a significant amount of time to advocate for MS patients. He also educates patients about new treatments involving alternative medicine and use of medical devices. As a former Naval Intelligence Officer, he advocates and visits with veterans who suffer from MS and other injuries and illnesses that result in the need for myelin repair.

Montel established a foundation to raise money for MS medical research. He recognized as a result of his experience how critical it has become to raise money for more holistic research, which is the only way research will be conducted for prevention and cure.

What is the agenda for myelin repair?

Scott Johnson, an Ernst and Young Awarded Entrepreneur was diagnosed at age 20 with MS. In 2002, using his skills as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and business person, Scott established the Myelin Repair Foundation (MRF).

By 2004, through Scott’s leadership, MRF established as a goal to license the first myelin repair therapeutic target for commercial development within five years. To achieve this, Scott authored the Accelerated Collaborative Research™ (ARC) methodology. By constructing a collaboration with four principle investigators, MRF and team have:

  1. identified over 150 novel potential targets;
  2. developed 24 new research tools for broad application to other neurological disease;
  3. filed two US patents and applied for 16 more;
  4. published 50 peer review articles;
  5. begun broad collaboration with pharma companies;
  6. extended this research base for benefit to 70 other disease categories.

Has Sanofi Aventis or Genzyme talked to MRF?

When I began investigating the practice of sustainability and its relevance to pharma, I was moved to do so after listening to a speech by Matthew Emmens, CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, about his perceived future for pharma in today’s economy. Emmens has established a mission for Vertex to “seek treatment for a profound change in serious disease.”

The index to the Vertex website draws a pattern of strategy, action and methods on how every stakeholder tied to this company works toward that mission.

It would appear if the basis for acceptance of any Sanofi Aventis bid for Genzyme depends on an understanding of the what the implications of the drug Campath to the MS market, that it is incumbent on both companies to form a working group and open the conversation to a much wider group of stakeholders. This form of stakeholder engagement may represent a new format because of the complexity of issues entailed in creating profound change in serious disease.

The stakeholder map and landscape is far more complex than an industry-based view of supply chain, consumers and distributors in a product-based market. The stakeholders include patients, medical research think tanks, drug companies, clinicians who treat patient of all kinds, insurance companies, benefit administrators, human resource employees, disability experts and more.

This certainly could result in authoring a collaborative, intelligent and quality sustainability business practice for pharma.

Readers: What do you think – can this potential merger lead to greater sustainability in the biopharm industry, and help patients?


Authors bio:

Lavinia Weissman is an sustainable market leadership coach, journalist, and publisher of As a speaker she describes the new emerging patterns of markets shaped by sustainable market leaders and the social networks they work with and employ.  As a coach, Lavinia works with all her clients to inspire professional development that assures a person the opportunity to embed sustainability as a leader into the network and culture of people they work with.

Lesson Learned – From Climate Change EDF Fellow to Startup COO

Originally posted on the March 31, 2011 at EDF Business Blog

Start Me Up: The first Climate Corps fellow takes his knowledge to a startup

originally posted on the March 31, 2011 at EDF Business Blog

By Jeff Crystal, COO of Voltaic Systems

New York, NY

In 2007, EDF Climate Corps helped launch me into my career at the intersection of business and the environment. When the opportunity came to work with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) on an innovative new program called Climate Corps, I jumped at the chance. The team at the time was small, and the program wasn’t yet clearly defined yet, just filled with unknowns. Having been at four startups prior, this felt just like home to me.

As the unofficial first Climate Corps fellow, I spent that summer working on a financial model, while running EDF’s own energy audit and implementing changes to reduce the NGO’s energy consumption.

The next summer, EDF brought 7 official Climate Corps fellows on board to search for energy efficiency opportunities at leading companies on the West coast.

Now here we are, three years later, and the program has expanded seven-fold – with more than 80 total Climate Corps fellows working at Fortune 1000’s around the country to identify projects that could avoid more than 557,000 metric tons of GHG emissions. Though it’s seen its share of tweaks, the financial model I developed that first summer has been used to analyze all of these projects along the way.

