Entries by Sean Fox

12: MIT’s Sherry Turkle: Vulnerability Is A Superpower

I first met Sherry Turkle about ten years ago at a conference where we spent hours chatting about how rapidly advancing technology is changing our relationships to each other and ourselves, and how that affects all sectors of society. It’s something Sherry has spent her life studying as a psychologist and sociologist at MIT. In this episode of Lead With We, I got the chance to reconnect with Sherry, who recently published a memoir called “The Empathy Diaries.” We spoke about how vulnerability is key to everything from great leadership to moving forward a society post-COVID, practicing empathy as an action, and so much more.

11: Coolhaus’ Natasha Case On Using Business to Shift Culture

Natasha Case started in architecture and landed in ice cream after one of her professors compared a project of hers to a layer cake. So she took her creative energy and co-founded the premium ice cream brand Coolhaus with her wife Freya Estreller in 2009. Since then Natasha has used the brand as a platform to inspire other LGBTQ+ millennial entrepreneurs. I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with Natasha, chatting about the importance of partnering with other brands that share your values, how business can be a vehicle for positive cultural change and some of her tips for succeeding in the early stages of building a brand. Pro-tip: Sometimes you just have to buy a broken-down ice cream truck, tow it to a music festival and see where things go!

10: Bolthouse Farms’ Jeff Dunn Discusses Empathetic Leadership and Plant-Based Foods

Jeff Dunn cut his teeth at Campbell Soup Company, but he found his passion as CEO of Bolthouse Farms, a packaged foods company that grew out of a small Michigan farm in 1915. In fact, that passion led him to buy the company back from Campbell’s after selling it to them in 2012. In this episode of Lead With We, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jeff about how differences in company culture led to the buy-back and taking an agile approach to consumer packaged goods. Plus, we discuss how the enormous demand for plant-based foods is reshaping our food system and how COVID opened up a conversation between Jeff and his leadership team about empathy.

9: Cooks Venture’s Matthew Wadiak: From Meal Kits To Regenerative Agriculture

Matthew Wadiak went from being a chef to founding Blue Apron, the first meal kit company to go public, and now he’s disrupting food yet again through Cooks Venture. In his newest endeavor, Matthew is pioneering regenerative systems that span the entire value chain of animal agriculture. I learned so much during my conversation with Matthew. Listen to the episode to understand more about the flaws he’s addressing in our current food system, building brand awareness online to challenge the status quo, and so much more.

8: CMO Wendy Hauteman On VSP’s Purpose After 65 Years In Business

Wendy Hauteman became the Chief Marketing Officer at VSP Global, a legacy eyecare and eyewear company, in 2019. And following the company’s 65th anniversary, she decided it was time to craft a purpose statement, not as a marketing initiative, but as a way to set the company up for future growth in an increasingly competitive industry. Wendy and I worked together to bring purpose to life at VSP. Listen to our conversation to find out how she got buy-in from all levels of leadership and brought employees along during the process, how VSP has kept purpose alive through a network of internal ambassadors, and how purpose has come into play at VSP in terms of innovation, responding to COVID and more.

7: Why Lynne Twist Believes Business Leaders Should Learn From Indigenous Peoples

Lynne Twist became an activist after she was inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s vision of a global society in which no one was left behind. Since then she’s gone on to write a revolutionary book examining our cultural attitudes towards wealth called The Soul of Money, and she runs an organization called the Pachamama Alliance, which connects leaders in business to the Indigenous leaders that protect the Amazon rainforest. I could go on and on about Lynne’s background– she’s truly incredible and I love her positive, yet powerful message. So I hope you enjoy my conversation with Lynne about how business needs to change in order to meet the social and environmental challenges we face.

6: How Thistle’s Ashwin Cheriyan Motivates People To Make Better Choices For Themselves and the Planet

Ashwin Cheriyan took the leap into entrepreneurship with his wife, Shiri Avnery, when he started the plant-based meal delivery service, Thistle, in 2013. He was a former corporate lawyer, and she was a climate-scientist frustrated by how little people were talking about the environmental impact of reducing demand for animal products, let alone the impact on human health. They knew that getting people to shift their eating habits meant making plant-based meals more delicious and convenient. In this episode of Lead With We, Ashwin and I talk about how his personal connection to healthy food has sustained him through the inevitable ups and downs of entrepreneurship, motivating consumers to make better choices, and so much more.

5: Why Muniq’s Marc Washington Decided To Launch His First Company During COVID

Have you heard of the gut microbiome? There’s been a lot of buzz about scientific research about how the bacteria in our gut influences our overall health. And in this episode of Lead With We, I talk with first-time entrepreneur Marc Washington about how he launched a consumer nutrition brand called Muniq that uses gut health science to help people who struggle with health issues to take back control. We discuss the personal tragedy that led Marc down this path, his ambitious decision to launch the brand during a pandemic, and whether business is truly meeting the call to be more inclusive.

4: Aspiration’s Andrei Cherny Is Leveraging Consumer Spending For Good

Andrei Cherny has had a fascinating career. He worked with Al Gore in the early days of raising awareness about climate change and helped start the Consumer Protection Bureau with Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Now, he’s taking on the exact same issues through his company, Aspiration. It’s a pay-what-you-want financial services model that allows customers to divest from things like gun manufacturing and fossil fuels. In this episode of Lead With We, Andrei chats with me about what led him down this path, some of the lessons learned, and how the role of money is changing.

3: Why B Corp? B Lab’s Anthea Kelsick On Changing The Culture Of Business

The B Corp movement was started by a group of conscious entrepreneurs in the early 2000’s who believed business should be about more than maximizing profits. Today, there are over 3,500 B Corps across the world. In this episode of Lead With We, I speak with Anthea Kelsick, the CEO of B Lab U.S. & Canada, which is the non-profit that certifies B Corps. We talk about the value of the certification process and accountability, how these companies collaborate on critical issues like reducing carbon emissions, and the incredible momentum around purposeful business today as we face mounting crises.