How is this 2021?

  • July 23, 2021

What’s happening? The European Handball Association’s Disciplinary Commission fined the women’s national beach handball team 1500 Euros ($1700) for not wearing regulation bikinis.

Why is this important? The Norwegian government & team officials stood behind its players to support their choice of competition clothing. One minister went so far as to say if the men can wear what they like, so can the women.

How will this be important? Moving the needle can take time, Norwegian women have petitioned to wear shorts in international competitions since 2006. Persistence and timing pay off.

NBC News | Norway’s beach handball protest is about a lot more than bikinis

Diversity Lift by McDonalds

  • July 22, 2021

What’s happening? McDonalds and 20 of its largest suppliers are pledging to increase diversity in its suppliers to 25%

Why is this important? It’s a 2% increase from the current 23% of the suppliers are diverse

How will this be important? Beginning this year McDonald’s executives bonus are tied to diversity benchmarks beginning this year

NASDAQ | McDonald’s to boost diversity among suppliers to 25%

Digital Inclusion. The new Metric.

  • July 22, 2021

What’s happening? National Digital Inclusion Alliance launched State Digital Equity Scorecard that benchmark goals and best practices for digital inclusion

Why is this important? States are assessed on a set of six criteria:

  • data on digital skill needs
  • comprehensive planning to address digital skill gaps
  • online digital skills training
  • incumbent worker training funds
  • technology apprenticeships
  • digital equity within state broadband plans

State programs include:

  • MI is offering $15.3M in grants to boost connectivity in communities
  • San Jose CA has community built platform to match youths with mental health care services

How will this be important? National Digital Inclusion Alliance partnered with Microsoft and the National Skills Coalition 

Government technology | What’s New in Civic Tech: The State Digital Equity Scorecard

Tax Incentive Programs with Diversity Requirements

  • July 22, 2021

What’s happening? California expanded its film incentive program to $454 Million and will include a diversity requirement for incentives.

Why is this important? recipients must create diversity goals and submit plans on how to achieve those goals that will be approved by the California Film Commission

How will this be important? California numbers say that for every $1 California spends on entertainment incentives, it receives back 10 cents and 30 cents in state tax revenue through increased economic activity

Sacramento Bee | California filmmakers to get more tax breaks in new law. Do incentives keep shows here?

Meet the Worker Financial Wellness Initiative

  • July 16, 2021

What’s happening? The following companies are joining forces to make workers’ financial security and health a C-suite and investor priority:

  • Paypal
  • Just Capital
  • Chipotle
  • Chobani
  • Even
  • Prudential Financial
  • Verizon
  • other leading companies

Why is this important? It’s a signal and move away from shareholder economy

How will this be important? We already have data says that if you put more into your employees pockets, your company does better. Specifically, “business outcomes such as productivity, innovation, customer satisfaction, and employee turnover and engagement” all improve by improving the financial well being of your employees.

3BL CSR Wire | Chipotle, Chobani, Even, Prudential Financial, Verizon, and Other Leading Companies Join Forces With PayPal and JUST Capital to Improve the Financial Health of America’s Workforce

$1 million pitch contest for for-profit companies

  • July 16, 2021

What’s happening? Part of the RK Mellon Foundation  $50 million in social impact investments planned for the next decade includes a $1 million pitch contest for the FOR PROFIT sector.

Why is this important? Compassionate Entrepreneurs have a seat at the table too

How will this be important? This is what they’re looking for: any company that has a service, a technology, or product that would allow them to make a difference as it relates to one of our four grant-making categories: economic development, conservation, economic mobility or health and well-being. Apply here.

NextPittsburgh | RK Mellon Foundation launches $1 million competition for for-profit companies making social impact

Sustainable Lobsters

  • July 16, 2021

What’s happening? Let’s talk lobsters. Not the Friends line from Phoebe about Ross and Rachel being each other’s lobsters, but the edible crustaceans. Australian Research Council is putting $5 Million to sustainable lobster practices.

Why is this important? The goal is “sustainable onshore lobster aquaculture will investigate new industry practices and provide alternate solutions for lobster culture in bio-secure and cost-effective onshore systems.”

How will this be important? Fisheries and sustainability have come a long way since Monterrey Bay Aquarium first put up its otter cameras so we could watch otters on the web. Monterrey Bay tracks sustainable fish for consumption.

The Fish Site | Australia launches $5 million lobster aquaculture initiative

The Big Question for CEOs Thanks to COVID

  • July 15, 2021

What’s happening? Harvard Business Review identified a division among CEOs. Those who want to go back to the way things were and those who want to move forward in new ways.

Why is this important? This looks a lot like the schism between companies that embrace the new stakeholder economy and those that are hanging onto to the old ways of shareholder economics.

How will this be important? We’re at at the cusp of re-defining work from being simply present to being productive. You don’t have to be in an office to be productive.


Meet Kyx. Sharing Economy for your Kicks

  • July 15, 2021

What’s happening? Kyx is a platform for sharing sneakers that allows users to request new only sneakers, or sanitized previously worn pairs of the hottest sneakers.

Why is this important? Old school sneaker heads are saying they see Kyx as a change in sneaker culture.

How will this be important? As RealReal and other resellers grow, so is the renting market for unique and special items, like must have sneakers.

W | Street Style Pioneer Jeff Staple on the Future of the Sneaker Sharing Economy

Data. Did the 15% Pledge work?

  • July 9, 2021

What’s happening? It has been a year since the 15% pledge sought to bring more Black company products to big retailers.

Why is this important? 385 Black owned companies saw their products sold at big retailers within 12 months.

How will this be important? Supporting women and BIOPIC businesses isn’t just for kicks or headlines. It builds businesses, economies and your profits.

@aurorajames and Fast Company