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Taking the Bite out of Apple – Steve and Laurene Powell Jobs’ Legacy

Taking the Bite out of Apple TSOMU Series -Part 2 of 3

This 3 part series looks at  3 perspectives of the cost to people in the manufacturing of Apple Products.

  • Accountability for What? Constructing the 3rd Pillar – Social Sustainability
  • Steve  and Laurene Powell Job’ Legacy
  • Defining the Future Inquiry

By Lavinia Weissman


New York, New York

The Wholistic View


“Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in every thing. That is how the light gets in.”

Leonard Cohen

If one looks outside of Steve Jobs leadership and performance at Apple as CEO, and follow a very complete story of his life, work and his final days, I believe the picture painted if very different than what is described in the business press.

Jobs contact with people outside the context of running a company contains within it the  legacy Steve left behind supported by his wife Laurene Powell Jobs, that are an interesting foundation for building a “social sustainable agenda” described in Part 1 of this series. Time will only prove if this vision can translate into community solutions aligned with Laurene Powell Jobs current vocation.

Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute, was selected to by Steve and Laurene Powell Jobs to be Jobs, biographer. The book, simply titled, Steve Jobs. Completely atypical of Jobs, he and Laurene both gave full control over the  book and the content to Isaacson. Jobs in his final days asked for final say on the artwork for the cover.

This book is a composite of the story of the history of Apple as Jobs and others crafted it, the products that resulted from Jobs vision, the meanderings of Silicon Valley ups and downs influenced by the MBA Venture Community and ultimately how Jobs as a visionary and innovator powerfully drove his agenda to build Apple as the strongest multinational company based headquartered in Silicon Valley.

Jobs informed Isaacson, “I think you are good at getting people to talk.” This is why Jobs selected him as his biographer.  Steve and Laurene wanted the book to relay the real story that included Steve’s failing and success.  They wanted the truthful story. Even Steve in his candid conversations with Isaacson saw his own personality flaws, which may have been unnecessary.

For fans of the history of Silicon Valley from a technical view, you will have to read the book that captures a rich history of all companies that sit side by side with Apple and the influence of the cast of characters from Larry Ellison of Oracle, Gil Amelio of NEC and Apple, John Scully and more. Isaacson true to form studied the man, the culture that surrounded the man and the family from which he grew and in the end helped him make peace.

The Silicon Valley and Apple Corporation that I knew emerged to be number 1 after my downsizing research in the late 80′s predicted it would be Apple, Sun or IBM.

Unlike Sun Microsystem and IBM, Jobs crafted with his products a vision of creating an Apple lifestyle, but in the final chapter of his legacy with his wife he began to create a global lifestyle through conversations  with his wife  Laurene and his final conversation with Bill Gates in May 2011 before his death in October.

Isaacson’s talent for asking “the why after the what,” helped me make see this new form legacy that is socially sustainable, that Laurene is now making her focus.

While the business press offered consistent final reports, e.g. Thomas Friedman, that  when Obama inquired about bring back jobs to the US for IPhone and other Apple products,  Jobs replied,  “Those jobs aren’t coming back.”  Friedman was one of many that reported this based on secondary research.

Isaacson captured 40 interviews with Jobs, dating back to 1984, when Isaacson was at Time Magazine and drew from more than 115 people and interviews and secondary research for this book. This is where the story behind how Jobs meeting with Obama in Silicon Valley’s story behind the story begins to open inquiry on the legacy that Jobs crafted in the final 10 months before his death.

Hidden in this story is the non technical legacy that Jobs could see that integrated a view of humanities and science with his genius capacity to design the leading technology and thought that captured Apple’s market today.

Laurene’s Added Spark
In 2010, Laurene Powell Jobs joined the White House Council for Community Solutions. At the most recent, State of the Union Address, by President Obama, she was introduced as the founder of Emerson Collective which she has directed to focus on underserved communities to better lives and in her role with the White House Council for Community Solutions she advises the President on how to mobilize and involve each sector from a true capacity building point of view on how to concretely address specific community needs.

Fall 2010, Laurene advised her friends at the White House that include John Doerr, Venture Capitalist and then at a meeting for President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board that Obama needed to hear Steve Jobs point of view on why the US had lost its edge.  With help from the Jobs son, Reed, who was attending Stanford, Laurene was able to convince Steve to join Obama in a private 45 minutes meeting in October 2010.

No Holds Barred

In his book, Isaacson reported that Jobs told Obama at their private in October 2010, that Obama had to become morbusiness friendly and make  it easier for business to open factories in the US over China that he was headed for a one term Presidency.  Here is was indicating a need to reduce regulation and unnecessary costs.  Jobs then asserted that even bigger obstacle was the American education system as antiquated due to unionization of workers and teachers.  There was a need to revamp the entire system, beginning with defining the role of the teacher and improving the status of teachers.

