How to transform the “Gifting Circle” into a true Giving Circle

Over the past few weeks a number of people have asked about legal and sustainable alternatives to the “Gifting Circle.”  I have been hearing rumors about new “circles” that are “less illegal” and offer a lower entry fee. Yet, these are still based on exponential growth through recruitment of new members and promise a profitable return . . . which still makes them illegal investment pyramids and financially unsustainable.
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Distribution of Wealth and Action

Two children died on the street near my apartment the day before I left Quito, Ecuador in late December 2001. One was five and the other was seven. The newspaper reported them as “un-identified.” I had seen them for weeks, begging for money and food near the bus stop. Numb to the vast numbers of homeless beggars that surrounded me, I often ignored their pleas, but once in a while I gave them my food. It never occurred to me that these two innocent children would actually die from being ignored. I assumed that someone (their families, the government, etc.) would take care of the children.  But nobody took care of them. Cold and starving, these two nameless children had been left alone on the street to die. In a world that produces so much excess, I couldn’t understand how children could be left without care.
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Awakening Through Money

Awakening Through Money

“Money is part of life where we are confused and upset – or filled with arrogance and pride.” – Lynne Twist

Awareness is one of the greatest agents for change. In bringing true awareness to something, we see the illusions we have created to justify our worldview, actions and habits. In illuminating that which we don’t want to see, we are forced to awaken and eventually change. I believe that in truly looking at money, seeing the light and shadow aspects, we can awaken to true abundance.

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Gifting Circles – Building Sustainable Alternatives

I recently posted a presentation about Women’s Gifting Circles. In just a few weeks, the presentation was viewed over 30,000 times. The feedback and response has been overwhelming. The vast majority has been very positive and supportive. The primary critiques of my presentation have targeted my credibility by suggesting that I “don’t understand the benefits of women’s circles” or that I have been “brainwashed by a patriarchal system.” So I have decided to tell the story that can’t be conveyed in a presentation.
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What is the True Cost of a McDonald’s Value Meal?

Why should we care about the True Cost of a Value Meal?

Obesity and the American Diet have received plenty of attention for the corollary relationship between high consumption of sugars and saturated fats and the alarming rates of obesity and obesity related diseases. According to the World Health Organization, in 2007, the obesity rate in USA was 31%. For comparison, the obesity rate in Japan was 3% (OECD Health Data, 2010). Additionally, the cost of health care associated with obesity is 43% more (Reinberg, 2009). The US pays three times more for health care than Japan (United Nations Development Programme). With policy makers arguing over the US health care system overhaul and ways to fund it, perhaps they should take a systems view and look at the “American Diet” as a leverage point in changing our health care crisis.
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Mid-Course Correction, Reflecting on Ray Anderson

As I explore ideas and models for my next venture, I decided to re-read Ray Anderson’s book, Mid-Course Correction. The first time I read it, I was inspired. But now I truly see how visionary he was.

When I first read Mid-Course Correction, I was excited to see that Ray Anderson was setting an example for sustainable business. As I read his words “This really cannot go on indefinitely . . . my company’s technologies and those of every other company I know of anywhere, in their present forms, are plundering the earth,” I thought to my self: “he got it.” Anderson not only understood Hawken’s message in Ecology of Commerce, but he absorbed it, taking action on it and calling others towards action as well. Interface is a great example of a company taking leadership in sustainability in an obviously non-sustainable industry.
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Why Culture is Key to Good Marketing

Company (and organizational) culture is one of the most critical elements of marketing today because employees are not only brand ambassadors, but also the key to driving innovation and performance. Zappos (11th on is a good example of a corporation that has succeeded partially due to its corporate culture. Zappos is well known for its highly touted10 core values (found here:
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