Note: This program is a Webinar that is accessible from any web-enabled computer or mobile device.
Recalling and Updating the Triple Bottom Line: A Fireside Chat with John Elkington
In a 2018 article in Harvard Business Review, John Elkington, Chairman of Volans, writes: “How often are management concepts subjected to recalls by the people who invented them? It is hard to think of a single case. With this in mind, I’m volunteering to carry out a management concept recall: with 2019 marking the 25th anniversary of the “triple bottom line,” a term I coined in 1994, I propose a strategic recall to do some fine tuning.”
Elkington adds, “So why recall it now? The Triple Bottom Line has failed to bury the single bottom line paradigm. From the outset, the goal was system change — pushing toward the transformation of capitalism. It was never supposed to be just an accounting system. It was originally intended as a genetic code, a triple helix of change for tomorrow’s capitalism, with a focus on breakthrough change, disruption, asymmetric growth (with unsustainable sectors actively sidelined), and the scaling of next-generation market solutions.”
In this live, virtual fireside chat, Impact Entrepreneur’s Laurie Lane-Zucker discusses with Elkington the motivations behind his coining of the TBL concept, his perceived failure of the concept to achieve its intended ends, and how the concept can be updated to effectively leverage the kinds of system change necessary to transform business and contribute to the building of an authentically sustainable impact economy.
JOHN ELKINGTON is a writer, thought-leader and business strategist, a serial entrepreneur and, at heart, an environmentalist. He is the Founder and Chief Pollinator at Volans, a certified B Corporation driving market-based solutions to the future’s greatest challenges.
John is also Honorary Chairman of SustainAbility, and sits on an A-Z of some 20 boards and advisory boards. He has written 19 books, and his latest is co-authored with Jochen Zeitz, former CEO of PUMA and now co-chair, with Sir Richard Branson, of The B Team. The book, entitled "The Breakthrough Challenge: 10 Ways to Connect Today’s Profits with Tomorrow’s Bottom Line" comes full circle from John’s 1997 "Cannibals with Forks", where he first introduced the Triple Bottom Line concept.
LAURIE LANE-ZUCKER is founder and CEO of Impact Entrepreneur, LLC, an impact economy business, and its Center for Social and Environmental Innovation, where he curates the global Impact Entrepreneur Network of entrepreneurs, investors and scholars, produces educational in-person and online programming with the leading individuals and organizations active in impact economy building, and consults with early stage impact companies, investors and educational institutions. He is an award-winning editor and publisher of bestselling, sustainability-oriented books and magazines, including works by Wendell Berry, Terry Tempest Williams, Barry Lopez and David James Duncan, and is a prolific writer on entrepreneurship and impact investing. He was the founding executive director of The Orion Society, which publishes the acclaimed Orion Magazine, a journal focused on people, nature, and place, and is the former executive director for the Seven Pillars House of Wisdom, a nonprofit organization focused on cultivating wisdom that informs social transformation and environmental healing. He is also the co-founder of the Place-based Education movement, which laid essential groundwork for the emerging practice of place-based impact investing. Lane-Zucker did his undergraduate studies at Middlebury College and Edinburgh University and graduate work at Columbia University and the Bread Load School of English.
This webinar is co-sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors as part of its Scaling Solutions initiative.
Impact Entrepreneur's Luminarias Webinar Series features reflective conversations with the leading lights in impact investing and entrepreneurship.