Through B Corp Networks, Business Leaders Take Collective Action
Collaboration is at the center of the Certified B Corporation community’s work to create a more inclusive economy. With a commitment to interdependence, B Corps prioritize shared learning and collective action as they pursue new ways to improve their social and environmental impact. And during B Corp Month, these businesses celebrate and share how they work together to go beyond the expected.
For B Corps in the United States and Canada, a variety of self-organized B Corp networks provide the opportunity to connect throughout the year with other purpose-driven business leaders based on job role, impact area, industry, identity, or region. While the networks serve a variety of purposes, they share a common goal: bringing together B Corp community members for open conversations, innovative learnings, and collective action for a more inclusive economy. They also help the many smaller companies that are B Corps tap into a broader community of expertise and innovation.
For the numerous small companies in the B Corp community, networks serve as a channel for connection, understanding, and innovation. The networks also work to share beyond their individual businesses as another way to use business as a force for good for all people and the planet.
As Kendra Peavy of the U.S. & Canada Marketers group says: “It takes so much time, energy and resources to be a responsible business, and we know that it continues to be a differentiator across all sectors. We want to empower and inspire businesses — large and small — to find new ways to marry purpose and profits for their sake and the sake of the B Corp community at large.”
B The Change reached out to U.S. and Canada B Corp networks to learn more about their events, resources, and other opportunities. Learn more below about B Academics, BIPOC Network, B Tourism, B EOS Network, HR Professionals, U.S. & Canada Marketers, and WeThe Change, and find additional opportunities for network engagement on the B Hive, an online community for the B Corp community.
B Academics: Connecting Educators, Students and Business Leaders Advancing an Inclusive Economy
With a goal of advancing the study of business as a force for good, B Academics brings together a global network of academics, students, and business practitioners to connect, share best practices, and identify opportunities for collaboration. Reflecting its continued growth, the group recently named Jessica Yinka Thomas as its first-ever Executive Director and Rachel Haynes as its Operations Director.
B Academics aims to bridge the gap between academia and the B Corp community while building awareness and creating opportunities for collaboration and innovation, Thomas says. “Engaging with B Academics is an opportunity for B Corp leaders to connect with researchers at the cutting edge of applied learning, educators innovating in teaching about B Corps, and benefit corporations and students who will become future B Corp workers, customers, and leaders.”
Opportunities to connect include the B Academics Roundtable, held in conjunction with Champions Retreat, where academics meet with B Corp leaders to share the latest in teaching, research, and engagement innovations. In addition, B Academics hosts quarterly events and an annual Global Community of Practice Conversation to bring together perspectives from academics and practitioners from around the world.
Thomas says this year B Academics plans to update and expand its Resource Repository, which contains over 400 research, teaching, and engagement tools that are accessible to B Academics members.
Connect with B Academics: Learn more in the latest B Academics Impact Report and stay up-to-date on events and other opportunities by joining the B Academics mailing list.
BIPOC Network: Building an Inclusive Economy and Providing Opportunities for Engagement and Connection
Launched in 2022, the BIPOC Network provides a space for B Corp leaders who identify as Black, Indigenous, or other People of Color to gather and learn. Like the larger B Corp community, the BIPOC Network builds on the strength of interdependence and the need for collective action to address systemic barriers and create a more inclusive economy.
BIPOC Network organizers Natasha Motsi and Ayannah Crawley say the group’s members prioritize engagement and connection, so they made both of those a reality during happy hour and breakfast events at Champions Retreat 2022 in Philadelphia. At that event, the group also developed a Community Agreement to guide members and serve as a model for the larger B Corp ecosystem.
“We believe that the BIPOC Network makes up a significant portion of all members of our B Corp community,” the group organizers say. “The work that we undertake cannot be done in isolation.” To support that in the year ahead, the BIPOC Network plans a continued focus on connection and engagement with virtual lunch-and-learns and an in-person event. These and other activities can help BIPOC Network members amplify their impact in their own communities and strengthen the larger movement for a more inclusive economy.
Connect with the BIPOC Network: B Corp community members who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color can connect through a shared Slack channel, where they can learn of upcoming events and schedule one-on-one virtual meetups with other community members.
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B Tourism: Welcoming Travelers While Protecting Communities and the Environment
With an industry focus, B Tourism members have the opportunity to connect monthly for Zoom calls featuring guest speakers and timely topics. Lorin Augeri of Florida for Good says the network offers a way for B Corp leaders to access continued learning. “It is a wonderful convergence of tourism companies with such varied operations, services, and experiences for travelers,” she says. “We learn from each other about innovative programs, best practices, employee trainings, and much more.”
