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Why It Matters

Why It Matters

By Luke Martiros
Why It Matters explores how people are approaching solutions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals across countries and cultures.
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Todd Finklestone on Responding to Disasters & Helping Orphaned Children

Why It Matters

Erin Duddy on the Transition of Wealth into Sustainable Finance
馃搷Monterey, California, U.S.A. Erin Duddy is the Director at the Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth, where she is leading their expansion into North America. Today she shares her path to working in sustainable finance, while also breaking down how it works. UN Sustainable Development Goal: 9 路 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
August 11, 2022
Pascal Gally, and the Clash of Legends
馃搷Zurich, Switzerland. Pascal Gally is the founder of Choc des L茅gendes, an event that gathers Presidents, ambassadors, CEOs, and students to trade wisdom about topics that don't have a space to be discussed in society. UN Sustainable Development Goal: 17 路 Partnerships
July 29, 2022
Kerry Healey on Building Bridges for the American Dream
馃搷Washington D.C., U.S.A.聽Kerry Healey is the President of the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream, and she shares her approach to creating a society where anyone with a dream can achieve it. UN Sustainable Development Goal: 10 路 Reduced Inequalities
July 18, 2022
Syed Sultan Ahmed on Film as a Form of Education
馃搷Bangalore, India. Sultan Ahmed is the founder of LXL Ideas, a company that uses film to teach young people about traditional academics as well as how to lead a good life. UN Sustainable Development Goal: 4 路 Education
July 01, 2022
Kenneth Mikkelsen on Leading an Examined Life
馃搷Copenhagen, Denmark. Kenneth Mikkelsen is the founder of Futureshifts and the author of The Neo-Generalist: Where You Go is Who You Are.聽 UN Sustainable Development Goal: 4 路 Education
June 18, 2022
Carolina Ruiz Cubides on Forming Habits and Shaping the Perception of Yourself
馃搷Bogot谩, Colombia. Carolina Ruiz Cubides is the founder of Happy Thinkers, where she helps people design the life of their dreams. UN Sustainable Development Goals: 4 路 Education
June 02, 2022
Robert Gierke on the Next Level of Consciousness and Finding Purpose As Humans
馃搷Berlin, Germany. Robert Gierke grew up in the Eastern Bloc of communist Germany, attended university in capitalist America, and lived in the corporate world for most of his career. Something felt missing, so he went on a journey to discover what it was. It turned out to be Purenessity, the company he runs today to help other companies find their purpose. Robert shares his wisdom and a quote that is one of my favorites: 鈥測ou鈥檙e not just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean is also in the drop." UN Sustainable Development Goals: 17 路 Partnerships
May 19, 2022
Frannie L茅autier on the Development of Countries and the Values Driving Sustainable Development
馃搷Tanzania. Frannie L茅autier grew up in rural Tanzania, became the Chief of Staff of the World Bank, and is now the CEO of SouthBridge investments. Her experiences in childhood have influenced her approach to developing countries and what she views can be done through sustainable development. She believes under-developed countries, and specifically Africa as a continent, have a unique opportunity to position themselves for the future. UN Sustainable Development Goals: 8 路 Decent Work & Economic Growth, 9 路 Industry, Innovation, Infrastructure
April 14, 2022
Nicola Peel on Consumption, Biodiversity, and Finding Solutions to Environmental Problems
馃搷West Sussex, England. Nicola Peel spent the last 20 years studying & living in the Amazon rainforest. She has a deep understanding of how our habits as consumers affect the health of the planet, and how the health of the planet affects us as humans. While our relationship with the earth and its biodiversity has degraded, Nicola has several solutions to amend them. UN Sustainable Development Goals: 13 路 Climate Action, 14 路 Life Below Water, 15 路 Life on Land
April 13, 2022
April Mendez: How Nature Can Protect, Replenish, and Revitalize our Communities
馃搷Minneapalis, Minnesota, USA. April Mendez is the CEO of Greenprint Partners and is scaling a concept called green infrastructure. The idea behind it is to supplement grey infrastructure, like pipes and sewers, with green infrastructure, like a garden. In this episode we talk about how green infrastructure is protecting communities, replenishing them with nature, and creating spaces for communities to gather. UN Sustainable Development Goal: 9 路 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, 11 路 Sustainable Cities & Communities
March 30, 2022
Tanya Khotin: Impact Investing and Why Its A Trend That Isn't Going Away
馃搷Catskills, NY, USA. With 25 years of impact investing experience, Tanya Khotin understands how the space operates. Traditionally investors have evaluated companies by measuring how the world impacts their company, but this is changing. Investors are now measuring how companies affect the world, and they're holding them accountable for it. This new era of investment analysis is being led by people like Tanya.聽 UN Sustainable Development Goals: 4 路 Quality Education, 8 路 Decent Work & Economic Growth
