Most of you know that Good People is a New York State benefit corporation, a relatively new corporate form that requires increased transparency and evaluation against a third party standard for providing public benefits. If you have been following our blog updates, you probably also know that we are pursuing B Labs B Corp certification as our third party standard and we will be starting our first attempt at formal evaluation in April. I honestly don’t know whether we can make it on the first go. Some of that will turn on our customer success and whether we add employees before the evaluation process starts. But even if we can’t make it the first time, I’m sure we will learn many ways to improve.
Regardless of how we do, it seems like an increasing number of people are curious about the B Corp world. So, I wanted to let you all know about an upcoming event in Syracuse:
The Business of Good: Social Entrepreneurship, B-Corporations, and the New Bottom Line
Wednesday, January 24th, 2018, 3:30-5:00pm, reception to follow
Like most events, you should try to get to it live if you can. It is part of the Research & Technology Forum hosted by the Syracuse Center of Excellence associated with Syracuse University. So, it will be in their really cool LEED-Platinum building.
There is a panel of three speakers involved in B Corps and social enterprise, Kevin Stack, Josh Stack, and Kennedy Alexis Patlan. And it is moderated by Linda Dickerson Hartsock, from Syracuse’s Blackstone LaunchPad, a campus-based entrepreneurship program. I was actually invited to be on the panel, but I have a conflict that evening and so have to give it a miss. But I really would have liked to be there.
The Business of Good at a Distance Too
The super good news for everyone who isn’t close to Syracuse or who is otherwise stuck somewhere else that evening, they are also offering it as a webinar. So, even if you can’t be there, you can still learn about benefit corporations (and you should).
B Corps are a big deal. It’s still early, but they are a way of baking in corporate responsibility and greater public (and third party) oversight. They also push corporations to realize that they do not exist solely to make money for shareholders, but are actually a contract with the public for our collective benefit. Essentially, the legal protections and status afforded to corporations comes with a quid pro quo to not screw the many stakeholders who make their existence possible. The hope is that someday all corporations will be benefit corporations. But in the meantime, we should all make an effort to understand (and ideally reward and patronize) those businesses, executive teams, and shareholders who are willing to take the first step.
That is admittedly self-serving, since we are a benefit corporation. But if you just want to apply it to all of the other social entrepreneurs and help them out, I’m OK with that. In the meantime, register for this event live or by webinar and learn what the future of good business is all about.