Social Change Business Profitability Speaking and Presentations

Social Change Business Profitability Speaking and Presentations

Impossible is Not a Fact–It’s a Dare: How Business Can Not Only Solve Hunger/Poverty, War, and Catastrophic Climate Change, but Make a Very Nice Profit, Too

Taking off from this quote by Muhammad Ali, “Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare,” the talk begins with a quick review of “impossible” accomplishments that we now take for granted—from iPods to space travel, from organizing to save a local mountain to a South Africa emerging out of apartheid and into democracy. Then, this inspirational and empowering talk moves into the advantages to business of solving the biggest problems of our time. Motivating not through guilt or shame but by combining the vision of a better world with the power of profitable business, this talk demonstrates that real change is not only possible, but profitable.

Examples (curated for each individual audience) may include:

  • A company whose solar-powered LED lanterns are a ladder out of poverty for thousands of households in Africa and Asia
  • A fair-trade organic coffee roaster who funds village-led community development projects that attack poverty and injustice at their roots
  • A major carpet company that not only shifted its entire enterprise toward sustainability but slashed costs by initiating eco-friendly, economical manufacturing processes
  • A retailer that created a NEW $15 billion/year market, selling organic food to people who for the most part don’t go to Whole Foods
  • A company that makes a soccer ball into an electric charging station: play for 30 minutes, and charge a device for up to 3 hours
  • A major UK department store whose soaring profits after publicly measuring 100 sustainability indicators caused the company to add another 100 metrics
  • A solution to mobility for wheelchair users that replaces bulky, fuel-inefficient, and slow paratransit with individual transportation the size of a Smartcar
  • Numerous creative ventures that are pushing the boundaries of physics and biology, developing new “biomimicry” products and systems that model nature’s principles: high materials strength, waste-as-input, adaptability, and other really cool stuff

Beyond Sustainability…to the World We Want: Three More Steps on the Journey to a Healthy Business and a Healing Planet

Sustainability is building systems that keep things the way they are. But that means atmospheric carbon stays at 398.78 parts per million, high above the safe limit of 350. It means 805 million people around the world are not getting enough to eat, and 3.1 million children die each year of preventable hunger, while preventable air pollution kills another 7 million people every year.
So just going green, just being “sustainable,” isn’t enough. We can do better, make the world better—and make a good profit at the same time.

Step 1 is sustainability: Making sure things stay at least as good as they are, that inputs balance outputs, that the world can continue to keep up with human impact. You’ve probably made a great start on this—but again, it’s only the first step. Let’s take three more!

Step 2 is regeneration and thriving. We will create systems that restore the functions and capabilities we’ve lost. We’ll bring atmospheric carbon back below 350 ppm, return disrupted ecosystems to balance, increase the population of species on the brink of extinction—and create thriving profitable businesses based on these concepts.

Step 3 is social change: Tackling the world’s deep, systemic problems in ways that not only address the root causes but build an economic foundation for long-term success. For example, as eco-friendly business ventures lift the most disadvantaged out of poverty and the earth out of environmental disaster, the formerly ultra-poor begin to gain economic freedom; they can become a new, untapped market.
And once we’ve “stopped the bleeding,” it’s time for
Step 4: creating the world we desire. Shel will lead you on a hands-on visioning process to design that world. Then, together, you’ll pick one project you can move forward to move the world closer to that vision, and implement in a profitable way.

Business for a Better World: How Business Can Profit by Fixing Hunger, Poverty, War, and Catastrophic Climate Change

It’s true that business practices have led to some of these crises. But because of this, business is uniquely positioned to address systemic and deep problems including hunger and poverty, war, and catastrophic climate change. And your business can reap multiple benefits by doing this work.

Learn how to turn touch points into tipping points—how to move the planet toward a sustainable world with enough for all, and how to benefit from the newly empowered consumer class you help create.