By the end of the meeting, Jobs offered to put together a group of 6-7 CEO’s together to converse with Obama and examine how the US government was obstructing innovation.  Jobs idea was to create this as a dinner and conversation. The White House almost derailed the meeting, trying to turn it into a major event of 20 ore more CEO’s, including  GE’s  Jeffrey Immelt.  Jobs made clear his terms and the agenda and format were recovered and given Jobs assumed control.

Over a dinner at Palo Alto’s Greek Restaurant, Evita of 12 included Carol Bartz (Yahoo), John Chambers (Cisco), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Reed Hastings (Netflix), Art Levinson (Genetech), Eric Schmidt (Google) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) with Obama, Jobs and White House Staff, Valerie Jarret and John Doerr.

Isaacson writes that Jobs began the dinner conversation by stating, “Regardless of our political persuasions, I want you to know that we’re here to do whatever you ask to help our country.”  While this prompted proposals and suggestions, starting with John Chambers idea for a tax proposal.  Zuckerberg was heard to lean over to Obama’s aide Valerie Jarret and point out they were all there to help the President and wanted to know from him, what he needed.

John Doerr and Jobs returned the discussion to the focus and Jobs indicated that America had to educate and train more engineers.  In China today 700,000 workers are need on site support from 30,000 engineers and Apple simply has no resources of that talent to hire here in the US.
This pointer caught Obama’s attention and while Jobs was in the final phase of his own journey, he pointed out if America (Obama) can train the engineers Apple would bring back manufacturing to the US.

Isaacson’s ability to interview and capture the full story is quite different than the business press reporting the short sentence. Yes it is true,  at the present time, Apple cannot bring manufacturing back to the US. And yes,  if America addresses its most critical problem – our educational system’s inability to produce enough engineers, Jobs committed to bring manufacturing back.

While this is a story capture of Isaacson’s book (in red) that are taken from the book.  Pardon me with breaking from the tradition of footnoting with the limitations of blogging.

Isaacson has opened the door to integrating a story that values all 3 pillars of view for sustainability that can not be constructed without opening a conversation and inquiry that examines issues from the 3 perspectives that Jobs drew from his study of Edwin Land, founder of Polaroid; these persepctives are about creating a balance of view drawing from humanities, science and technology.

From my studies on dialogue and inquiry, I learned something similar from the perspective of David Boehm, Physicist. Boehm often pointed out based on his studies with spiritual teacher, Krishnamurti, that he learned that building trust to innovate change and evolve culture cannot be built without building into our conversations practice that appreciate these 3 elements (humanities, science and technology).

This invites my readers to join me for next and final post. This poises the question of how we alter our view of education integrating the vision and forecast for education that Steve Jobs shared with Bill Gates before he died.
Stay tuned  for Part 3 – Defining the Future Inquiry that describes this opportunity and a history of dress rehearsals that failed. Is it time to launch this as a community of practice within the UNGC?


Author’s Bio:

Lavinia Weissman is sustainable leadership coach, health advocate, capacity builder, and publisher/editor-in-chief of

For More information on Lavinia’s Coaching, Workshops and Presentations or to obtain an invitation to Monday Circle or Prayer Community Conference,

Contact Adriana Hill  in the US by phone 516.204.6791 or  at mydestinyjourney ampersand


Taking the Bite out of Apple – Accountability for What?

Taking the Bite out of Apple TSOMU Series -Part 1 of 3

This 3 part series looks at  3 perspectives of the cost to people in the manufacturing of Apple Products.

  • Accountability for What? Constructing the 3rd Pillar – Social Sustainability
  • Steve  and Laurene Powell Jobs’ Legacy
  • Defining the Future Inquiry

By Lavinia Weissman


New York, New York


Earlier this month, Apple filed its first 2012 Supplier Responsibility Report, Elaine Cohen, an expert on sustainability reporting gave her attention to this report immediately in her CSRWire TalkBack column, ITransparency: Is Apple Catching Up,  praised Apple for the quality of disclosure reflected in the report. And at the same time with her tongue and cheek humor, Is there an App for That? Asking if there is a solution to the years of complicity in a host of human rights abuses and violations within Apple’s supply chain.

Charles Duhigg and Charles Barboza captured in detail the story of these abuses and an overview of the complicity between Apple, the small manufacturers and the multinational corporations that comprise the Apple supply chain in their NYTimes article, In China, Apple and Human Costs are Built Into the IPad .

This article portrayed up close and personal the harm to ordinary people, with normal motivations, e.g. working to have a family, buy a home and live in a society what workforce practices are dictated by the supply and demand for labor based on expertise, where product demand exceeds what is humanly possible to produce and where occupational and safety standards and wage regulations are ignored.

