We’re moving towards a ‘transparent society,’ sometimes called democracy’s golden age as it provides greater access by more people than ever, Open Government & Open Business will become an unavoidable union. However, before we reach that stage, we are still aiming for a name and number. A universal set of best practices is important to make a persuasive first impression on those new to the concepts of Open Gov & Open Biz. (I would like to credit and thank my friend Mark Kuznicki for letting me take part in ChangeCamp in Toronto as a ChangeLab wild card from which I’m proud to say we have the ^ChangeEngine project. Many of my views regarding B Corporations and social/sustainable business practice have come from his work with Open Governments.)
No company can be an island in today’s challenging economic times because there is accountability in numbers sharing, a common message. The active pursuit of openness through technology is quite new, almost in a puppy love stage. As such, it’s the founding message that gets us a date. (We’ll worry about full-on policy change, or getting in the pants, soon enough!) B Corporations are an excellent opportunity for companies to commit publicly that they themselves are speaking the same language of an open world. That is not to say companies can’t implement positive changes to articles without certification, but what B Corp provides is a community, a conversation.
Recently, Better the World Inc. & MaRS had a successful B Corporation Launch [Press Release]. This is an important first step for businesses and social entrepreneurs in Canada. It is an opportunity to develop a new industry classification outside of domestic law through voluntary action & community. There is a growing need for all levels of government to amend domestic taxation law(s), and for the community to help Federal Government(s) make strategic changes to the (Canada) Business Corporations Act. However, that’s like jumping Open Government on its parents’ porch; instead, we need to start with a date, to have the courage to strike up a conversation and develop a relationship based on open communication.
Support for the new ‘social business’ class, the ‘not for much profit’ model, can only be achieved through a practiced proof of concept and a strong community voice. B Corporations provide a strong, established framework for companies domestically and internationally to collaborate and develop a new, positive business culture influencing important issues such as: domestic manufacturing (made local), taxation & revenue, sustainable resource extraction, community investment, fund raising: the list is truly endless.
These posts will chronicle the path to becoming certified as a B Corporation and open a dialogue to how things need to change. It is encouraging to see business set a high standard for itself and for the benefit of many. More than ever, love is so full of potential.