Climate Corps confirmed my love for “hands dirty” operational work, and almost immediately after I completed my fellowship, I joined a startup that focuses on producing small scale energy systems, Voltaic Systems. Voltaic designs solar chargers and solar backpacks for powering electronics from cell phones to laptops and will soon introduce solar lighting.

Longer term, the Climate Corps experience has opened up a network of technical resources, a framework for thinking about sustainability and the knowledge to talk intelligently about this topic with a broad range of people in the industry.

This fellowship has also given me a whole new vocabulary supported by a background of training and hands-on experience. I love being able to talk about the need for proper ballast settings on a T5 bulb or about the payback period of an HVAC tuning session.

The appreciation I maintain for sustainability is evident, not only in my company’s end-products but in all aspects of our business. Voltaic is constantly looking at ways to make our products more environmental friendly. We try to use fabrics and materials that use less energy to produce and require fewer (or no) toxic materials in their production process.

I’ve kept in touch with former colleagues at EDF who have advised me on packaging providers that are doing interesting things with recycled PET, the limits of a Material Safety Data Sheet and emerging standards on phthalates.

When discussing my job opportunity with Voltaic, one question  that came up was whether that team could have a big enough environmental impact. EDF’s staff tends to think in terms of policies and programs that can remove millions of tons of carbon.

Could a startup producing solar products make a dent? When we think about introducing new products that could have a negative carbon impact and potential ways to pressure our suppliers to use more recycled materials, EDF is in the back of my head, urging me to do more.


Authors Bio:

Before joining Voltaic as COO in October 2007,  Jeff Crystal completed his MBA at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University after which worked with EDF as a Climate Change Fellow   Jeff was on management teams at the telephony and grassroots technology company, Spoken Hub and the JAVA software development environment, NetBeans.  He was employed as a consultant at McKinsey after graduating Tulane with a degree in biomedical engineering.


Editors Note: Aman Singh, CSR Editor for and Global Advisory Board Member of Aman and I first became acquainted in April 2010, when Aman began to think about if a CSR MBA graduate could get a job?   Upon completing her initial series on this topic, Aman was invited to a very unique meeting; a training for the 51 EDF Climate Change Fellows, who had been selected to work for 48 companies.

By September 15, 2010 Aman reported this result:

Consider these numbers: $350 million in net operating savings over the projects’ lifetimes. 400,000 metric tons of annual greenhouse gas emissions. More than 650 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year.” — Victoria Mills, EDF’s Managing Director for Corporate Partnerships

These are the savings identified this year by the 51 MBA students who participated in Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Climate Corps internship . “Finally, an internship program that gets sustainability” was my reaction back in May when I heard about the program that encourages companies to seek out sustainability efforts by focusing on energy efficiency solutions.

These are real numbers and carry a real ROI for companies’ sustainability efforts. As Mills succinctly points out: “If MBA students can come up with results like these in a 10-week summer fellowship, what could happen if businesses all across the country got serious about energy efficiency.”

Celebrating the fellows that allowed us to be a part of their summer internships this year, here are a few examples of what they accomplished with companies like PepsiCo, News Corp, eBay, RBS/Citizens Bank and Yahoo!:


This report from Jeff Crystal adds another perspective of the value of these programs for mature career professionals seeking to leadership positions in sustainability and CSR! What do you see as key to ingredients of creating a professional portfolio that assures employment in CSR and Sustainability in the current economy?


Lavinia Weissman

Larry Lessig, Harvard Law School- “Law Chokes Creativity and Democracy”

Democracy is Dependent on People and Trust – Funders do not Represent People!

By Lavinia Weissman


Boston MA

I took a walk with my friend Tess Pope today. Tess and I are in someways very like souls. We had a delightful time walking around the historic Forest Hill Cemetery– walking and chatting as only two women do.

