White House Welcomes Call for New Economy
Sustainable business leaders descend on White House and Capitol Hill
Friday June 22, 2012 -- Kristian Partington
Sustainable business leaders gathered at the White House June 12 calling for the creation of a new economy that is at once vibrant, equitable and sustainable during a summit that many herald as unprecedented.
One hundred and twenty five members of the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) descended upon the executive office building at the White House to issue a business call for a new economy, a call that was heard by more administration officials than have ever attended an event like this in the past.
Social Venture Network (SVN) executive director Deb Nelson was joined by several members as part of the delegation, including ASBC co-founder David Levine, a key organizer of the event.
As he reflects on the summit and the following day spent visiting nearly 40 members of Congress, Levine says he’s stuck by many important realizations.
There was a true sense of collaboration in the air, he says, as administration members gathered to discuss with business leaders how to strengthen a market-driven economy that respects people, planet and profit.
It wasn’t just White House officials talking to a gathered audience, as is normally the case with these types of events: “It was set up as real dialogue between our business leaders and the administration,” says Levine.
He cites the fact that the largest number of officials ever to take part in such a summit was present as verification that the time has come for this shift, and people are taking notice of the philosophy of sustainable, restorative, social-impact businesses.
“By creating the American Sustainable Business Council and building it in this inclusive form that recognizes and keeps shining a light on the work of individual business partners, we are able to tell a much different story about the economy,” Levine says.
The council, through its vast membership, represents more than 150,000 individual businesses and more than 300,000 entrepreneurs.
“This is recognition by the White House . . . that this body of businesses and business organizations and the council as a whole is a serious entity with a set of priorities and policies to help drive the new economy,” Levine says.
“Both through the White House and in Congress, we have issued this call for a just and sustainable economy.”
SVN’s Nelson speaks of the summit in terms of a renewed collaboration between the government and business leaders that can have a true impact on the future of a more equitable economy.
“The gathering at the White House was an incredible opportunity to strengthen relationships with administration officials, explore new ways to support sustainable businesses, and collaborate to effect long-term systemic change,” Nelson says.
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