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

Archive for CSRWireTalkback

No Child Left Behind: Can Business Step In?

Can corporate social responsibility help bridge the gap between educational empowerment and economic stability?

By Lavinia Weissman


New York, New York

original date of publication in CSRWireTalkback 01 December 2011

The redefining “No Child Left Behind” act was passed exactly ten years ago on January 8, 2002.  Today, however, there is real question on its value.

The performance in review puts it succinctly.

So “What does it really mean to leave no child behind; and is this a social issue that can be addressed by CSR?”

There is no denying that the future performance of our workforce depends on the quality of education available to our kids. That the U.S. has fallen behind in assuring access and funding for quality education is not news either.

Educational Standards: Are We Up For the Challenge?

Current curriculum and education standards do not assure the best possible education to prepare our kids for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), let alone help them embed this knowledge into careers that provide sustainable value.

In an economy where jobs are scarce, corporations believe that they are at an advantage, perpetuating the idea that there is not enough competent talent. To build the best workforce possible, CSR principles must be embedded in all aspects of the STEM curriculum. And EMC’s Kathrin Winkler isn’t the only one endorsing this.

The Role of STEM in Sustainability…

Ellen Weinreb’s recent research in CSO Back Story revealed that several of the country’s sustainability chiefs have educational backgrounds in STEM, helping them become critical, system thinkers.

Part of the challenge in insuring that a future workforce is prepared for careers in sustainability lies in integrating the foundational values of CSR with a set of values based around work. Consider, for example, the Swedish word for “work”Narings Liv. Literally translated, it means “work that nourishes you for life”—a value system that should be at the heart of the CSR movement.

By integrating this value into our work culture, companies could examine a new system for defining work—one that could be translated into a functional educational system for children and adults.

It is time to declare an opening to an examination of workforce values and the question of how we prepare young people to sustain themselves both through their work and when they cannot work.

…or WorkEcology

I see this as a creation of a CSR workforce eco-system that I describe as WorkEcology. We know that our current employment systems, workforce development and all that this implies—including benefits and compensation—are broken.

The tradition of education for employment and professional development is no longer a sustainable model. We know that it no longer assures ongoing professional development, wages that assure a sustainable lifestyle, or support of benefits that assure protection for disability, health care and retirement.

In preparing a young person for the realities of this kind of world, what kind of work are we preparing them for? What system of education will meet those needs? And how can corporations that advocate corporate social responsibility serve that preparation?

From Thought Leadership to Practice

As part of my thinking on these questions, I have begun mentoring a gifted 11 year old young woman, who is motivated and passionate about biology and other disciplines in science. Together we have uncovered a range of topics for discussion from bullying and dumbing-down to negativity and claiming personal power.

Thanks to Disney’s ABC Studios and my affection for Extreme Makover, we watched episodes about how to heal and counteract bullying, and I began to introduce her to the power of social media at its best as an educational tool.

At a New Year’s Eve party, my friend was put to the test. Overhearing her talk about global warming, a man in his late 40s approached her and, in front of the party crowd,  informed her that her passion for global warming was useless, and that there was no definitive evidence.

Explaining CSR to an Adolescent

As I listened to this young woman the following day, I realized that all I could do for her is what I do in my career—provide a bit of education to inspire her, and identify networks of educational resources that will inspire her self-esteem and learning.

I pointed her to:

Where can this investment come from?

A 2011 Standard and Poor’s analysis featured in the Wall Street Journal reported a total of $1.08 Trillion in corporate cash reserves.

Can corporations redirect a portion of their cash reserves and philanthropic foundation investment to assure no child is left behind and moves into a narings liv approach to work?

What would this imply for human resources, educational institutions and financial approaches to funding and sustaining access to quality STEM education that embeds sustainability and CSR?

Readers: Can social organizations and business effectively target No Child Left Behind by investing in  organizational design,  academic curriculum and targetting funding to educational institutions?


Is Sanofi Aventitis Moving Beyond the Challenges of Pharma?