There is something I love about the peace there that is not lost in the nature of death, but actually involves the signs of life and beauty and quiet that is hard to find in a city location like Boston.

Tess and I both share an understanding of what an ordinary person needs in life to work, support a family and keep at it in good times and bad.  Yet we seem right now to live at a time, when the dominant voice in the press has lost the understanding of that. I have been finding it difficult to connect with people like this with any real frequency.  So I really enjoyed my walk and time with Tess.

You see we both believe that just a few people can make it hard on the vast majority of folks.  It is what is underneath the bullying of kids in school, the inability of chronic people to get diagnosis and treatment.   It gets more complicated by the amount of time you have to advocate for your kids and care for your parents.

When the bureaucrats ask you to fill out a form, that means to them everything is black and white. When a ordinary person needs help with something, if they are lucky this implies a conversation between you and friends or coworkers that if your luck might be based on a value for give and take.

Tess and I talked for a bit about her recent experiences with her kids in high school in Boston (and the bureaucracy that this implied) and how she was able to work it out for her kids with them and the teachers/and others involved.  I told her my dream had become to think about any kind of government shut down as something of value that offered people the chance to really work things out in community.

When we got back to Tess’s house, she asked me if she could share this video with me on her ipad.  It is a video presentation by Larry Lessig to Harvard Law School Think Big Forum, produced on February 17th, 2011 — Tess felt it illustrated a bit of what we are both feeling about how bureacracy is standing in the way of people.

In 10 minutes time, Lessig explained corruption and how it has impacted democracy.

Would you believe that only 11% of people believe in the US Congress today.  More people in 1776 believed in King George at the time of  the American Revolution than people believe in the US Congress today.

The message of this video is simple — Congress has to be dependent on the PEOPLE alone. To maintain trust and independence, you have to maintain relationships with people, not the institutions they are guiding agenda for. The dependency of the people is displaced by dependency of raising money by  avoiding confrontation with anything the donors object to.

Within Lessig’s message he explained that  today’s policies respond to the needs of the most affluent and engendered a system of dependence that has resulted in  75% of Americans losing confidence in Congress and other institutions.

Lessig went on to share some feedback that  Arnold Hyatt, no. 2 Democrat contributor to the Clinton campaign gave President Clinton in 1997. At the time, Hyatt was President of Stride Rite Shoes, which has since been acquired by Collective Brands.   Hyatt explained that President Clinton needed to address a reluctant nation in the same way that in 1939 Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation to convince them to wage war in order to save democracy.

I find this thought from Arnold Hyatt very intriguing in simplicity and the fact that Clinton at the time of this meeting so strongly objected.  It is now 2011, I think many family put their trust in Stride Rite shoes for their kids (Keds and Converse).  When I was a child growing up in Boston, my dad’s community of investors and business associates included a member of the family that founded Stride Rite.  Stride Rite over time grew into one of the early stage leaders of CSR.

Those shoes were very expensive in those days for a family of 4.  My father and many other families learned to trust Stride Rite and paid the little extra to assure their kids developed healthy feet to walk on through out life. This was how I was taught CSR. CSR was something that a company did and translated to their customers that sustained an impact for the customer; in this case — insuring kids developed healthy feet.

There is something in Lessig’s presentation that appeals to me. I reminded me of how much I long to live my life in a community again for work and residence that is committed to building this kind of healthy trust. Where I feel my back is watched and has a community force that surrounds it that protects me, my health and my earnings so I can sustain.

I wonder if President Obama has listened to this broadcast produced at his alma mater?  What do you think? Do you think any member of Congress could appreciate and understand Lessig’s presentation?  Can we construct a people driven democracy as an alternative to the current corruption and chaos in WDC now threatening government shut down? What do you think?


Authors bio:

Lavinia Weissman is an sustainable market leadership coach, journalist, and publisher of As a speaker she describes the new emerging patterns of markets shaped by sustainable market leaders and the social networks they work with and employ.  As a coach, Lavinia works with all her clients to inspire professional development that assures a person the opportunity to embed sustainability as a leader into the network and culture of people they work with.

