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Occupy Wall Street: A Powerful Demand for Something New–Like This

Occupy Wall Street: A Powerful Demand for Something New–Like This

It seems everyone is discussing the Occupy Movement – what it means, what protestors want and where we should go from here. I don’t pretend to know the answers. However, I would like to share a post by B Lab cofounder, Andrew Kassoy, about one alternative to the way we currently do business: B Corporations.


The Occupy Wall Street movement has captured a great deal of attention while spreading beyond New York City to major cities across the globe. Although some criticize the protests as diffuse in message or lacking in substance, it is clear that the movement represents a powerful demand for something new. Occupy Wall Street is an expression of everyone’s frustration with business as usual, where financial profit comes at the expense of everything else.

What’s also clear from the videos, e-mails, and posts we’ve seen is that many of the protesters don’t just want to stand against Wall St.; they want to stand for something. There is an alternative.  A movement of inspiring entrepreneurs and their investors, consumers, and workers are creating a better way to do business. In in the process, they are transforming capitalism to create value for shareholders and society at the same time.

These inspiring leaders are creating a new sector of the economy that redefines success in business. This new sector comprises a new type of corporation, the B Corporation.

You’ve heard of traditional C corporations and S corporations.  These traditional corporations are required by law to maximize profits for shareholders, no matter the impact of their decisions on their workers, our communities or the environment.

B Corps are different.  B Corps believe in capitalism with purpose, not just profit, at its center.

Business is the most powerful force on the planet and can be a positive instrument for change. However, current corporate law makes it difficult for businesses to take employee, community, and environmental interests into consideration when making decisions. To address this, B Corporations have a different legal DNA that requires them to make decisions that are good for society, not just for their shareholders.

There are nearly 500 of these B Corporations in more than 60 industries across the country.  There is even a national movement to pass legislation creating formal legal recognition for this new type of corporation.  B Corp legislation builds the needed legal infrastructure for an economy that is more inclusive, resilient and sustainable, an economy that meets the needs of Main Street, not Wall Street.

B Corp legislation has already been passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in six states, California, Maryland, Vermont, New Jersey, Virginia, and Hawaii. Similar legislation now sits on the New York governor’s desk and has been introduced in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. More than 15,000 citizens have shown their support by signing petitions at

Another barrier to the growth of a new economy is the lack of transparent standards. This makes it difficult for all of us to tell the difference between a good company and just good marketing.  All B Corps have to report publicly on their overall social and environmental performance, measuring themselves against an independent third-party standard.  Some B Corps choose to get certified as having met the highest standards of performance.

Some of these Certified B Corps you know, such as national brands like Seventh GenerationKing Arthur Flour, or Dansko. Some you don’t but should, such as a beautiful bank like New Resource Bank, amazing manufacturers like Cascade Engineering, or an incredible insurance company like Freelancers Insurance Company. Anyone can access these Certified B Corps’ performance data by looking at their B Impact Reports. This enables consumers to support businesses that align with their values, investors to drive capital to higher-impact investments, and all of us to bring our whole selves to work.

The Occupy Wall Street movement signals a collective dissatisfaction with the status quo. B Corporations and their supporters are offering an alternative.


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2:57PM PST on Dec 17, 2011

HAHAAHAHAHAAHAH Beny and why do you assume that YOU are taking care of aNYONE???

WHY DO YOU ASSUME THEY ARE ALL ON WELFARE. This kind of judgmental attitude is part of the problem.

Corporations need to have some civic duty and and some national pride. They need to stop assuming their ONLY goal is to increase stock prices and bonuses whether it destroys their country or not.

Many of these people work more than one job . Stop with the generalizations,

11:13AM PST on Nov 25, 2011

Thank you!!

6:39AM PST on Nov 25, 2011

BUSINESS is the driving force behind GROWTH, that is why if it doesn't say, "MADE IN AMERICA," it stays in the store. So we can complain about JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, or, WE CAN CREATE A CLIMATE THAT REQUIRES BUSINESS IN THIS COUNTRY TO HIRE!!
We need to start asking ourselves, WHO REALLY ARE THE GREEDY IN THIS COUNTRY?
Do I really need that NEW whatever made in China, India, etc. Driven by SLAVE LABOR, AND UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICE'S ????

5:29AM PST on Nov 25, 2011

Thank you for the information.

5:42PM PST on Nov 24, 2011

May this motivation for the better stay pure.

Most such motivation corrupts with added power and the emergence of greed for even more. Let's hope this is not just another one of those.

5:21PM PST on Nov 24, 2011


3:14PM PST on Nov 24, 2011

thanksss ;)

11:08AM PST on Nov 24, 2011

I like the B corp idea and will try to support them instead of the regular greedy corporations.

10:03AM PST on Nov 24, 2011

We must continue to find new ideas and ways to instill in each other the compassion and ingenuity to make this a better place for all

4:24AM PST on Nov 24, 2011

Roger we can replace a lot for one workers product more in a happy setting. Benefits how about pensions? Do they exist anymore? Companies that make billions a quarter can't they pay their employees what that are work and give them a retirement? Just to think on instead of relying on Social Security that I believe will not be around anyway.

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