Have you ever wondered what it means to be a B Corporation (B Corp)? B Corps—like Warby Parker, New Belgium Brewing, and Patagonia—are “for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.” NC State Poole College has become well known for teaching about B Corporations from the B Corp Clinic, which provides students with real-world experience working with aspiring B Corps to the MBA Study Abroad in Brazil, which explores B Corps in emerging markets. Over the course of Fall 2017, the BSC Director, Jessica Thomas had an opportunity to travel around the world speaking about B Corporations. We’ve shared some highlights.
B Corp Champions Retreat – Toronto, Canada – October 2017
Annually, the entire B Corp Community comes together for a global gathering called the B Corp Champions Retreat. A different host city is chosen each year. The community comes together to celebrate our collective success and the growth of the global movement.
Over 600 representatives from certified B Corps attended the 2017 Retreat. BSC Director, Jessica Thomas, was invited to present remarks about the opportunities for the academic community to get engaged in the B Corp movement during the opening plenary session. Read more
Global B Corp Academic Community Roundtable – Toronto, Canada – October 2017
In conjunction with the B Corp Champions Retreat, the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto hosted the second annual Global B Corp Academic Community Roundtable. During the roundtable, academics from around the world presented research that examines impact assessment methodologies and the impact of B Corps.
In addition, educators shared best practices in B Corp teaching and experiential learning in partnership. BSC Director, Jessica Thomas, was parting of the Roundtable planning committee and shared NC State Poole College’s innovative B Corp Clinic program. See the agenda
SOCAP Conference – San Francisco, California – November 2017
SOCAP is the world’s leading conference on activating the power of capital markets to drive positive social and environmental impact SOCAP 2017 hosted the main stage panel exploring “10 Years In How Collaboration is Core to Scaling the B Corp Movement.”
The panel discussed how cross-sector collaboration engaging investors, academics, policymakers, and businesses can help propel the B Corp movement forward. Panelists included Ben Anderson, Moderator, B Lab, Michael Whelchel, Big Path Capital, Andrea Walker, Beneficial State Bank and Jessica Thomas, NC State University. Watch the video
Encuentro + B – Sao Paulo, Brazil – November 2017
World leaders from 21 countries gathered in São Paulo at Sistema B’s annual conference, Encuentro + B, to discuss how the B Movement, including B Corps, The B Team and a growing ecosystem of investors, civil society leaders, and academics, can catalyze the transition to a regenerative, inclusive and humane economy.
BSC Director, Jessica Thomas, presented on the work of the Global B Corp Academic Community. During Encuentro + B, academics from across Latin America and around the world gathered to share opportunities for academics to get involved in the B Corp movement. Read more
Leadership Fuquay-Varina, Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina – December 2017
The Leadership Fuquay-Varina program hosted a session on nonprofits and sustainable business strategy. BSC Director, Jessica Thomas, was invited to present an introduction to B Corps sessions along with Liz Tracy, Director of HQ Raleigh.
Jessica had an opportunity to share the work of the Global B Corp Academic Community as well as NC State Poole College’s work with the B Corp Clinic.
Upcoming – Spring 2018 B Corp Clinic
For the last three years, the NC State B Corp Clinic, a multi-school collaborative program has helped North Carolina companies achieve B Corp certification by working with teams of graduate and undergraduate students from universities across the state. Companies are matched with a team of students (intentionally designed to include students from multiple schools and disciplines) to go through the assessment process and identify strategies they can take to improve their B Corp scores.
Students gain hands-on consulting experience and the chance to learn about social and environmental impact assessment and sustainable business models. Interested in learning more? NC State’s Poole College of Management Business Sustainability Collaborative administers the program and will host an info session for the Spring 2018 B Corp Clinic on Fri., Feb. 2 from 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM. Students can either attend in person in RTP or log in to learn more about the timeline, process, and companies involved. Students can decide afterward if they’d like to apply to participate on a team.