Building the Future of Leadership & +1 for Destroying the Patriarchy Kristine Sloan - CEO, StartingBloc

"What is the future of work? Are we going to work 40-50 hours a week? Are we going to continue to operate in business models and org charts that are failing us and reducing our innovation, productivity, and satisfaction? I do think we now have more and more people with access to leadership (though it’s obviously still incredibly inequitable), but when many folks get access, they end up acting like traditional white men in power (or being asked to act like that). That’s because we don’t have a clearly defined paradigm of leadership to match the new paradigm of work. The values are not aligned. StartingBloc is really centered on that – how do we develop leaders to walk into that new paradigm with grace? That, to me, is really really exciting."

Doing the Dirt(y) work to Tackle Food Waste & Create Great Jobs Sarah & Noah Marsh - Co-Founders, FoodFWD

"Identify what it is that you’re passionate about and start talking to a lot of people about it.  What Noah and I learned when we were first starting our business was the importance of networking.  When we shared our ideas, people would connect us to so many great contacts. We asked our business mentor early on whether we should share our idea with others.  We feared that someone might hear our idea and a competitor might come into the space first.  He said, if there is a competitor that could come in that easily, then it is too simple of an idea. Ideas are easy, implementation is always hard."

Building a Top Luxury Brand that Gives Away 50% of Profits while Diverting 10 Tons of Waste per Year Kresse Wesling - co-founder, Elvis & Kresse

"If you are running a business that is successful, you have the freedom to be as altruistic as you want. We give away 50% of our profits and that’s up to us. If you don’t like it, then you aren’t our shareholder, investor or potential new colleague. Knowing that we have this freedom, that we can live our values through our business, that we don’t have to wait or compromise, this is why business is the best spot for me."

Solopreneur living a meaningful life in Oaxaca, Mexico 4+ months a year Mary Stelletello, CEO of Vista Global Coaching & Consulting

“When you have clarity about what are the principles that help you feel like you are doing your life’s work, you are on your way. It is then a matter of clearing out the clutter, the fears, the gremlins in your head that send you all the limiting beliefs to block your path forward. You can’t do this alone, the power of community, support and accountability are what make transformation happen."

Traveling the world to connect younger generations with global issues through adventure and education Brad Frankel, Co-Founder of Flooglebinder

“Some of the clients that we've tried to work with don't take the time to understand what we really do, and see us a just a trip provider as opposed to an educator. It can be quite disheartening at times. So I would say, don’t worry about those people. Focus on the people that do care as there are many of them out there, rather than waste your energy on trying to convert the others. Work on the ones that do want to be a part of that community."

Driving Change and Binge Watching GOT: Not a Contradiction Sami Grover - Creative Director, The Change Creation

"The world doesn’t change because you make a cool logo. When someone calls and says ‘we need a business card’ tonight, I now say no to that type of work. The only way to communicate effectively is to communicate consistently over many, many interactions with your audience. That’s where I’ve enjoyed my work the most. It’s also great because then I also get to have great relationships with the people there."

What Are You Eating? How Beer, Burgers, and Pizza are transforming the way one community thinks about food Seth Gross - Owner, Bull City Burger and Brewery and Pompieri Pizza

"Every Sunday night, I would look at the dumpster area. We have two restaurants and a handful of small businesses and residents all sharing this one dumpster. By Sunday, you couldn’t even get near the dumpster. There were trash bags overflowing everywhere, all on the ground. It was ridiculous. I kept thinking look at all this waste and it was just from a couple of businesses and people. So we started thinking about, how could we do better?" It was a big paradigm shift for everyone at the restaurant. Our first step was saying that we’re going to have 4 trash cans and we’re going to sort our waste. People were like ‘oh god, I have to do this… and touch everything… and sort the paper…’ Now, no one thinks about it. It’s just how we are."

“B”ing the Change: Connecting Students to Business as a Force For Good Jessica Thomas - Director, Business Sustainability Collaborative at NC State University's Poole College of Management

"Consider volunteering or getting an internship and really seeing what this looks like in the real world. I think it’ll get students more passionate and more focused. Having that picture of seeing how they can have an impact and what that means for them and their skill set. So many students think it’s going to be a role that has sustainability in their title, but there are so few of those roles. The B Corp framework is eye-opening because it shows you can have an impact in any role."

Building Better Lives: One Table at a Time Carter Ellis - Founder, Ellis Furniture Co.

"Over the last year, I developed a lot of confidence as I explored doing this full time. I realized this is what I want to use my life for, I want to do business in a way that gleans: we operate a business that makes a killer product and yet we leave money on the table so that others may have access to work. Profit’s great and necessary, but profit maximization isn’t the end goal."

Disrupting Biases in LegalTech

"I’m working to redefine what success looks like in high tech. I’ve had to overcome subtle bias throughout the process of getting this venture launched. My vision is that bias could be something that could become inherently positive. I think that all of these things that we subconsciously assume are negative, are actually strengths. In my case, I’m an older woman, with a great deal of experience. I have an academic background, which means I bring a great deal of expertise and rigor to the work I do. Unfortunately, some investors don’t see these traits as a positive. I hope to change this paradigm."