These stories make the corporate way clear, if an employee cannot step up to the demands of an employer at the cost of their health – mind and body, , the solution is to simply let this human cost go by and fill that job with others waiting in line for the job.  Employers show no understanding of the principle of “do no harm,” described in the Earth Charter’s Principle 6, the Precautionary Principle.

Absent from these reports is a view of issues that merit attention from a societal view on what it means to be human and build a practice of sustainability embedding the missing 3rd pillar, social sustainability.”

The Implied Hope of Social Sustainability

The Brundtland Commission Report in 1987 ignited the csr and sustainability movement offering the framework of the 3 P’s – People, Planet and Profit along side the framework of the 3 E’s – Environment, Economy and Equity.

Attention to people and equity have become a missing pillar of the sustainability movement.  In 2002, the Johannesburg Conference stressed that the integration of 3 dimensions could only be built out from a foundation of humane equitable and caring global society at the present time and for future generations.

Recently the Swedish Government and Sodotorn Univeristy funded Magnus Bostrom, Department of Life Sciences, Sodertorn University and his colleagues to ascertain the state of challenge to embedding social sustainability into society and culture. Bostrom’s summary report, A missing pillar, Challenges in theorizing and practicing social sustainability, is  the introductory article to the Winter 2012 issue of Sustainability, Science, Practice and Policy, a global journal based in Washington DC.

According to Bostrom there are two obstacles to embedding social sustainability in sustainability development.

  1. By nature of the theory and thought leadership is fluid and falls behind the concrete approaches to repair the  environment and economic agenda;
  2. In practice, social dimensions attract less attention and are far more challenging to operationalize and incorporate into projects and planning.

Bostrom identifies the substantive and procedural aspects of social sustainability which present another layer of complexity in terms of adoption and governance which is very aligned with the challenges outlined in the 2010 10 year review of the UN Global Compact by the UN Joint Inspection Unit in Geneva, Switzerland.  This report identifies the challenges ahead for its 7700 members to address through its own governance and applying what is learned with a much greater impact beyond the current penetration of

The Brundtland Commission Report in 1987 inspired the hope that the world leaders would embed an agenda people with the promise of recognition of human needs addressed in a kinder way.  Three decades of focus on the sustainable agenda have pushed these issues to the back burner, resulting in teh acceleration of  poverty and injustice as the wealthy 1% control the economy without regard for the other 99%.

Is there a different approach to addressing this agenda taking form outside the engagement of institutions focused on practices of accountability, governance and transparency.

Could it be in his final six months of life, Steve Jobs inspired by his wife, Laurene Powell Jobs created the legacy to spark and innovate a social sustainable agenda through personal conversation with friends?

Stay tuned for Part 2 – Steve and Laurene Powell Jobs Legacy to Apple and the World


Author’s Bio:

Lavinia Weissman is sustainable leadership coach, health advocate, capacity builder, and publisher/editor-in-chief of

For More information on Lavinia’s Coaching, Workshops and Presentations or to obtain an invitation to Monday Circle or Prayer Community Conference,

Contact Adriana Hill  in the US by phone 516.204.6791 or  at mydestinyjourney ampersand


Lavinia Weissman

corporate social responsibility, climate change, green business, philosophy, capitol hill





The Tear in the Fabric

More Fray & Tear or Repair Beyond Imagination

By Lavinia Weissman


Boulder Co

For the last 3 months, I have lived at the tear in the social in ways I have not seen before. I have met local to me and virtually other social entrepreneurs, who in their own right have intimately learned about that tear in a variety of ways and from numerous perspectives.

What is even more astounding is that most of the people who have in this flow of synchronicity come to my door are a balanced group of men and women with a diversity of background personally and professionally would surprise most! They are the change agents responding to the state of the world and its global financial collapse.

These people have worked beyond limitations that most people cannot imagine.

Numerous of these people have had to go through their own personal healing in ways not many Americans know to do. Here is a list of some of the synopsis of those experiences:

  1. A divorced women leaving an abusive marriage and living out of her car has now transformed into a successful entrepreneur who can rely on a base of product sales to keep her steady and constant;
  2. A former investment banker and venture capital person, who got such a bad taste in his mouth from how he was being successful, he traveled Europe and Canada to learn more about life and reshaped his business orientation as a social entrepreneur;
  3. A long time sustainability entrepreneur who found out about the stripping loss emotionally and financially that leads man with life threatening illness to be stripped of everything. He has now returned to his former work with a new pragmatism and recognition that business in this arena can be financially viable, serve and take care of him and his family.
  4. A man raised in a format of poverty that obstructed his education when he was trapped by his extended families socio-economic boundaries, who found a network of encouragement and practical and concrete support to complete a Ph.D. and marry a remarkable woman and build his own stable life woven into the fabric of a legitimate academic institution of reputation, now ready and able to make a difference. There are more and others, and then there is me.

