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"All Businesses Considered" (UPDATED 11/17)

A news program on NPR combining analysis, commentary, interview & special features on businesses innovating for real world impact

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News Brief: NPR’s debut series of All Businesses Considered (ABC) kicks off Fowler Center for Sustainable Value’s Business Innovation Ecosystem

NPR and the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value join forces to spotlight innovative businesses that adopt “doing good” as a core business credo. NPR today announced the launch of a new flagship program--All Businesses Considered (ABC) -- a 30 min. program that will air 5 days a week and will showcase businesses that are creating both economic and social value around the world. The Fowler Center for Sustainable Value is a key sponsor of ABC. Stay tuned...

Vision
The creation of a self perpetuating ecosystem of Sustainable Businesses that create both economic and social value (akin to the innovation ecosystem of Silicon Valley). This ecosystem will bring together business managers who wish to make meaningful impact, leading academics, social changers, socially minded businesses and an informed, engaged, passionate student body eager to make a difference. The ecosystem will attract talent from around the world and be an engine for creating and inspiring businesses that take a systems approach to creating both money and meaning. The Fowler Center for Sustainable Value will serve as a central hub (akin to the role played by Stanford University in the bay area), that:
1. provides world class training on leading edge, value based, innovative business practices
2. serves as a bridge between theory and practice by training next-gen business practitioners (i.e. current students) and matching them to sustainable businesses globally
3. takes an active role in opening channels of communication between the various stakeholders/participants of the ecosystem: i.e., business managers, students, professors, firms and the broader community of citizens.

All Businesses Considered serves as a catalyst. It is the medium for creating and sharing stories -- stories about people coming together in firms to create value for shareholders, employees, the environment & consumers. (see ecosystem graph above)

Program Description

Launching a new program “All Businesses Considered” (ABC) modeled after NPRs flagship show –“All Things Considered” (ATC). Think “All Things Considered” meets American Public Medias’ “Marketplace.” A 30 min. show broadcast daily. Each show will feature a for-profit business that is innovating for world benefit. Each feature will have the thoughtful commentary and in-depth behind-the scenes coverage that are the hallmark of ATC. In addition, each feature will have the punchy, engaging style of Marketplace, a 3-5 minute segment on relevant news/trends on the business sector being featured and story-relevant theme music.

Broader Vision
The Sustainable Business Ecosystem would deliver the following benefits to key stakeholders (the $$ marked items are potential revenue generation channels that can be used to support “All Businesses Considered” programming) :

Campus Students
- Opportunity to participate in student challenges and competitions for innovative “world benefit” business concepts
- Attending job fairs & networking events with value based firms
- Opportunities for internships and placements
- Learning vi case studies on select firms with the chance to attend guest lectures by leading business professionals

Online Students
- Access to open content and sustainable business practices courses listed on Courseware: available to a global audience

Businesses
- Positive publicity & marketing--ABC
- Train the trainers workshop series geared to business managers ($$)
- Access to a pool of talented trained highly motivated potential employees
- Internship applicants
- Showcasing businesses in case studies
- Guest lectures/mentorship opportunities

Professors
- Being at the forefront of imbuing business with meaning once again
- Generating scholarship and research in a rapidly emerging area that crosses multiple disciplines
- Dynamic relevant courses
- Opportunity to create real impact on students

General Public
- Public lectures with leading managers
- Events on campus

In addition, the businesses highlighted on ABC can also be nominated by the audience for an annual “awards” that is given by the Fowler Center.


How does your concept celebrate, identify or inspire for-profit businesses that act as agents of world benefit?