March 23, 2022
John-Paul Maxfield on Change, Decentralized Finance, and Climate
馃搷Denver, CO, USA. The world is changing at its fastest pace ever. New technologies are emerging and growing while existing cracks in the system get bigger. How will these two trends combine to create a brighter future? In this episode, we explore how change is occurring today and the opportunity for systems like DAOs to support that change, especially in regards to supplementing institutional investments in climate change. UN Sustainable Development Goals: 9 路 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, 13 路 Climate Action
March 17, 2022
Gwen Dittmar: How We Can Use Our Breath to Live Better
馃搷Los Angeles, CA, USA. Gwen Dittmar is a coach who teaches people how to breathe properly and how to use your breathe to deal with things like anxiety and trauma. UN Sustainable Development Goals: 3 路 Good Health & Well-Being, 16 路 Peace
March 09, 2022
Rastra Bhandari: Living in the Himalayas for 3 Months, and What It Taught Me About Climate Change
馃搷Abu Dhabi, UAE. For three months, Rastra Bhandari lived in the Himalayan mountains, studying how the water crisis impacted the communities living there. The region provides water to over 2.5 billion people, and with more ice melting from climate change, there are emerging geopolitical tensions between superpowers like China and India. While the water crisis represents a challenge, it also presents an opportunity for us to collaborate through nature, a medium that all of us are connected to. UN Sustainable Development Goal: 6 路 Clean Water & Sanitation
March 02, 2022
Jason Graham-Nye on the Circular Economy and Reinventing Diapers
馃搷Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia. Jason Graham-Nye, and he is reinventing how a diaper is made. Current diapers are unsustainable as they are made out of plastic and require one cup of oil to create one diaper. Jason discovered a way to make the same product with different materials. He co-founded gDiapers with his wife, which takes used diapers, composts them in soil, and uses that soil to create the materials for new diapers. Thus creating a circular life for his product. UN Sustainable Development Goal: 12 路 Responsible Consumption & Production
February 23, 2022
Mandar Apte: The Formula for Creating Peace in Your Life
馃搷Bombay, Maharashtra, India. Mandar Apte is the executive director of cities4peace. He is focused on building more peaceful and compassionate communities and does so by guiding individuals through deep inner transformations. By enhancing their mental and social wellbeing, the social connectedness of people within the community strengthens. UN Sustainable Development Goal: 16 路 Peace
February 17, 2022
Dr. David Vik: The Story of How Zappos Created a Company Culture
馃搷Los Altos, California, USA. As the former Head of Culture at Zappos, Dr. David Vik was on the ground floor when Zappos designed their company culture. Whether it was the chair shaped like a king鈥檚 throne for employees to vent or a policy allowing employees to give each other $50 bonuses, David created a place where people wanted to come to work. In this episode, he shares the secrets to creating strong relationships and connections within organizations. UN Sustainable Development Goal: 10 路 Reduced Inequalities
February 09, 2022
Tim Leberecht: Making Business More Beautiful through Love and Romance
馃搷Lisbon, Portugal. Tim Leberecht is the co-founder of The House of Beautiful Business, a global think tank on a mission to make business more beautiful.聽By drawing on the love and romance that comes from the arts and humanities, business can shift to become a way for people to feel alive through what they do, instead of being driven by an exchange of goods and services. UN Sustainable Development Goals: 4 路 Quality Education, 10 路 Reduced Inequalities, 16 路 Peace
February 02, 2022
Dr. Harriet Fesq: It's Not the '80's Anymore, Business Has a New Relationship
馃搷Sydney, Australia. The original role of business was to provide goods and services to a community. If they harmed the community more than they helped it, like a drug store selling deadly medicine, they would go out of business. Today, however, businesses can survive while being harmful to their communities, because the communities don鈥檛 have the same power that they used to have. This dynamic has led to many questions, like what should the impact of a business be? As co-founder of Impact Lab Global, Harriet is not only asking those questions, but guiding the people who are exploring them. UN Sustainable Development Goal: 17 路 Partnerships
January 26, 2022
Eric McNulty: Leadership for 2022 and Beyond
馃搷Cambridge, MA, USA. Eric McNulty is the Director of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative at Harvard where he works to amplify the work of those who lead. While most people end up in leadership positions, very few are trained on how to be a leader. He explains the key attributes and tools of leadership that you can use to accelerate yourself and your organization. UN Sustainable Development Goal: 4 路 Quality Education
January 20, 2022
Alisa Valderrama: The Price of Natural Disasters
