Canadian author Naomi Klein is so well known for her blade-sharp commentary that it’s easy to forget that she is, above all, a first-rate reporter. I got a glimpse into her priorities as I was working on this interview. Klein told me she was worried that some of the things she had said would make it hard for her to land an interview with a president of the one of the Big Green groups (read below and you’ll see why). She was more interested in nabbing the story than being the story; her reporting trumped any opinion-making.
Such focus is a hallmark of Klein’s career. She doesn’t do much of the chattering class’s news cycle blathering. She works steadily, carefully, quietly. It can be surprising to remember that Klein’s immense global influence rests on a relatively small body of work; she has published three books, one of which is an anthology of magazine pieces.
Klein’s first book, No Logo, investigated how brand names manipulate public desires while exploiting the people who make their products. The book came out just weeks after the WTO protests in Seattle and became an international bestseller. Her next major book, The Shock Doctrine, argued that free-marketeers often use crises – natural or manufactured – to ram through deregulatory policies. With her newest, yet-to-be named book, Klein turns her attention to climate change. Scheduled for release in 2014, the book will also be made into a film by her husband and creative partner, Avi Lewis.
Klein’s books and articles have sought to articulate a counternarrative to the march of corporate globalization and government austerity. She believes climate change provides a new chance for creating such a counternarrative. “The book I am writing is arguing that our responses to climate change can rebuild the public sphere, can strengthen our communities, can have work with dignity.”
First, though, she has to finish the reporting. As she told me, speaking about the grass-roots response to climate chaos: “Right now it’s under the radar, but I’m following it quite closely.”
Arguing that climate change gives us an opportunity to rebuild the public sphere and strengthen our communities but that larger businesses response may be preventing that. I'd argue that small businesses are moving in a more beneficial direction but I am a little biased on that!
Working in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is something I find difficult but gratifying. The field of CSR is tumultuous but, as in most fields these days, fellow CSR strategists collaborate via social media to discuss the good, the bad, and everything in between. Over the years, I’ve found some amazing companies and innovators that I have found to be great resources within CSR. (In no particular order)...
The shadow business secretary and Labour MP for Streatham came to the Guardian offices in Kings Cross to talk about what is needed to help Britain's small businesses get ahead and improve relations with local communities.
Why on earth are many of the world's most powerful technology companies, including Google, showing a special interest in an 87-year-old Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk?
The answer is that all of them are interested in understanding how the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, or Thay as he is known to his hundreds of thousands of followers around the world, can help their organisations to become more compassionate and effective.
In a sign that the practice of mindfulness is entering the mainstream, Thay has been invited later this month (September 2013) to run a full day's training session at Google's main campus in California...
Global tech companies are connecting to the power of mindfulness and meditation in order to drive sustainability and happiness...
THICH NHAT HANH: ONLY LOVE CAN SAVE US FROM CLIMATE CHANGE
Leading spiritual teacher Thay suggests that our search for fame, wealth, power and sexual gratification provides the perfect refuge for people to hide from the truth about the many challenges facing the world. Worse still, our addiction to material goods and a hectic lifestyle provides only a temporary plaster for gaping emotional and spiritual wounds, which only drives greater loneliness and unhappiness..... http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/zen-master-thich-nhat-hanh-love-climate-change
June 25, 2013 Social Voice: Anneliza Humlen, Gwen Morrison
Journal of Brand Strategy Excerpt: Retailing with Purpose
COMMUNITY AND CONSUMER STRENGTH ON A LOCAL LEVEL IS CRITICAL NOT ONLY FOR SUSTAINING LOCAL BUSINESS GROWTH, but for fuelling national and global economies. According to the Project for Public Spaces and trends analysed in Steve Davies’ report, ‘Think Global, Buy Local,’ local communities are now the catalysts for regional and national growth, rather than the result of it. Retail on a local level is the first to benefit from the health and prosperity of local communities
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