The 2011 Net Impact Conference brought together over 2,500 professionals, academics, change agents, students, and sustainability superheroes from around the world. The staggering diversity of attendees highlights a global imperative that shapes the future of the international business community, waste and life cycle management, energy creation and consumption, and the responsible pursuit of a profitable triple bottom line by people of all walks of life.
These are the engaged masses, the instigators of hope, and the revolutionary thinkers aligned in a mission of creating a sustainable planet. These are the people who eschew cynicism and believe in something bigger than themselves, their business, and their comfort zones. These are the troops that form the front line of a peaceful army that seeks to shatter our stubborn adherence to the status quo.
These are people like Lord Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE, who, as KPMG’s Global Head of Citizenship and Diversity, uses world-leading knowledge and inspirational resources to give back and stem the downward spiral of class polarization. Lord Hastings’ opening keynote address championed the impact that individuals, whether they work at a global accounting and auditing powerhouse, or are just global citizens, can enable real change and affect the lives of the planet’s underprivileged.
I’m thrilled to present thoughts and observations from the conference, starting with these reflections from Day 1. I’ll leave you today with a quote from Martin Luther King, as recited by Net Impact Executive Director Liz Maw during the conference’s kick-off: “Make a career of humanity, and you will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.”
Ari is a 2012 MBA Candidate at American University’s Kogod School of Business in Washington DC. He was SSC’s Marketing & Communication Intern last summer.