As a global health leader will Sanofi Aventis create new sustainable markets of value for health?

By Lavinia Weissman


New York, New York

Original date of publication on CSRWire Talkback, June 8th, 2011, recently published two important reports by its Chairman and Executive Editor Joel Makower. The first report is an article titled, Green Marketing is Over. Let’s Move On. And the second is a video of Joel’s presentation on the State of Green Business 2011.

After reviewing the report and video, I decided to return to my study of Sanofi Aventis and ask, “Is Sanofi Aventis moving beyond the pharma business model; and will this create new sustainable value markets for health?”

To get at some answers to these questions, I captured a “quick and dirty short list” of Makower’s observations as a framework from which to assess the current state of Sanofi Aventis.

Makower observations:

1. For the most part business is still treading water to build a sustainable economy with out any remarkable progress.

2. While business is treading water, Greenbiz Group doubled its membership, approached by companies they did not know asking to become members. Greenbiz Group now has more than 50 members; Makower sees this as an indicator of hope.

3. Green marketing is in need of makeover. Green marketing initiatives and stories focus primarily on the consumer and what the consumer can buy rather than how companies can create new markets of impact.

4. The key to building new markets is about building new markets for healthy people to live in a healthy world.

Next step: I conducted a quick updated review of Sanofi Aventis to look at their progress over 2010 and what has occurred since the April 2011 completed acquisition of Genzyme. (Links to three previous Talkback posts).

My findings in brief:

With the publication of Sanofi’s 2010 Annual Review, CEO Christopher Viehbacher announced a change to Sanofi’s mission from “to improve the health of as many of the 6.8B people walking the planet as we can”  to focus on a new mission “to becoming a global health leader.”

Viehbacher has outlined three areas of strategy from which to balance its profits with sustainability by focusing attention to resources that:

1.    Increasing innovation as an approach for research and development. September 2010, Sanofi signed a partnership agreement with Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Belfer Center for clinical trial research. Sanofi has committed an investment in this collaboration of $33M to DFCI over three years. With this investment, Dana Farber gains the right to preclinical, clinical and commercial milestone payment and royalties from sales of commercial products developed by Dana Farber with Sanofi Aventis.

2.    Adapting to future challenges. The company is focused on adapting to the change implied by ongoing translational research and new formats of health education to move beyond the structure of delivering OTC drugs to patients for common ailments and creating new responses to people who suffer from chronic and life threatening illness.

3. Pursuing external growth opportunities. Sanofi has set a goal to explore outside the pharmaceutical framework new forms of treatment platforms that are more affordable and accessible to patients, which opens a broader potential for them beyond the innovation of new drugs.

Sanofi has in recent months introduced a new generation of social media reporting for its Annual Reviews, Sanofi TV and links to Facebook. Within this media constellation, Sanofi offers regular updates on the company, health, professions, responsibility and what is new cross culture, country – and in English and French. Reports update followers from the perspective of all stakeholder interests in CSR, regulation, research, business and advancements for populations of people with specific health needs.

Sanofi through Chris Viehbacher’s leadership has bounded its investment in clinical trials, freeing funds to formulate new platforms of prevention, health education and the development of new, affordable products for the patient that can be easily accessed.

Is Sanofi building a new sustainable market that helps people to be healthy and live in a healthy world? Are they breaking the barrier to the idea that big companies have less success with innovation?

Perhaps Sanofi forging ahead of Novartis, which has accelerated its capability and success with clinical trials or GlaxoSmithKline who is addressing health and poverty in an old format of giving by returning a percentage of profit back to the country in which they do business for a total of $5.4M.

About Lavinia Weissman

Lavinia Weissman (@wecarehealth52525252494949606060) is a sustainable market capacity builder, coach and publisher/editor-in-chief 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 a culture of change that builds healthy practices for people within healthy markets.

Talkback Readers: What do you think? Is Sanofi creating new markets for healthy people who want to live in a healthy world with sustainable value? How would you measure this? Weigh in on Talkback!

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.

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.

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.

