Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.
Social entrepreneurship and awareness is beyond evolving, it is accelerating – dramatically. Alchemy proudly sponsored a conference this month on social innovation at the Omega Institute; the event was produced by the Hudson Valley’s Social Venture Institute, a subsidiary of San Francisco’s venerable Social Venture Network. In attendance were new companies that are disrupting convention with fresh, profitable business models for farm-to-table distribution, impact investing, purpose-driven online media, global retail of artisan goods, and other examples of conscious enterprise. The exchanges with these entrepreneurs and other lively thought-leaders were not only inspiring, but mind-expanding. The experience affirmed the wisdom in the quote of my friend and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, “creativity is a renewable resource.”
A few themes that surfaced:
Women’s issues at the forefront – Recent research reveals that investment in women, as compared to men, yields greater and more lasting economic benefits to the community. And investment in women is on the rise – in women’s education, specifically in financial and entrepreneurial skills, and in women’s businesses, by way of micro loans and target sourcing of goods produced by women. In what can fairly be called a virtuous cycle of interest, companies are consciously fostering a deeper connection with women and women’s issues, knowing that this group will soon control 2/3 of consumer wealth in the US.
Social Sustainability is the new CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility is morphing from a tangential corporate platform to a holistic approach for sustaining brand relevance. The model goes beyond giving back, and includes a clear social mission with tangible benefits. Enlightened brands are demonstrating equal concern for environmental impact, workforce conditions and community enhancement, all seamlessly, and visibly, woven into a company’s operations – and in the best cases, into the very DNA of the brand.
Storytelling resonates – Companies that consistently communicate their good work back to their customers and employees are able to fully leverage these efforts and maximize their ROI. And telling stories – from the perspective of the company, consumer, or community – is a powerful strategy for connecting. Compelling visual media – videos, infographics, photography and design – are in high demand as tools to engage, inspire, and promote action.
At Alchemy our work bridges emerging trends in sustainable practices with consumer sentiment. We design impactful marketing strategy, creative development and communications for established and emerging brands, nonprofits, even bold solo-preneurs. Together, we change the world, one story at a time. Join us!
Blending art, commerce and humanity to build brands and communities across the globe