馃搷San Diego, CA, USA. Alisa Valderrama is the Co-founder and CEO of Futureproof, a company building a better way to understand the financial risk that comes with natural disasters. She explains why it matters to properly account for, prepare for, and allocate resources to climate-resilient projects. UN Sustainable Development Goals: 9 路 Industry, Innovation, & Infrastructure, 11 路 Sustainable Cities & Communities
January 13, 2022
Rhys Roth: How Our Infrastructure is Becoming Sustainable
馃搷Olympia, WA, USA. As the Director of the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure, Rhys Roth oversees the systems that support our lives, yet we are blind to. There is an expectation that our food will be fresh, our water will be clean, our toilets will flush, and our devices will charge. As users of this system, we can鈥檛 feel its ripple effects, but they are starting to be felt by our planet, the place the system lives in. Our future will depend on us being able to develop infrastructure that not only supports us, but supports itself. And Rhys is one of the few pioneering our new system. UN Sustainable Development Goals: 9 路 Industry, Innovation, & Infrastructure, 11 路 Sustainable Cities & Communities
December 10, 2021
Sarah Little: Amplifying a Generation of Girls鈥檚 Voices
馃搷London, UK. Sarah Little believes in the superpower of stories to inspire. Having lived and spent time in villages in Ethiopia, refugee camps in Kenya, and cities in Syria and Afghanistan, she learned the challenges and dreams of girls her age. Some had been forced to uproot their lives due to war and genocide, others had fathers who forced them to marry before starting their periods, several had started business, and many were the first in their family to attend university. The power of these stories not only inspired her, but led to the creation of More to Her Story. Today, it is a platform to unleash the power of girls around the world by amplifying their voices and propelling their ideas.聽 UN Sustainable Development Goals: 5 路 Gender Equality, 10 路 Reduced Inequalities
December 01, 2021
Cheryl Heller: Preparing Us for The Intergalactic Design Competition
馃搷Norfolk, CT, USA. Cheryl Heller believes the design of our relationships is the key to solving our social and environmental problems. In today鈥檚 economy, it seems as if these topics are left to a select group of individuals who choose to work on them. The reality, however, is that these individuals are just laying the groundwork for the future of business. Every organization will need to be socially and environmentally conscious if they want to survive. Thankfully, we have people like Cheryl, who is one of the rare individuals with the knowledge to guide us in this new direction. Her book, The Intergalactic Design Guide: Harnessing the Potential of Social Design, lays out a playbook for those who want to lead with her. UN Sustainable Development Goal: 4 路 Quality Education
November 17, 2021
Peter Stein: Conserving the Forest by Turning It Into an Investment
馃搷Hanover, New Hampshire, USA. As a managing director at LymeTimber, Peter Stein and his team answer one of the toughest questions about the climate crisis: how can we continue to build infrastructure that welcomes more people into the modern economy while conserving the natural state of our environment? Their answer is to have a more balanced relationship with the resources that we use to build society. Instead of squeezing the land for every dollar they can get from it, Peter focuses on keeping the forest economically productive while protecting the ecological and biological diversity of the lands. UN Sustainable Development Goals: 8 路 Decent Work & Economic Growth, 11 路 Sustainable Cities & Communities, 14 路 Life on Land
October 07, 2021
Dave Chen: Investing in Scale, the Missing Ingredient in Driving Systemic Change
馃搷 Portland, Oregon, USA. Dave Chen is dedicated to creating a more sustainable future. An enormous part of that future is dependent on changing the operating system of society on a systemic level. Part of that change is dependent on entrepreneurs and great thinkers to formulate the solutions that will push us forward. Those individuals however need resources behind 聽them to scale their creations on a local, national, and global scale. That is where Dave and his team at Equilibrium Capital play. By investing in and allocating capital to scale sustainable solutions, they are the ones truly driving systemic change. UN Sustainable Development Goal: 9 路 Industry, Innovation, & Infrastructure
September 30, 2021
Bidhi Mandal: Creating the World You Want to See Through Entrepreneurship
馃搷Kathmandu, Nepal.聽Bidhi Mandal was born and raised in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Growing up there gave her a unique perspective of how our society functions today. Her community, for example, has a different relationship to water than other communities around the world do. She and her family got access to water two days per week due to the scheduled rotation they were on. This life was normal to her, but as she experienced how people outside of her community were living she began to question the stark differences. Now as a sophomore at Babson College, she is pursuing what she found to be her purpose: being able to create a better world. As Davis Fellow for Peace and a member of the US Embassy Youth Council, a platform for youth leaders from Nepal to provide their input about the future of Nepal, she is creating the world she wants to see. UN Sustainable Development Goal: 4 路 Quality Education
