Image for post
Image for post
I love this iconic image of Dolores Huerta.

Call this what you will: a list of silver linings, gratitudes (not platitudes), or — and not in the strict religious sense — saving graces. Not to polish this supreme turd of a year, but it has, far beyond family and friends, provided each of us with a new opportunity to rediscover our world by reclaiming appreciation for the everyday wonders among us.

In no particular order, here are my top-ten saving graces for MMXX, Twenty-Twenty; two-oh, two-oh-no!; 2020.

1. Nurses

In the best of times, nurses don’t have easy jobs. Now consider this year: sandwiched in the competing priorities of hospital administrations, physicians, patients, the pandemic, and protestors of the anti-mask variety, nurses have shined in their understated way through horrific conditions. Nurses are my hands-down superheroes this year. Under resourced, over achievers who lay it on the line every day for all of us. It is my hope that society will support you and the trials you face stemming from your heroism during the pandemic. …


Image for post
Image for post
credit: plan c empowering circular futures

By Markus Kessler and Russ Stoddard

The linear life we’ve chosen and the way it affects how we conduct business or create consumption — by designing and mass producing single-use, throwaway products with a complete emphasis on convenience — can no longer be the way we live our lives or how our economies operate.

In the first part of this article, we introduced the circular economy as a new business model to address climate change, though its precepts are to be found in the “old ways” prior to mass production and the explosion of the industrial age and its child, consumerism — back to a time where products were produced locally, built to last, and passed down from generation to generation. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo credit: FES in Mena, 04.23.20

The Pandemic as Prelude to a Circular Economy

By Markus Kessler and Russ Stoddard

Authors’ note: This is part 1 of a two-part article prompted by the world’s current state of pandemic affairs and its effect not only on society, but on the world of commerce and the opportunity for business to battle the true threat — climate change — by embracing a circular economy as a means to a stronger and longer-lasting recovery.

During this global pandemic, we’ve seen the world turn on its head in ways that were, just 10–12 weeks ago, imaginable only in the context of a futuristic sci-fi thriller: citizens masked, borders closed, people hoarding, businesses folding, and governments in panic or denial of the possible dangers of the coronavirus. Uncertainty, fear, and lack of clarity have led to increasing isolation for nations, states, and communities. …


Image for post
Image for post
Image Source Credit: Patriot Software website

I’ve been with a Big Bank for a long time. And yesterday, it failed me.

What happened is that, along with millions of other small businesses, I was left with hat in hand when Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan funding via the CARES Act ran out. It’s my own damn fault, really, and therein lies a cautionary tale about the choices in banking we make.

For those of you who know me, it’s odd that I’m even with a Big Bank. I’m a B Corp kinda guy and local banks, not BIG ones, are in alignment with creating a business with social impact. Well, I first came to this financial institution in Idaho decades ago when it wasn’t a big bank, when a fellow river guide got his first job there and signed me up as a client. He’s no longer there, but I still am and as this industry goes, my small bank in Idaho became part of a Big Bank over those decades via industry consolidation. …


Image for post
Image for post

Here’s a B for Boeing. One for Bank of America, too. And one for all the other mega-corporations that are elbowing at the table for billions in government Bailouts (with a capital B) via the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act.

At the heart of my Plan B bailout proposal is an intriguing and relatively new legal structure called a “benefit corporation.”

Legislators fashioning the CARES Act are rightly focusing on safeguards for making loans to public companies that limit the recipient’s ability to fund self-serving stock buybacks, cap dividend payments, and corral managerial compensation and bonuses. …


Image for post
Image for post
Our company uses The Good Traveler to offset our carbon emissions from business travel.

Why You Should Buy Carbon Credits To Offset Your Business Travel

If your company is interested in putting the word “act” into climate action, a simple and positive step is offsetting the carbon that’s released into the atmosphere through your business travel.

Carbon offsets are pretty simple. You pay money for “offsets” that are measured against the mileage of your air travel (or automotive) mileage of your trips; your funds are then invested in projects that reduce the carbon equivalent impacts of your travel. …


Image for post
Image for post
My trusty companion Roux and I prepare to ride home from our work at the Oliver Russell office.

One thing the climate crisis has brought back into focus is the pure magic of bicycles — invented more than 200 years ago, these marvel machines are gaining major street cred for their simple ability to cure so many societal ills, from transportation overload to hazardous air quality to the obesity epidemic. They are a seriously big-time carbon offset!

I’ve been commuting by bicycle for decades now. At a personal level, bicycles of all stripes — pedal powered, e-bikes, cargo bikes — are pretty rad vehicles. They can also radically change the way you work. Here’s how:

It frees your mind for…


Image for post
Image for post
A little attitude goes a long way — a fellow B Corp sent this to our business, along with a beautiful note, as a way of acknowledging our efforts.

I’m a big fan of thank-you notes, especially in the fast-paced business world. I’m totally old school about it and prefer handwritten ones, sent through the U.S. Postal Service with a cancelled stamp. They show that someone cares enough to take time from their day to put pen to paper, and their tactile arrival increasingly makes a huge impact in our desensitized and cluttered digital world.

This year I received two for our efforts at Oliver Russell that were utterly indelible and demonstrated that sometimes the impact we strive to make with our professional lives is completely invisible to us, until someone lets us know in micro moments — such as a thank-you note — along the way. …


Image for post
Image for post
Pandora’s “Sound On” Brand Campaign featured Dreyfus Art here in Boise, Idaho.

I’m a total street art guy (read: fanboy, not artist) with a special passion for urban murals.

I also run a branding agency.

So when a campaign from Pandora recently landed here in the ‘hood near the Oliver Russell building, it really tweaked me in all sort of good ways, both personally and professionally.

The Pandora “Sound On” brand campaign commissions street artists to create murals called “Sound Walls” based upon music that inspires them. Here in Boise, they chose Dreyfus Art to adorn an alley on 11th between Main and Grove streets. …


Image for post
Image for post

If you, like many people, are fed up with the way countless corporations behave, this Black Friday — the largest shopping day of the year — use your mighty little spending stick to hit the corporate pinata and catalyze the “Sanberg Effect.”

So what exactly IS the Sanberg Effect?

I’ve named it for Joe Sanberg, who enlightened me recently to the idea that massive corporate change could very well be achieved by shifting marginal consumer spending in relatively minor ways that each of us could help effect.

(Joe, an entrepreneur and anti-poverty activist, would likely laugh at my bestowing his name to this effect, but as Kurt Vonnegut once said, “So it…

About

Russ Stoddard

Social Entrepreneur, branding expert, and author of “Rise Up — How to Build a Socially Conscious Business.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store