Ruminating for a Renaissance in the Ruins: Green Business in a Recession

There are paradigm shifts in society as we know of today in these unexpected global circumstances. So, we adapted to the pandemic by organizing our first online business conference ever on a beautiful June afternoon. The Green Business in a Recession is our online approach to continue our founding mission of bridging the disconnect between youth, the environment, and entrepreneurship.

On that day, we had the privilege of hearing from our keynote speaker Aaron Spivak, the Co-Founder of Revitasize and Hush Blankets, who told us about the necessity of adapting our mindset in challenging times. He opened with the reassurance that we are not going to run out of food, and if anything, there is a surplus of food that farms can’t sell due to the closure of in-person dining. This ultimately leads to discounted food, which then allows his juicing company, Revitasize to flip this pandemic into an opportunity to grow his business and to support the farmers who had a surplus of products to sell. His anecdotes carry the theme of resilience as he broke down the components of effective team building in the rest of his keynote: empathy, amnesty, and focusing on the macro-goals that would propel the organization forward.

“A few techniques we have developed for our work-from-home family, is creating a space where we don’t talk about work. We allocate space to talk about work, then we allocate space to not talk about work. [...] When we are building a team and we are doing these projects, it doesn’t matter when we do these micro - and the micro is you were supposed to work eight hours today but you only worked six and a half, so let’s have a whole conversation about that. And we found the companies who do that over, and over, and over again actually don't end up at their macro goals”.

-Aaron Spivak, on remaining flexible in a work from home environment.

Couldn’t make it to your event, but would still like to check out our keynote? Watch the recap below!

Afterwards, we were able to hear from our panelists share their stories since the pandemic struck and how they have been adapting. They come from all walks of life, but many shared similar insights: the consensus was that the market is about to be changed forever as online shopping dominates. They predicted that stores will need to transform into a more theatrical experience in order, and COVID-19 will be the death of department stores.

However, in comparison to the rest of our discussion, the shopping-experience makeover is rather minuscule. The panel agreed that we exist in an epoch of change as many social issues are forefront, but in a convoluted way where it seems like the most we can do is to sit and watch. However, in tandem with the message of adaptation that Aaron delivered earlier, the keynote also progressed with the same theme. To answer the question of when is the right time to start an ecopreneurship, Nikki Self, the founder of Saponetti mused:

“The big businesses can't pivot. This is the opportunity to see what the needs are out there, what people really want, based on those values, and start to build these new economic structures that will actually be more equitable for the people and the planet when going into the future”.

-Panelist, Nikki Self

Ultimately, the grand takeaway was that in today’s turbulent yet seemingly desolate world is to distill our core values, discover the intent of us as people and of our business, and to change our mindset to take action for a more positive tomorrow.

The Panel:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts

Sarah Greene - Founder of Scrunchies from Scraps

Tara Tomulka - Founder of Rawcology

Nikki Self - Co-Founder of Saponetti

Kelly Saltzman - Co-Founder of Awoke N’ Aware

We'd like to thank our sponsors TakingITGlobal, the Government of Canada, Smash Kitchen & Bar, Saponetti, Rawcology, Genuine Tea, Revitasize, Hush., Awoke N' Aware, and Scrunchies from Scraps for sponsoring the event. Without their support, our event would not be possible.

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