Through recent experiences, I have been able to renew my courage in a time of great uncertainty by remembering my grandmother’s walk across EU to the US with her six year old brother after they were orphaned; and my memory of a good deed my father carried out during the depression that came back to reward him financially with a job in the last decade of his ability to work where he made more money perhaps than he had made all his life.

The other side of the experience is a deep emotional reminder of the cost of bitterness and hatred that weaves into people who are victims of pograms in Poland and the Holocaust, like my mother. It makes me think of the some of the political actions today and how good people become victims of a system of politic that strips them of engaging in life feeling like years of hard work is taking care of them, like this man,

– click on photo to read the text

Yet what I know is needed is to form social networks of imagination and community that inspire experiences like this one; where by a young man, Jason McElway, a basketball manager (water boy?) as a special ed student in his high school. Jason lives with autism.  In the last 4 minutes of the game and the last game of the season, Coach Johnson let Jason suit up and play.

Watch this amazing broadcast, Because Jason is autistic, he is use to feeling different, but as the broadcast reporter, Steve Hartman pointed out never this good. Jason shot 6 3 pointers, 20 points total.

Why was this possible? One Word, Imagination !

In a local community, people can take what others perceive as  a risk, because to the person that takes the initiative, the idea is not high risk; it is offered out of a history of relationship, value for the other person and care.

Change in this country has been difficult to come about within institutional boundaries of hierarchy and spheres of influence that rely on a sphere of wealth, as I described the structure of global financial institutions last week.

There is a growing number of people in this country and in fact around the globe, as demonstrated by the spreading of #OccupyWallStreet to 1039 sites across 87 countries.

This social network lives across jurisdictions and boundaries often described as sectors or vertical channels where life is based on transactions and formulas based on prescribing needs with yes and no questions.

So  institutional driven analysis is  based on a form of reduction theory that has through the years grown into a formula for collapse.

Can We Avoid Collapse?

Last week, Newsweek published an editorial by Niall Ferguson, America’s, “Oh Sh*t!” Moment.

Ferguson’s analysis provides a real time framework of imagination on how America and Americans can avoid collapse. A collapse according to Ferguson, e.g. the Ming Dynasty or the Soviet Union is sparked by the rulers losing their legitimacy by an overwhelming swelling of a complex social network activity making a statement that this legitimacy no longer has power.

This is not news to the ebbs and tides of success and failure in financial markets, but it is news to a format of medical legitimacy that accelerated in it formation from the mid – 1900’s promising all Americans “quality health care” and the guarantee of the funds they need covered by health insurance or Medicare/Medicaid System.

Obstruction by the Legitimate Rulers

 The reality is that America is collapsing because 99% of people without wealth cannot assure ownership of a home, the health care they need with the funding sources of insurance or income.

The system is further collapsed by the cost of education to begin a career with a wage that supports people to raise a family and take care of themselves is chronic or life threatening illness does not configure into the mix of the wage earners personally or their children.

This collapse has been fueled based on the attention of scientists to disease, infection and treatment with antibiotics and anesthesia to enable surgical fix as an alternative to less costly approaches of reducing the impact of symptoms e.g. on the brain or  spine by reshaping lifestyle, exercise and modalities of body work that reshape the spine and remove the obstruction of energy and nervous system behavior to restore health or reduce pain.

This is a systemic description of the system that has been harmed by how our political system has selected rulers who are reinforcing a system for jobs, taxes and infrastructure that is perpetuating harm for people because of the failure to adapt new systems and replace old out of date methods so people of this country have their needs responded to.

We are at a all time experience of this harm reinforced by rulers we elected who are not getting their job done for people living in this country.

Altering the Complex Social System with Imagination

Ferguson has defined what he calls the killer apps that have created and reinforced collapse for the American people equating our systems of competition, view of the Scientific Revolution, the rule of law and representational government, modern medicine, consumer driven demand and our work ethic as we act educate for, act in response and live are like software applications that are spiraling all of us into collapse.

The social fabric of our county is torn and lost in a debate or protest with respect to which of these “killer apps” dominate how we live, our practices and our behavior towards each other in communities in the United States, Europe and Australia.

Avoiding collapse, In seeking some ideas about what is ahead of us to discover a new formation of social entrepreneurship that builds capacity between social entrepreneurs, political entrepreneurs and civil society entrepreneurs.

This week I became acquainted with Marriah Star’s, personally and academically. Within Marriah’s research, he examined the phenomena of diaspora. A diaspora is a movement or a migration of people away from their ancestoral home

Marriah’s research reminded me that so many of the 99% are the children of immigrants who migrated to America ad  it’s promise for freedom and a future of success for anyone who reached out for it’s golden ring.

I am part 2nd and 3rd generation of an immigrant family, who came here as a result of a diaspora.

Yet here I am today, a citizen who has migrated from the local community that insured me my economic stability, health and sanity after living in a format of a society that stripped itself of the very relationships that insure that and pushed most people to a form of survival and lots of hard work that is not caring for us in the long term.