Both ATC & Marketplace are highly recognized, well-respected news sources—All Businesses Considered combines the best of both. The whole purpose of the show is to identify & showcase for profit businesses that act as agents of world benefit. Being featured on the show offers: amazing publicity for a business; a source of pride and morale boost for the employees of the firm; a great way to attract and retain talent of employees interested in making an impact; an inspiration to other firms; a source of uplifting and concrete news in a mainstream media inundated with negative stories; a great way for listeners to spend 30 min. of commute time. Also, Marketplace is currently broadcast over 500 radio stations and has an audience of 9M weekly listeners. And according to its website, “All Things Considered is the most listened-to, afternoon drive-time, news radio program in the country.” All Business Considered has access to an in-built audience that is already familiar with the show concept. In addition, the All Businesses Considered program is the communication component of creating a broader ecosystem of sustainable businesses--an ecosystem modeled after the Silicon Valley ecosystem. By definition, this would stand out as a global hub for value based for profit firms.

How will your concept help us create or leverage stories of world benefit that are sticky and shareable?

Target Audience--the show will be targeted at the following segments: 1. Trail blazers (positive publicity value): these are innovative Businesses & Business Managers who are taking a holistic and integrated approach to creating sustainable value. The value to them is to be recognized for the work they are doing (positive PR) and learn from peers in the global community 2. On-the-fence firms (inspirational value): these are managers and firms who want to make meaningful impact by aligning their business with values and have been hesitant...the value here is to offer inspiration and encouragement--show that money and meaning can be generated together (encouragement) 3. Aspirational students and professors: this are current or future members of the academic & business community who wish to make meaningful impact. The value here is to encourage a mindset of “triple bottom line” (people, planet & profit) and stimulate creation of both supply (of innovative sustainable business education) and demand (make such programs and career choices appealing for students and professionals) 4. Citizens: these are members of the general public who tune in and listen to the show or have heard about it. The value here is to share positive stories of business as an agent of positive change; the opportunity is to connect people emotionally and intellectually to sustainable firms; to highlight the positive value generation side of businesses; to empower people with informed, unbiased knowledge and enable them to make informed choices. The value is to invite people to share their own stories and to support firms that create both economic and social value. Call to Action for listeners - Audience members can vote by SMS for or against the business being featured. Scores can be tallied and the company with the most votes can be announced every month “company of the month” - Audience can be invited to share stories/their experience of sustainable businesses that they think should be highlighted. This has at least 2 advantages: i) a content generation source for ABC and ii) increasing ‘stickiness’ of ABC by weaving personal, audience based-stories and inviting people to actively contribute their experiences. Audience can email stories to ABC and one form suggested by the audience could be featured in one of the 30 min. segments weekly. - Expand the reach of the program by actively spreading the word on social media (e.g. Facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc.)

What will it take to scale your concept so that its reach is global and widespread?

Following steps will help extend program reach: - Make the content relevant to a global audience by featuring for-profit companies from around the world; can provide extended weekend programming of 50-60 min. - Syndicating the show in multiple languages & allowing distribution via internet radio (thanks to Carlos Bustamante for the internet radio suggestion!) - Create a content rich-interactive website and downloadable pod cast, similar to ATC & Marketplace. The website will be interactive and invite audience to nominate businesses in their own communities. Will also feature mini-video clips of featured stories with detailed analysis, click through features, and “Ways to get involved section” - Licensing the content under a Creative Commons license to enable free online viewing and distribution - Utilizing social media (e.g. twitter: retweet “Company of the Day”) - Partnerships with top line print publications (e.g Forbes, Inc., Fast Company, Wall Street Journal, etc.), online publications like Huffington post, docu-features on PBS, etc. - Featuring ABC program segments on relevant websites: Fowler Center for Sustainability, the websites of the businesses showcased, etc.

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This is very well thought and articulated :) It has high potentials to be highly impact-ful especially when culture appropriate mediums are used in different contexts. And it's great to see the intertwining of TEDx, TV and radio...there were participation is already a developed tool embedded in learning and in doing (sustainable) business. I think that Eastern Europe would greatly benefit from this idea and that catalyzing channels to be used and scaled would include more NGOs, advocacy groups, youth and students' organizations reaching out to segmented audiences in virtual networks, universities, business and membership-based organizations...:)

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