Launching an Action Research Lab to Impact Health

Warning: Living and Working in Most Countries is Bad for the Health of Most People!

By Lavinia Weissman


Boston MA

I believe if I surveyed people I know and respect, the survey would conclude that incremental change has never been a sufficient response to all we know that is harmful to the global economy right now.. I also believe for that my quality social network would represent some remarkable insights into what is next. Within my network there are 3 streams of thought in order of least impact.

  1. People who want change but are skeptical that accelerated change is possible.
  2. People who have authored the thought leadership for accelerated change.
  3. Leaders, who know how to build and lead into practice practical scale projects that are a foundation for accelerated change.

The accelerated change  we are looking for has stopped denying the acceleration of harm and its consequence that people are living with around the world that needs a response and recognizes the significant cash investment that is required to find a response to the harm that is far greater than fixing the harm.

These are people who understand that in the United States our systems of economy that assure an system of living ecology are broken beyond fixing. They include how we assure

  • Accessibility to quality education;
  • Access to an employment track  that sustains any person able to work competently with livable wage;
  • Resources for health (not health care) that can be adopted into how people live and work;
  • a response and resources for health to half the population of the United States that now lives with a chronic illness, so these people can live in health and sustain;
  • Replacement of broken infrastructures leaking environmental toxins and chemicals that prevent people and regions to replace community and regional infrastructure that impacts our use of energy and assures sustainable housing and networks of communication that assure impacts of health.

Ultimately, the building and discovery of this kind of change that is of societal scale based on a value for health for people, planet, environment and economy is fundamental to how we build capacity for an ecological system that assures life and health within the realm of science, technology and humanity that shapes our eco-systems to thrive or destruct.

In recent months, I have been quietly reflecting on how to construct a list of people to invite to a meeting sometime in the next six months who understand and are acting on this agenda to accelerate a change that impacts through a combination of their efforts over 1B people living in a global economy.

It is my intention that the first group of leaders that I convene through a personal invitation will join this community (30-50 people in size) to form a portal of opportunity that builds a new way of how the United States relates to a global economy while building a system of relationship that returns health to its local communities.

Government is the least prepared to do this and it has to be a hub  of leadership that draws across every sector participating to build a new global economy that sustains and measures health for people, earth, environment and economy.

That thinking has been validated by the Rockefeller and Skoll Foundations. But now in the US, there is a reality of government shut down and daily monitoring of government in chaos @ Huffington Post. Americans now believe it is not either the Republicans or Democrats fault. The chaos is due to both in creating an ineffective government.

The 2012 Presidential election and campaign cost is already proejcted at $2b. If we stopped spending the billions of dollars in media, advertising and corporate lobbying of government officials, we would have significant cash resources  to create a system of education.

Two Billion would more than adequately fund in my opinion education for people on  how to live  ecologically that assures a respect for living on the basis of “doing no harm,” and operating out of values that teach everyone the impacts, good and bad, on our communities, people and culture that help all of us sustain.

When I first started thinking about how to write this article, I wanted to learn how to write something that would stir people’s thinking as a call to action rather than build another causal campaign. I sought inspiration from other media and people I respect.

I reviewed a few web-broadcasts.  One was  organized by Aman Singh, @vaultcsr, Reimagining CSR as an Engine of Innovation, Profitability and Purpose. Immediately after watching this broadcast, I went thought the new broadcasts promoted by the  Skoll World Forum of Social Entrepreneuership.

What was contained in all the broadcasts and articles was of value without question. What was  not made clear is how these events would influence others to carry out real time accelerated change.

By real-time accelerated I change, I mean change that will produce a tangible shift in the  global economy to sustain people by building capacity for people to solve the problems that are not being solved, e.g. the lack of jobs for the workforce, resources for people who are ill and assurance of access to the education of systemic scale that builds an infrastructure that educates people to live in health and do no harm to their health, the health of others, the environment, earth and economy.