There is no going back and our institutional practices in business and politics has resulted in a movement of people protesting and asking for something else.

The next stage of formation has to restore an understanding of the value every person can contribute to repairing this tear, rich or poor; it’s going to be a lot of hard work across this country and around the globe.

Right now are people forming into capacity building organizations incubating ideas into a real societal framework of practice that will rebuild local economies and bring people together to begin to relate to each other as if time and what you do is of value; and will also serve to take care of you so that the work you do wisely will insure that you can sustain.

While this stage has grown out of a stripping duress, the next stage is more difficult in that it requires a new form of investment in local communities that  to build results that impact local infrastructure, build a wage base that is livable and more important build communities in which our children have the best possible education to move ahead with the foundation we build to achieve full momentum.

If we don’t — yes, there will be a collapse and the question remains out of a collapse can organic renewal give birth to a new formation that will bring life back to the people so deeply in struggle now?

Which struggle do you want to leap?


Author’s bio: Lavinia Weissman is a 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. She has a private practice where she works with women to embrace the experience of chronic illness that challenges their livelihood and form of work.

Can Sustainable Venture Repair the Social Fabric of the Global and Local Economy?

Integrating Repair of the Local Economy into Incubation Scenarios for Cleantech or any Sustainable Venture

By Lavinia Weissman


Boulder Co



Jochen Kleef’s editorial, “Global Clean Tech Challenge: Clean Tech and Innovation – An Issue of Scale” was published in parallel with the start of the Wall Street Protest and Obama’s appointment of Jeffrey Immelt as Job Tsar to the US.

Kleef’s focus in his editorial was on “the challenges for these clean technologies are many ranging from simply the human resistance to change or accepting new approaches, engineering as well as technical hurdles and the running of a business professionally with commercial success.”

Kleef’s perspective is from his examination of launching an incubator and technology platform in Asia and the intricacies of create investment, commercial success and examining the benefits of localization and culture (Asia versus a global approach, e..g Immelt’s EcoImagination).

What happens when you shift the focus of sustainable business venture strategy to repair of the global or local social fabric?

A little over two weeks ago,  James Schwinn contacted me. James is an economic development adviser, who has a successful career in international capital markets and venture development.

Schwinn has changed the forum in which he works to take a leadership position – along with his partners, John L. Knott, Jr. and Charles Randall – that is focused the reorganization and redevelopment of its capital resources – financial, physical, natural and human – as the essential gateway to building self-sustaining economies and jobs.

The 3 partners created a chain of strategy and action that is taking root in South Carolina, starting in the Noisette Community of North Charleston. While investigating Schwinn’s success with his partners, I figured out very quickly our conversation was much more than a chat or interview. It was a foundation for a generative dialogue, which few people ever engage with.

Generative dialogue is the 4th state of inquiry and rarely begins in the first conversation where the learning forms creates a path of strategy and action. It is a competency exercised by leaders who know how to do more than inspire change.

The partners build the social network architecture based on what the community needs by creating  a geometric scheme of relationships,  where learning forms into patterns of activity that form strategic activity that produces results and change.

In this way, the partners of EcoBank, Network LLC insure results that build repair to a social fabric of a local community that requires a change to return to health – that repairs the environment, local economy, habitat and people’s capacity to live. Introduction to this form of thought leadership

Take 24 minutes to review this presentation, Financing Sustainability; James Schwinn, Presenter at the 2010 Gaining Ground Conference in Vancouver.

I watch this video 4 times.

It did not take me long to realize that this presentation was a context for the development of an accelerated learning lab to serve the incubation and repair of sustainable commercial ventures in a pattern of community interaction with local government and citizen forums that united a view and formed an architecture to repair the social fabric of community.

Whether this is organized in a region of Asia or the United States, there are critical activities that I have always viewed important and missing in the movement of business that describes itself as a Sustainable Venture or Corporate Social Responsible Business that I believe does not integrate responses that repair the social fabric of local community and its economy.

Why has Commercial Business and Incubation Failed to Repair Local Economy?

Commercial business and planning historically has been transactionally driven as an exercisse to manage a spread sheet. This spread sheet is used to monitor a capitlization plan with profit and loss that serves a limited group of stakeholders.

This mechanistic approach is fundamental  reason that the Wall Street investment engine resulting in an extension of the 2008 financial global meltdown sand cycle continuing to this day.

How Can We Break from this Destructive Pattern?

Local to me in Boulder County, Colorado, I began a very female style of networking that has resulted in a preliminary format from which to build a partnership with the DaVinci Institute

This began in what I perceive to be a best form of women’s networking and generative dialogue.  Amanda Johnson, DaVinci Council of Luminaries,  my coaching client, asked to shift her relationship with me so I could partner with her and Deb Frey, V.P.,  DaVinci Institute.  Amanda asked DaVinci’s Vice President, Deb Frey to join us.