Lesson Learned: After the Fall – Joe Sibilia’s Sustainable View of Riding a Bike

Publisher’s Welcome: Welcome,  Joe Sibilia, CEO of  Joe offers his  point of view on bike safety after a personal experience being hit by a SUV riding his bike.  This will be indexed with other reports tied to Frederic Page’s first report on  If Road Safety is Relevant?

Can a bike be primary transportation and a sustainable practice?

by Joe Siblia


Springfield MA

Sustainability takes discipline and commitment. Part of it for me is riding my bike to work and around town. I don’t own a car.
Late afternoon, on St. Patrick’s Day, after a long winter of snow, cold and ice, the sun was shining, spring w…as in the air, the temperature was warm and my bike was calling me for some attention.

As I was riding home, clad in a short-sleeved shirt, a green sweatshirt (it was St. Patrick’s Day afterall and Oki demanded I wear green), my dad’s pants and some hiking boots, a speeding car on Wilbraham Road in Springfield, Mass. hit me hard on my left side and sent me flying.

They kept going. My friend Doug commented that most people would stop, even for an animal. They must have been in a hurry.
As I was flying in the air, I noticed the speed of the black SUV, with tinted windows, before I crashed into the pavement, slid over the tree line and landed on the sidewalk, headfirst.

It wasn’t the first time I’ve been hit. The other two times were skirmishes on ice and snow and a slow race for position at a traffic light – minor bumps. This time it was different.
Since the blood was flowing freely from my head, arms and leg, I thought it best to stay put for a moment and gain my composure. I removed my sweatshirt and wrapped my head in the t-shirt and pushed the sweatshirt on my arm and leg, closed my eyes and began to pray.

The first thing that came to my mind was the need to get a really good, cool looking, helmet (I’ve foolishly stayed away from safety gear, as a result of my own ignorance and ego).

The first comment I heard was, “Dude, are you dead?” Since I heard the enlightened concerned citizen, I knew I was not.

As the rubber necking took hold and the crowd gathered, I took the time to begin a meditative practice. I thought it a great opportunity to remove myself from my body and watch the process unfold as a witness to events.

The cops arrived before the ambulance and made sure I was not an escaped criminal and any warrants for my arrest did not exist. I was cleared to remain in my present state.
Further up the street, some onlookers found the mirror and some parts from the hit and run car. My bike was behind me and my goggles, bag and reflector were strewn about.

Trying to integrate sustainable living practices in a fast paced business environment requires constant daily attention.

Riding a bike, taking public transportation, using recycled materials, recycling, composting, and giving value to that which has been abandoned, takes a lot of energy. It’s distracting from the pursuit of making money.

Some may say the costs are too high. I offer another point of view. Friends I haven’t seen in a while have visited me. People have contacted me to extend their regards.

I’ve watched some movies I wanted to see and I’ve been served meals in bed. Maybe next week I’ll get hit by a truck and really have some luxuries.

Let us not be distracted by the conventional view of the costs of sustainability. Let us look at all the advantages – cleaner air, water, land and a more caring society.

Let us look at all our challenges as a time to grow and experiment with a new beginning. I’ll start with a new helmet, more sidewalk riding and greater advocacy for bike paths on and off the roads.

Sustainability has some costs, but the benefits are far greater. Live well, do good things and stay in touch.


Authors Bio:

Joe Sibilia is a visionary of the socially responsible business movement, he is founder and CEO of Meadowbrook Lane Capital (MBLC), described by the Wall Street Journal as a “socially responsible investment bank” specializing in turning values into valuation.

Joe  is also the CEO of CSRwire, the social responsibility newswire service that distributes and archives corporate social responsibility/sustainability news to journalists, analysts, investors, activists, academics, public relations and investor relations professionals worldwide.

Publishers Note: community wishes Joe good healing and recovery from his broken bones; and we welcome his voice to the hall of people in our community, who understand road safety is so much more than driving and road conditions.  Road Safety is about creating a new infrastructure and understanding so bikers can commute along side drivers safely.