Can we Level the Playing Field for Social Entrepreneurs?
ASBC's David Levine to discuss advocating for new economy at fall conference
Wednesday October 24. 2012 -- Kristian Partington
There is much to celebrate this year as the Social Venture Network (SVN) and its members honor a 25-year legacy of building the social business movement, but David Levine is the type of person who is always looking forward.
As the co-founder and CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), Levine will join other key pioneers of the movement for a panel discussion at the upcoming SVN Fall Conference where the future will take center stage.
“It’s really about trying to recognize the new moment in the Social Venture Network world, or sustainable business world,” Levine says.
“We’ve seen an incredible growth in the number of businesses that . . . have really done phenomenal work of making sure that both their workplace and their products and services are creating not only jobs and financial benefit, but also creating greater social and environmental benefit.”
He points out that at the beginning of 2012, the number of businesses connected to ASBC through affiliate business associations numbered around 90,000. Today, that total is more than 150,000.
The challenge now is ensuring policymakers recognize the new face of business and nurture a climate where investment in sustainable businesses is encouraged.
Levine says it’s about leveling the playing field for social entrepreneurs, and the conference panel will discuss how SVN members can, through their networks, support the call for a new economy as part of concerted effort to wield their growing influence on decision-makers.
“How do we look to create these larger systemic changes?” he asks. “That’s the challenge before us.
“What we’re talking about is stepping up this new voice and presence and power of the sustainable business community . . . to be able to change the dialogue.”
The examples of this voice speaking directly to the upper-echelons of power are many this year, says Levine, pointing to more than 100 meaningful meetings on Capitol Hill, a successful White House summit in June and, most recently, a strong presence at the Democratic National Convention.
This is a new moment for the movement, he reiterates, and the momentum is gaining steam.
Levine's panel conversation is called 2012 Election: Where Do We Go from Here? Levine will be joined on stage by Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder of Seventh Generation and Jeffrey Hollender Partners, who is also a co-founder and board chair of ASBC.
Join the discussion with David Levine, click here.