DaVinci’s founder, Thomas Frey has followed the tradition of structure and organization of some of the most reputable consulting ventures from a futurist point of view, e.g. my colleague Jonathan Peck, President of Institute of Alternative Futures in Alexandria, Va.

Deb joined her husband Thomas a few years back to manage the firm and has been percolating on a vision to translate the assets and brilliant engagement that Thomas has guided to translate into something more meaningful for the community that is taking form around the DaVinci Institute.

Deb has come to recognize that a critical stage for making this vision real and practical is the requirement that the Institute learn to assess and serve the community need to create a fabric of innovation locally in the Boulder County area. Deb is also very aware that most thought leaders or futurists do not know how to build the capacity to translate vision into action.

Deb has invited my leadership and capacity building talent to work with her and Amanda to build this vision into practical stages of real time development.

DaVinci Institute will be the host for my November 12, 20011 program, Foundations of Portfolio work. Watch for next weeks press release with link to a registration page.

How is This all Helping Me to Change my Focus into More Productive Energy that Implies Progress?

Since arriving in Colorado and working with a few consultants in this community, it has been eating at me how deep our denial is in the US.  My conversations with James Schwinn have validated my intuition.

I am certain this is true in other places, e.g. Asia, as well.  In the fractured economy, commercial business is conducted on a transactional basis.

Companies as shown by the UN Global Compact performance report are continuing even as enlightened leaders of CSR and Sustainability to perpetuate that which is broken and re-enforce the systems that have are obstructing job creation, the building of healthy investments and platforms of economic development.

To build the new infrastructure, we need to repair the health of the environment, people, economy and habitat. But any form of press shows how many people are joining for protest and well intentioned “flittering,” that goes now where.

Where Does the Word Flittering Come From? And What Do We Have to Do to Stop this Pervasive Behavior?

Over coffee with a friend “Samantha Weston”, I learned a new word,“flitter.”

Sam has followed her career in bio-pharm and finance with a new passion for oil painting. She said when the paint splatters all over the place, that is called flittering.

Conditions today for me are like a map of flitter splatters; we have not gotten down to the serious work of change by assessing the needs of the people and children they love to find the resources needed from which to assure stability for themselves and who they care for.

Amanda Johnson, Deb Frey and I have pulled together our work with that view. Schwinn and his partners have had the financial and resources of scale they need to impact and step up to do the job and have the impact they can have.

This is also based on the notion of performing social network analysis  that forecasts  the need of people or the community formation they wish build for economic impact.

For years the transactional approach has obstructed the voice of community need after downsizing and investment harm. Schwinn captured my attention and put sparkle to my eyes when in his presentation he outlined that responsible planning and engagement plans for cycles of progress and cycles of decline.

I know no man that has put into a sentence more of what is natural to women when they care for their families or lead through cycles of change in the community where they live or the vertical commercial venture that employs them.

This was a value core to many of the men who have mentored me; but not often translated into a leadership platform in government, commercial business and the non profit sector by economic core groups of decision makers.

If you are aligned with repairing social fabric of a local community that serves the needs of people, subscribe to this blog and watch for more stories of meaningful use that serves the needs of people for generations moving forward.


Author’s 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.

Publisher’s Letter – Introducing TSOMU Fall Issue – 2011

Letter from the Publisher

Lavinia Weissman

Boulder, Co


Our next series of articles will focus on “accelerated change.”

9/11 – 10 years later – represents an unfortunate trend in human behavior that occurs immediately after a natural disaster or catastrophe of massive harm.

The 1st responders performed the heroic deed of rescue, recovering the dead and creating some order to the destruction.

But after this initial phase of recovery and response, one has to ask if any leader stepped up to observe, monitor and act on the outgrowth of harm to the people, economy, environment and habitat?  And why was there no response to accelerate the response to this growing harm?

What happened post 9/11?

The Bush Administration, the US EPA Director and Mayor Guiliani assured the public that New York City air quality was fine. We now know that is wrong.

Over the past 10 years, a growing evidence base of medical harm that includes a variety of cancers and pulmonary/lung related diseases and more.

Response to this growing medical evidence data base  has multiplied the frequency with which NY Firefighter and World Trade Center survivors are stricken with pulmonary and lung related disease or encounter cancer and die.

Tom Zeller, a Huffington Post reporter, on 9/9/2011 reported on how this struggle for help for these victims is just beginning to take form 10 years after the collapse of the World Trade Center.

Zeller interviewed John Feal, a retired Ground Zero disabled worker who sustained an injury at the site, offered his perspective post injury that took half his foot;

“I don’t need a doctor or a scientist or 12 years of college and a Ph.D and an MBA — no offense to them — but I don’t need anybody to tell me that 9/11 didn’t cause or did cause cancer,”

Feal’s own struggle to win compensation for his injury prompted him to establish the nonprofit FealGood Foundation to help 9/11 responders cope with the physical, mental and financial fallout of that day. He said he’s getting more and more requests for help from cancer sufferers.