September 15, 2021
Cheryl Kiser: The $12 Trillion Opportunity
馃搷 Wellesley, MA, USA. Cheryl Kiser is the woman who plays at intersections. With her father being the first marine to stand up against the war and her mother starting one of the first natural foods stores in New England, she has been on the cutting edge of taking a stand since childhood. Now working at the Lewis Institute at Babson College, she stands at a new intersection, that she created. Cheryl educates and guides a new generation of entrepreneurs who create social and economic value at the same time. This concept, of making money and doing good, is represented by the UN Global Goals, a 12 trillion dollar market opportunity that is forming new economies like the blue and silver economy. While computer-based innovation has been an integral aspect to the development of our society, another dawn is approaching with challenges and opportunities to change the world in a new way. UN Sustainable Development Goal: 17 路 Partnerships
September 10, 2021
Tim Coffin: Raise Capital to Change the World
馃搷Boston, USA. Tim Coffin thinks that if you want to change the world, you need to raise capital. Coming from a background in finance, Tim understands how money incentivizes decision making in society. He works at Breckinridge Capital Advisors, a firm based out of Boston that believes in driving change through capital. They are a bond manager that has integrated environmental, social, and governance research into their investment decision process. This allows them to analyze companies from a perspective that balances financial performance and societal impact. As the director of sustainability, Tim shares his insights about finance being a driving force for good. UN Sustainable Development Goal: 11 路 Sustainable Cities & Communities
September 01, 2021
Arpit Bansal: Using Venture Capital to Provide for our Core Human Needs
馃搷Singapore. Back in 2011, Marc Andreessen said that software was eating the world. And it did. Now we are on the dawn of a new area in venture capital and Blue Ashva Capital, a firm based out of Singapore, is leading the way. Arpit Bansal, entrepreneur turned venture captialist, describes the transition as a shift in investing from bits to atoms. His firm invests in companies trying to improve aspects of our core human needs like our health, food, energy sources, and financial stability. Throughout history these sectors of the economy have been viewed as low-return, impact investments, but Blue Ashva is proving that they are investments that come with a enormous impact.聽 UN Sustainable Development Goals: 3 路 Good Health & Well-Being, 7 路 Affordable & Clean Energy
August 26, 2021
Todd Finklestone on Responding to Disasters & Helping Orphaned Children
馃搷 Taipei, Taiwan. Todd works for two non-profits, both of which are tackling a complex problem in a new way. He spends most of his time leading the operations at OneTrack International where he coordinates efforts to support orphaned children across 10 countries. Instead of placing children directly into an institutional support system, they place them with biological family members or trusted members of the community. He is also a disaster relief responder at ShelterBox, which delivers the essential aid people need to begin rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of a disaster. He has been a first responder after earthquake and other disasters, which have shaped his understanding of the purpose of work. UN Sustainable Development Goals: 1 路 No Poverty, 2 路 Zero Hunger
August 17, 2021
Shola Olabode-Dada: Empowering Minds for Healthy Decisions
馃搷Berkeley, California, USA. From a young age Shola was captured by the power of our minds. Her high school friends allege that her answer to the what do you want to be when you grow up question was to explore how we could use our minds to fly. That dream did end up translating into what she does today as a behavioral scientist. She spends time promoting healthy behavior change among youth through her work at Y Labs. There she works like a detective, collecting evidence to decipher the mystery of how young people make decisions about their health. UN Sustainable Development Goals: 3 路 Good Health & Well-Being
August 05, 2021
Aria Mustary: Preventing Child Marriages
馃搷Bangladesh. Aria and I went to college together and lived in the same dorm our freshman year. I knew her before she started Mai Soli and got to watch her build it from the sidelines. While we went to school in suburban Massachusetts, her organization worked across the world in Bangladesh. Their goal is to end child-marriages by providing young girls an alternative path to being financially stable in life. At a young age, she has learned what it takes to be a social entrepreneur and tackle complex problems. UN Sustainable Development Goals: 1 路 No Poverty, 5 路 Gender Equality, 10 路 Reduced Inequalities
July 29, 2021
Merlin Clarke: The Bright Side of Jewelry