  • Why and how businesses can make a real difference
  • Benefits to the business: More revenue, lower costs, higher trust and credibility, easier and better marketing…
  • Additional benefits to society, and to the planet

Making Green Sexy: Marketing Green Products and Services to Green AND Non-Green Audiences

You have three audiences you need to market to:

  1. Deep greens who already know why going green is important.
  2. Lazy greens: want-to-be-greens who will do the right thing only if it’s easy and cheap but won’t go out of their way.
  3. What’s-in-it-for-me consumers who will never be convinced that going green is worth extra trouble or expense, but who WILL buy on value, quality, and other attributes.

The committed greens are already onboard; now, you’ve got to reach the rest of the world! They’re not going to buy just because it’s the right thing to do—but they WILL buy when you show them how your offering is actually better: higher quality, greater comfort, lower price, and yes, sexier. You’ll succeed when you have different sets of messages for these three different types of customers. Using eye-catching slides and examples such as toilet paper, ice cream, and even the Empire State Building, Shel Horowitz, lead author of Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green, shows how to attract all three groups.

We’ll discuss:

  • What goes through the minds of these three different kinds of buyers, and how to harness their psychology to your advantage
  • How to identify the triggers for each audience
  • How to craft those triggers into powerful marketing messages that clearly show the advantages of your products and services
  • How your superior green product can educate the nongreen buyer on why this stuff actually is important

Don’t waste money sending the wrong message to the wrong people! Learn how to create highly-targeted marketing messages that will move green, want-to-be, and nongreen prospects to action. Using case studies ranging from large, well-known companies to smaller niche brands (for-profit and otherwise), green profitability strategist Shel Horowitz shows how to successfully market a green product to each of the three audiences. We’ll look at what kind of messages they respond to: what motivates them to buy. Finally, we’ll brainstorm together on a real-life green product: Participants will generate potential audiences, marketing ideas, and message points aimed at creating sales for this product—and then discuss how they could apply those techniques to marketing their own green products and services.

Leading with a Green Heart: Creating Lasting Change Inside AND Outside Your Organization

Unilever…Marks & Spencer…Walmart…Patagonia…Ben & Jerry’s…Marcal…Interface—what do these famous brands in very different industries have in common? They’ve made environmental leadership a cornerstone of their corporate DNA while continuing to sell very successfully to mainstream audiences. Going well beyond mere “sustainability,” these forward-looking companies embrace restorative environmental practices that help reverse negative human impact AND help the bottom line (both by reducing costs and by tapping into the lightning-growth green sector).

And this didn’t happen by accident! It happened because their leaders exercised leadership! Top executives carefully and deliberately created a corporate culture and a customer base that allowed these companies to become thought-leaders, heart-leaders, and action-leaders in green business.
Learn from CEOs in these and other companies how to…

  • Create a profitable environment-first strategy
  • Harvest and implement the best ideas from employees all the way down the ranks
  • Institute a culture where workers enjoy coming to work because they’re so proud of what they’re doing to green the planet

Turning Your Values Into Sales: Effectively Marketing Your Social/Environmental Commitment

Is your company’s commitment to improve the world a “best-kept secret?” Or are you openly using your values in your marketing, but not getting the results you want? Learn how to get the most possible marketing value out of your values. Treating the earth with respect, providing a healthy and welcoming atmosphere for employees, donating a portion of your profits, supporting social and environmental goals–are all marketing points to help you stand out in your prospects’ mind. Harness these points to build not only sales, but customer loyalty–to the point that they become part of your unpaid word-of-mouth army of fans and ambassadors.

  • Identify the existing actions and policies most conducive to attracting socially and environmentally conscious fans
  • Create marketing strategies that easily bring these to their attention
  • Involve your customers with a feeling of “ownership” and participation
  • Turn this reservoir of good will into a powerful, virtually free, marketing machine
See Shel’s TED talk, “Impossible is a DARE: Business For a Better World”

View a 7-minute clip from Shel’s popular talk, “Making Green Sexy”

Watch Shel’s 8-minute Keynote at the Sustainable Foods Summit

Copywriting and Materials Development for Businesses Doing Social Change
Green Business Profitability Services