How 9/11 prompted my thought leadership and journalism

After 9/11, I stopped watching mainstream news. I tired  from what I perceived to be unproductive forms of protest, denial and debate.

It was clear to me that the mainstream media audience needed a new form of journalism and post event response that was going to repair or prevent future harm from events like 9/11, Katrina, Haitian Earthquake, tsunamis, hurricane and earthquakes.

Like many other citizens, I concluded that events like these were accelerating because of the denial of the politicians, government officials and commercial business around the world.

The tangible evidence of this acceleration was evident to any American with the new-formed reality that 1 out of 2 Americans now live with a chronic illness sparked or complicated by environmental and chemical toxins.

Based on this observation, I shaped a question from which to grow my investigation and learning:

What does it mean to pay attention and stop denial?

I turned my attention more aggressively to identifying communities of people in business and the public sector that dared to form innovative responses to sustain a future for our children.

Many groups have formed with a mission to discover what it takes to turn the societal impacts of what we do when we go to work, reside in local communities and sustain the health of our family economically.

Each group is building a quality of life that assures us the best health possible, whether we are living, working or dying; and by joining with a learning community, over time each group creates its own “story of meaningful use.”

Sustaining TSOMU Proof of Concept

This past summer, drawing on dialogue with my personal advice network that includes Trina Hoefling  and Bernie Kelly, I developed a monetization model to sustain and its companion page on Facebook.

The model as a business model moves beyond the concept of virtual collaboration to defining partnerships linked to the magazine for public and private educational communities that are shaping through dialogue, inquiry and stories of meaningful use, concrete stories of meaningful use.

What is unique about these communities is that they incubate ideas, build a deliberate and organic discovery process to shape activities of applied learning that impact the health of the environment, economy, people, and habitat

The editorial direction and format for these public and private communities will growing into a live educational journal. The community can report on their learning and the discovery of outcomes and metrics that have shaped out of hard work and investment with the intention for meaningful impact and response to harm from the perspective of the Earth Charter Precautionary Principle.

TSOMU public community access will offer current reports on how these learning communities take shape and archive these communities’ stories of meaningful use (applied learning).

The private communities integrate and contract with me and other associates in TSOMU’s professional community to capture the story of action research learning labs that are structured to accelerate applied learning through the building of trust. This happens in an incubated learning environment that invites accelerated learning through the use of investment and shared resources.

An Innovative Market Ready Publishing Format

For the past 3 years, I have carried out the hard work of proof of concept for this new monetization model for producing a web-based magazine on the web of sustainable value.

For each learning community that TSOMU serves, we will capture the story that brings a project to life through advocacy and inquiry. Trust building is basic to this concept of applied learning.

Over the next year, parallel to shaping the performance of this publishing venture, I will work with representation from all our stakeholders to set up and put to use a performance and accountability system to measure how this magazine contributes to sustainable value of all the communities we serve, public and private.

Our goal is to attract community participation (public and private) and design a form of communication and reporting that is not excessive or confusing to support our readers and clients to do the work that measures tangible impact and outcome.

Why is this of Value Now?

The Secretariat General of the United Nations on 14 July 2011 issued a report on the role and functioning of the UN Global compact.

This 10 year performance review found the membership of the UN Global Compact had failed to build the performance model that embedded sustainability through global companies beyond the walls of corporate headquarters into subsidiaries and the supply chain.

This review followed a report from George Kell, Executive Director of the UNGC, on the impact of UNGC’s 6,000 members over 130 countries.

This performance review of the UNGC’s work over the past 10 years parallel’s the lack of response to the growing harm that has taken form as a result of 9/11.

This assures the intelligence and heart of why the publication of is so timely. The articles featured in this next cycle of publishing include contributions and editorial from

Jochen Kleef, Chairman EcoPoints Asia

Bernie Kelly, Principal, Intelog Health

I hope as our reader, that as you select and read articles that are relevant to you and you will join the dialogue for accelerated change and applied learning that this magazine serves.

Take a minute to add your thoughts  (comments)  to what you think of our agenda and help to build our community of accelerated change to embed sustainability.

Lavinia Weissman

Book Review -The Responsible Business by Carol Sanford

Book Review for:


Published by Jossey Bass, a Wiley Imprint, ISBN: 978-0-470-64868-1

Theory and Practice: Strategy, Dialogue, Inquiry

Discipline: Leadership, Sustainability, Innovation, Accelerated Action Research

Audience:  Leaders who discern and view sustainability and change as an opportunity to innovate business change by convening a group of people to learn something that had never been done.