Could any of these events influence more rapid constructive response to the harm now alive in Haiti, the Gulf Region and Japan?

Beyond Skoll and Vault’s broadcasts, I found qne reread 2 articles describing recent personal trauma to Joe Sibilia and his mother in Springfield MA. These episodes while far less dramatic than Katrina and the BP Oil Spill  reflected  to me ultimately the worst effects of a bad global/country  recession   on a local community of no fame and how it works to survive without any real glamor.

The commentary, story and thoughts in both these reports are a demonstration to me of why the harm of a few is having such negative impact on so many.

Joe was a keynote speak at the 2011 Intertek Ethical Sourcing Forum, where he received news that his mom had been attacked in her home in Springfield MA where Joe and all his family lives and which is where he chose to establish headquarters for  In this community, Joe described

– the scene of both attacks – was the area in western Massachusetts where CSRwire is based. “There are 1,200 young men between the ages of 17 and 24 that all share these characteristics,” he started, “they are convicted felons, they’ve never held a job, never graduated from high school, they don’t have a GED and they have no male role-models.”

Events like these alter a person’s perspective. Shortly after Joe was informed of the attack on his mom, Joe altered his hour long keynote and gave this  5 minute brief keynote captured by  Emily Drew, a journalist with @ CSRWire talkback.

Sibilia said his team chose to base CSRwire in this troubled community because they want to be a part of the solution. He implied ethical sourcing – the theme of the conference – was part of a larger cultural shift, where people are becoming more aware of how their own social and economic choices affect those beyond the transactions:

“In the future you’ll decide who you do business with based on their values, where they operate, what they do, how they think, what they believe, if they can be trusted, whether they really do what they say they’re doing. And you will create a new economy based on ethical business practices. And then you won’t have to worry about getting hit by a car or having your mother attacked. The wealth will be a bit more distributed and society will be a better place for us to live in. I really can’t emphasize enough that the work you’re doing is so inspiring to me.”

At the time of Joe’s keynote, I was  in Western MA to visit with a long time colleague, who has always had my respect; David Surrenda, the new CEO of Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.

David and I had a brief conversation where I got a clear understanding of his current mission as a global educator and leader.  I took a tour of the facility at Kripalu. In organizing my plan and budget, I wanted to evaluate Kripalu as a potential location for the meeting I plan to produce related to this article.

Following my meeting with David, I spent the weekend at Kripalu and found it a good place to just quietly reflect on what I want and how to organize my strategy for launching a professional leadership group committed to accelerating change.

I am still reflecting on the conversation I had with David, unrelated to my facility tour.  David gave me a context for thinking that aligned with my passionate belief that health is far more than health care and sustainability will not integrate into our eco-economy until society and the communities it contains define what that means drawing on views from every sector and locally applied to culture and local economy.

David Surrenda’s fearlessness and history as a CEO, NGO Exec. Director, Consultant and Educator inspired me. I needed that kind of refueling. I had become very tired of having to always self-sustain and am working hard to change that.

While there are many people giving thought to what i think about, the world pace and form of working has become isolating and I know as many do that real time accelerated change cannot be achieved if people do not learn how to convene in learning groups that apply their learning.

The meeting I have in mind is about creating a portal gateway to a global community of people who convene, learn and apply.  I believe Kripalu Yoga and Health Retreat Center is an extraordinary place to convene the people who integrate the thought leadership for application in local communities influenced by global economies.

Let me know what you think about how to build an action research lab for accelerated change? How do you fit? What needs would have to be addressed to synthesize an energy of impact that embeds sustainability into the culture and impacts change of societal scale?  Can you show yourself to be a person who can contribute value to this kind of conversation?  Why?


Authors bio:

Lavinia Weissman is an sustainable market leadership coach, journalist, and publisher of As a speaker she describes the new emerging patterns of markets shaped by sustainable market leaders and the social networks they work with and employ.  As a coach, Lavinia works with all her clients to inspire professional development that assures a person the opportunity to embed sustainability as a leader into the network and culture of people they work with.