With a focus on environmental and social justice, this year B Tourism is working on growing member engagement and creating more opportunities for cross-collaboration between members. “Our group is focused on mutually beneficial relationships, shared learning, and using our power to take collective action,” Augeri says.
Inspired by the operational transparency and overall credibility of the B Corp Certification, the B Tourism platform aims to serve as a resource for the regenerative travel movement and to help travelers enjoy a vacation experience that embodies interdependence and interconnectedness. Through practices that value local communities and the environment, Augeri says, B Corps in the hospitality industry and tourism community can better serve travelers looking to cultivate connections with family and friends as well as nature and culture.
B EOS Network: Providing a Forum for Small Businesses and Problem-Solving
This group for B Corps using the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) offers a forum for companies of all sizes that use the software. At its monthly meetings, the B Corp EOS group encourages members to bring questions, challenges, and ideas for discussion and feedback.
“We also hold dedicated sessions on specific EOS tools to share knowledge, experience, and resources with each other,” says Adrianne Gordon, an EOS group organizer. “We have all seen how implementing an operating system helps our companies achieve greater impact as B Corps.” This year the group is building a resource library to support B Corps using EOS that includes books, articles, and educational webinars and tools, she says.
Connect with EOS & B Corp Network: For more information, email email@example.com or visit the EOS group B Hive page.
HR Professionals: Shaping Policies and Practices to Build More Inclusive Workplaces
The HR Professionals Network is made up of two subgroups — B Culture Group and the Talent Collective — to help B Corps with their worker-focused practices and policies.
Started in 2018 as a meeting place to discuss challenges related to employee engagement and satisfaction, the B Culture Group has grown to become a monthly call on topics like employee mental health, remote workers, and cultures of transparency. Organizer Nathan Stuck says the calls provide an opportunity for learning, sharing, and having candid conversations. “A lot of our companies don’t have a dedicated HR manager,” he says. “For small and medium-sized businesses, they need internal champions. And this is a safe space to learn and take actionable items back to their company.”
The Talent Collective also offers monthly calls for recruiters and HR professionals on topics such as talent retention and resilient workplaces. What all the groups share is a focus on building healthier company cultures and workplaces that are welcoming for all people, Stuck says.
Take Effective Policy Action at Your Company
This free resource shares how B Lab U.S. & Canada and the B Corp community are building a stakeholder economy and driving collective political action to make the rules of the game more equitable and beneficial for all.
U.S. & Canada Marketers: Strategies and Storytelling for Impact and a More Inclusive Economy
Designed for the people who spread the word about their B Corps or other purpose-driven companies, the U.S. & Canada Marketers group provides a place to connect, collaborate, share best practices, and ask questions. During its monthly online meetings, the group shares ethical marketing best practices, tools, and expertise. “We work to highlight both organizations within the B Corp community and out of it to bring as many diverse voices and insights to the conversation as possible,” says organizer Tim Frick.
Upcoming monthly gatherings will cover impact storytelling with film, digital best practices in privacy, and other topics relevant to B Corp marketers, while quarterly meetings provide a forum for timely discussions and learnings. “We believe it is important to tackle emerging trends and topics that are relevant to the advertising and marketing industry today – and tomorrow,” Frick says. “This includes data equity and privacy, corporate digital responsibility, digital sustainability, algorithmic bias, and other related topics.”
“We want to empower and inspire businesses — large and small — to find new ways to marry purpose and profits for their sake and the sake of the B Corp community at large,” Peavy says.
WeTheChange: Women Leaders Forging Connections and Creative a More Inclusive Economy
More than 100 B Corp women CEOs and founders gathered in May 2019 to sign WeTheChange’s founding declaration, which begins: “We are empowered women creating a radically inclusive and richly regenerative global economy.”
WeTheChange welcomes women and non-binary leaders to join them in forging connections and providing support, embedding JEDI practices, growing business acumen, and backing policy. Monthly virtual meetings open to all signatories of the WeTheChange declaration include breakout sessions on a designated topic, ranging from business issues to personal growth. In May the group will gather in Portland, Oregon, for a spring retreat with workshops, mastermind groups, and wellness sessions. WeTheChange will also be collaborating with the B Local teams for BLD Southeast, scheduled for September in Raleigh, N.C.
“The goal of WeTheChange is to advance economic opportunities for women and girls of all races. We do this through connecting our members, supporting their businesses, and leading the business community in adopting important policies and practices,” says leadership circle member Lindsay LaShell. “If you are a woman leader of a B Corp, you’ll find a uniquely kind, thoughtful, and welcoming community of your peers. If your organization is also seeking to support women through impactful business practices, then you’ll gain new tools and resources from our community.”
Connect with WeTheChange: Sign the declaration and learn more online.
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