Overview:   Carol Sanford describes her years of experience working with leaders in a variety of businesses from the local caterer to the global consumer products Fortune 500.  Her message is clear.  Shaping a responsible sustainable business is not really anything new.

A responsible business takes form out of a well defined leadership vision and mission. Just as important the leader who is committed to building a responsible business holds a strong value for  “doing no harm” across the entire social network in which this leader draws resources to distributes product/services.

Carol illustrates through her story telling, how she works with leaders to lead  mission and vision of innovation into concrete action.  Within each case study Carol authored, she describes how an extraordinary leadership commitment translates into operation and activity carried out by a team or community of stakeholders. Individually, none of these stakeholders could perceive a means to carrying out something they could not imagine on their own.

Carol Sanford has brilliantly crafted  stories about these social, product and sustainable innovations  innovations  translated into real time results by leaders at Colgate, Kingsford, Clorox, Dupont and Seventh Generation.

Why read this book?

September 2010, the #csrdebate in its conclusion represented over 50 years of efforts tracing back to the 1950’s, when individual leaders began to foster the sustainable marketplace that has been created by the early stage leaders of “responsible business.”   Mass media perpetuates the stories that comprise, “inconvenient truths.”

Art Kleiner, author of  The Age of Heretic profiled the heroes and heroines that led much of the change that we now describe as CSR or Sustainability.  Kleiner described pointed out these people to be heretics. A heretic implies a person of passion who will lead an innovation into practice no matter the cost and learns how to inspire a conversation that invites people to learn and apply that learning for the good of the cause.

Sue Flowers and Joe Jaworski as participants and authors, captured the story of how Joe convened with other global leaders the first scenario planning sessions for Royal Dutch Shell in The Synchronicity of Leadership.   This was the research study and discipline that united researchers of inquiry e.g Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, Adam Kahane, Bill Isaacs along with the valuable contribution of Kleiner.

Carol Sanford’s story capture and reports outlines something apart from what has been investigated in these schools of thought. It is a rationale, I strongly identify with in my work and thinking.  The basis for the logic is that “responsible business leaders” have for decades been doing good work and in some instances these stories have been reported thousands of times.

Early in her career, Carol had opportunity to work with line leaders and engineers, e.g. Charlie Krone who understood the business patterns and product production that manufacturers grapple with on a daily basis and what made any change difficult.  In fact, Carol early on in the book introduces the story of the an initiative to rid phosphates in detergent at the P&G manufacturing plant over 50 years ago. Bob Sykes, the manufacturing leader for this innovation identified over 1200 case studies and books that reported between 1970 and 2000 on this radical new method of doing business.

No one was talking about carbon impacts, safe chemical, global warming in the 1960’s. This project which proved significant sustainable value for the health of people, environment and economy had great social impact.  Leveraging from this leadership approach, Carol reports on an groundbreaking activity by Colgate, when she personally worked with Stelios Tsezos, a Fullbright Scholar who worked for Colgate after Nelson Mandela resumed leadership in So. Africa ending apartheid in 1994. Stelios selected to work with Carol as a consultant to move the Colgate to restructure manufacturing operations and improve profitability at a time when white males workers were being pushed to move beyond racist practices and welcome So Africans to the work place.

For many years, I have investigated in follow up to any corporate education program that I associate with, whether or not a people educated to methods of organizational learning, whole systems thinking and/or corporate social responsibility are able to apply what they learn in the classroom on the job. A number of researchers including myself have found consistently classroom or retreat educational events do not result in applied learning on the job 85% of the time. This implies only 15% of new learning is applied on the job to benefit a business.

This leads to what is unique about Carol Sanford and how she works in the context of what is now described as Responsible Business Methodology.  Carol like Bob Sykes at P&G and many others I have worked for engage a group of people to learn in the context of a business need and create an environment in which people grapple with frameworks like Carol’s Responsible Business Infrastructure to learn to discern to act.   This means the consultant like Carol or myself is not brought in for the purpose of constructing a learning event.

We are engaged in everything we do to build a learning activity that fosters real change in real time by people learning from each other, with each other and building a conversation that authors a new business patterns that innovate new kinds of results.

To select to read The Responsible Business: Reimagining Sustainability and Success its entirety is about being serious about innovating change that can sustain and assuming a role of leadership that empower people to learn and apply that learning.

This book is not for a reader who wants to learn “how” so they can replicate the “task” to produce the same outcome. This book is for people who wish to be inspired to carry out from their imagination that which they feel most passionate about as a win for all stakeholders beyond anything they could design on paper. It is about learning what makes others tick and lining up their participation in service of a much great mission and vision.

And the best part, Carol is a woman who has partnered with male leaders to model what is possible in a partnership between men and women in the Fortune 500 while finding time to enjoy her family that now includes 5 grandchildren.

Buy this book now! The Responsible Business: Reimagining Sustainability and Success""

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