Update from Hazel Henderson,

Finding Hope within the Multiple Tragedies in Japan

by Rosalinda Sanquiche


Jacksonville FL

I am happy to provide you a summary of all our outreach and current activity from as recently summarized to friends and colleagues by Hazel Henderson, President.

As we continue to see the devastation in Japan, we appreciate more deeply the courage and stoicism of the Japanese people.  In my interview for Seikyo Shimbun, facilitated by our dear colleagues of Soka Gakkai in Tokyo, I conveyed our admiration and sympathy while expressing our hope that these multiple tragedies will lead to a rebirth of Japan’s leadership in sustainable, efficient, renewable energy development.

We invite you to submit nominations for the EthicMark® Award for advertising that uplifts the human spirit and society, which I founded in 2005 and Ethical Markets co-sponsors with the World Business Academy and University of Notre Dame.  2010’s winners, Annie Leonard and Free Range Studio for “The Story of Bottled Water,” have released a new video – The Story of Citizens United v. FEC.   The EthicMark® 2011 Award will be presented again at the annual SRI in the Rockies Conference, October 24-25 in New Orleans.  We are excited that this will be a feature of SRIR conferences going forward – with our thanks to Advisory Board member Steve Schueth.

Reforming finance is still urgent given the Dodd-Frank law achieved little and over-burdened regulators, no match against Wall Street’s influence over Congress.  While we can be grateful that Larry Summers has gone, as I called for in “Come Clean, Larry Summers” for his role in the financial meltdown, Tim Geithner still favors Wall Street at the US Treasury Department and needs to step down as well.  We applaud Bloomberg for its fight to get the Fed to disclose fully all the loans made to banks in 2008, costing taxpayers $3.5 trillion over and above the $700 billion TARP bailout.  And kudos to Charles Ferguson for his expose and film “Inside Job” which won an Oscar (DVD now at  So, I am teaching again at Schumacher College for their course “Rethinking Finance: Good Servant, Bad Master?” with Ethical Markets Advisory Board members Tessa Tennantand Ann Pettifor, as well as Nathalie Buschor, Mark Burton and Julie Richardson.

On to good news, we are getting plaudits for our Green Transition Scoreboard® and are encouraged that Mercer joined and upped our call for pension funds to shift 10% of their assets to green sectors: Mercer called for a 40% shift, and we offered our collaboration to Craig Metrick, US Head of Responsible Investment, as Mercer ramps up its commitment.

The Barcelona Consensus recently presented to the World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal, including my statement as an International Advisor, bringing together 250 intellectuals, scholars and leaders of different social movements, proposing new solutions to the challenges we face today.  The Barcelona Consensus is offering a €20,000 grant to develop the best proposal for an alternative global model.  Submit applications by April 3rd to

The Power of Yin, which I co-authored with Barbara Marx Hubbard and Jean Houston from dialogues we had in 1977 and 1978 (!) is Book of the Month at Cosimo. From Cosimo’s website: “Edited by Barbara DeLaney, it is a ‘magnificently feminist, grandly humanist, rousingly hopeful approach to the myriad challenges facing planet Earth and her people today.’ It invites others to use the attributes they already possess ‘to join together in spirit and in action to help evolve the human community on planet Earth.’  Published in 2007, this call to action is just as important now, if not more so, than it was four years ago, as humans begin to realize ever more clearly how desperately we need to change.


Authors Bio:

Rosalinda Sanquiche, MA, is Executive Director of Ethical Markets Media and principal author of the Green Transition Scoreboard® Report. She serves on the Global Advisory Board and as a content editor with In all Rosalinda does, she brings an exceptional global view and clarity drawn from her experience working with American Wind Energy Association, the North Florida Land Trust and EthicMark (r) Advisory Board.