馃搷Los Angeles, USA. With his wife, Merlin helps run Dogeared, a jewelry store that embodies the best version of a small business. They are a certified B-Corporation, which is a special designation given to businesses that balance purpose and profit. Merlin is the driver of the Do Good Bus, an initiative that engages the local community in community service. His story starts several decades prior to founding Dogeared. At 20 years old he was digging ditches for sewer pipes and he knew that there was more to life for him. Merlin decided to take a leap of faith and he鈥檚 never looked back. UN Sustainable Development Goals: 12 路 Responsible Consumption & Production
July 22, 2021
Nicky Scott: Dirt Kills Off Great Civilizations
馃搷Cornwall, England. Mr. Scott, better known as Dr. Compost in his academic circles, studies composting in England. He teaches kids about the benefits of soil and mud, through hands-on learning. They learn a valuable lesson as playing in the mud can increase your serotonin levels, which affect your happiness levels. Before this conversation with Nicky I thought of composting as the place to throw away biodegradable items like apple cores and banana peels. Turns out, the importance of composting is much deeper than that. According to Nicky, every great civilization has failed because they destroyed their soils. Who knew dirt could be so important. UN Sustainable Development Goals: 3 路 Good Health & Well-Being, 12 路 Sustainable Consumption & Production, 13 路 Climate Action
July 15, 2021
Robert Lewis Jr.: Invigorating Excellence in Urban America
馃搷Boston, MA, USA. 鈥淪ome folks use the word discipline, but we love them hard.鈥 Robert Lewis Jr. works with youth. Through his work at The BASE he is revolutionizing urban America through his work. The facade of the American Dream is slowly starting to crack. For decades, the country was a beacon of hope for every individual who believed they could work hard and create a better life for themselves. Thousands of communities across the United States, however, are trapped by systemic barriers that prevent socioeconomic mobility. Robert and his organization are changing the narrative. They use athletics and educational opportunities to cultivate excellence, belief, and love in their communities. That belief is revolutionizing how American communities see themselves and the opportunities in their future. UN Sustainable Development Goals: 4 路 Quality Education, 10 路 Reduced Inequalities
July 08, 2021
Minnie Baragwanath: Leading with Possibility
馃搷Auckland, New Zealand. After blowing through a stop sign during a driving lesson, Minnie realized she had a problem with her eyesight; she had no vision in the center of her eyes. After being diagnosed with a disability, people viewed her in two ways: they were fearful of what she couldn鈥檛 do or they pushed her to adapt. From then on, she refused to be defined by other people and now is the Chief Possibility Officer at the Global Centre of Possibility, based out of Aotearoa, New Zealand. The organization reflects her fundamental belief: beyond disability there is a place called possibility. A place where imagination rules. UN Sustainable Development Goals: 10 路 Reduced Inequalities, 17 路 Partnerships
June 30, 2021
Christel Scholten: International Exposure Opens your Mind
馃搷 S茫o Paulo, Brazil. Christel Scholten solves the problems that are affecting society the most, yet receive the least amount of attention. She works at Reos Partners, an organization with a global team on five continents that takes a new approach to problem solving. They understand problems from a systemic point of view and then form collaborative alliances with the people who are suffering from them. Christel is the leader of the S茫o Paolo branch in Brazil, where she specializes in sustainable development, education, leadership, and nature. UN Sustainable Development Goals: 9 路 Industry, Innovation, Infrastructure, 17 路 Partnerships
June 24, 2021
Abram El-Sabagh: Designing for Impact
馃搷Canberra, Australia. Abram El-Sabagh has dedicated his life to creating change. He grew up in a family with two parents who worked in the impact field, which sparked his curiosity to pursue a similar path. To get a deeper understanding of how change occurs, he traveled to 18 countries and studied how to design change in complex system. Along his journey, he formed an organization called Design for Impact that is building the next generation of change-makers. He works full-time at Fjord, the design and innovation arm from Accenture that focuses on solving some of the world鈥檚 biggest and most pressing challenges. He has a lot of wisdom to share. UN Sustainable Development Goals: 4 路 Quality Education, 9 路 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
June 17, 2021
Daniel Tuitt: An Innovator of the Future
馃搷London, England. Daniel Tuitt is on a quest to transform the way people see creativity, business and social challenges. He runs a portfolio career, which allows him to allocate his time towards a range of things he is passionate about. He is the leader an OpenIDEO chapter in London, which is the social impact arm of the world-renown design firm IDEO. As an independent consultant, he innovates for a range of organizations from international tech companies to UK public hospitals by using design thinking and open innovation. He operates his life through the lens of one question: what's the legacy you want to leave?聽 UN Sustainable Development Goals: 4 路 Quality Education, 9 路 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
April 12, 2021