Factoring Sustainability in an M&A Scenario

Regarding Sanofi-Aventis and Genzyme: how do you construct a sustainable valuation of pharma? – Post 2

By Lavinia Weissman


Boston MA

original date of publication in CSRWireTalkback 08 December 2010

The Sanofi-Aventis and Genzyme merger and acquisition dance continues. As I continue to monitor the press, I built out my own research to find an answer to this question, “How do you factor sustainability into a biopharm merger and acquisition?”

On October 7, following my last post on the Sanofi and Genzyme merger dance, Genzyme’s board unanimously declined the SA bid of $69 per share, asserting that Genzyme was worth $89 per share. Sanofi views their offer as realistic and Genzyme views their valuation as what “the company is worth.”

How is #pharma stock valued?

Of the numerous articles cited on Twitter, I found an analysis by Jim Edwards. Edwards, a former Knight-Bagehot fellow at Columbia University’s business and journalism school and drug marketing journalist for BrandWeek, provided a news analysis questioning the validity of both valuations and the basis for the predicted EPS (earnings per share).

Edwards’s analysis assumed both companies are dancing around inaccurate information. Edwards, who is versed in #pharma investment valuation, identified a similar scenario that resulted in Goldman Sachs creating errors in the calculations related to the Roche acquisition of Genetech.

Is Investment Analysis Sustainable?

Last week, Genzyme’s auditor, Deloitte, released two articles on its website regarding the implications of sustainability in M&A scenarios and how sustainability relates to business today.

Deloitte pointed out sustainability is not about the usual due diligence performed during M&A. This assessment is based on the recognition that sustainability as an agenda has expanded beyond the focus of environmental issues.

Today’s sustainability agenda factors in regulation, finance, reputation and any “social impacts” from the point of view of all stakeholders. This goes beyond the assumptions used to calculate projected shareholder value.

What do we know currently?

Genzyme is hedging its bets, based primarily on a report that describes their improvements, further cost reductions and a plan to market the drug Campath (alemtuzumab) for multiple sclerosis.

Campath is already sold for the treatment of chronic lympocytic leukemia (CCL) cancer. With the completion of five years of clinical trials testing this drug as a replacement for Interferon, Genzyme is projecting a presales market for MS by 2011 that will bring $3.5 billion in annual sales as a basis for an EPS of $4.30 to $4.60. SA is projecting a peak of $700 million in annual sales.

There are seven other Wall Street analysts providing data on Campath peak annual sales ranging between $370 million – $1 billion.

Is there a #pharma business model that will project accurate sales projections?

Vertex Pharmaceuticals CEO, Matthew Emmens, perceives a future for biopharm that will focus on innovation, research and development of drugs that treat and sustain the chronically ill.

Emmens views treatment for the majority of ailments, e.g. acid reflux, has and will continue to grow over the counter. Hence, the future is about creating a biopharm industry that is responsive to challenging disease by addressing the 150 different types of cancer and growing number of systemic ailments.

Historically the challenge to this direction has been the excessive cost of innovation and research to discover these drugs for the treatment of complicated diseases. Is there a new method of innovation and research that can lessen the cost and reduce the amount of investment, or are there other options?

How do you construct a sustainable valuation of #pharma?

Given the range from $370 million – $1 billion by seven Wall Street analysts and the gap between Sanofi’s projection of $700 million with Genzyme’s $3.5 billion, how do you ascertain a business value based on sustainable assumptions?

Perhaps Sanofi has this question in mind: Sanofi asked Genzyme to convene a team to produce the analysis on the value of Campath.

Next in this series: How do you predict #pharma consumption patterns for presales, when the consumer is a patient? What variables have to be considered when the consumer is a patient and the sale is not an over-the-counter sale? Stay tuned!


Authors bio:

Lavinia Weissman is an sustainable market leadership coach, journalist, and publisher of As a speaker she describes the new emerging patterns of markets shaped by sustainable market leaders and the social networks they work with and employ.  As a coach, Lavinia works with all her clients to inspire professional development that assures a person the opportunity to embed sustainability as a leader into the network and culture of people they work with.