BLD SE 2023: Uniting the Southeast B Corp Community

B Corp Leadership Development (BLD) Conference Southeast (SE) 2023: Uniting the Southeast B Corp Community

by Brittany Angelo 9/25/23


Left to Right - Brittany Angelo, Dirigo Collective. Winnie Mulamba, Frorida for Good. Alia Mahmoud, Radical Partners.

Left to Right – Brittany Angelo, Dirigo Collective. Winnie Mulamba, Frorida for Good. Alia Mahmoud, Radical Partners.

I can’t help but reflect on the profound sense of unity and shared purpose that defines our vibrant B Corp community. This connection transcends the boundaries of our workplace, embracing the wider world we call home. We are inspired to celebrate the essence of togetherness that binds us, and in particular, the remarkable experience we had at the BLD SE 2023 Conference.

A Gathering of Purpose-Driven Minds

Imagine finding yourself in Raleigh, North Carolina, surrounded by an incredible gathering of purpose-driven businesses from the South. Benn and I had the privilege of participating in this remarkable event, and we felt truly honored to be welcomed into the space that was created at the BLD SE 2023 Conference. Prior to this conference, I may not have felt an integral part of the Southeast B Corp Community, but now, I feel more connected to these incredible individuals than ever before.

The BLD (B Corp Leadership Development) Conference is not just any gathering; it’s a platform where the local B Corp community comes together to learn from one another, share experiences, and forge bonds that transcend business transactions. It’s a reminder that we are part of something bigger, a movement that extends beyond our day-to-day operations.

The Power of Language and Impactful Conversations

One of the most impactful takeaways from the BLD SE 2023 Conference was the importance of language. In our quest to communicate effectively, we sometimes find ourselves ensnared by the intricacies of using the “right” terminology. Do we say ESG, DEI, or CSR at our workplaces? The conference reaffirmed that the B Corp community recognizes that these terms are vital in signaling our commitment to meaningful action and progress but not at the expense of doing the work.

Yet, more importantly, the conference emphasized that it’s not just about the words we use; it’s about the actions we take and the conversations we engage in. The power of impactful conversations cannot be overstated. It’s through these dialogues that we can learn, grow, and collectively strive towards a more sustainable and equitable future.

Wisdom Shared: Key Insights from the Sessions

At BLD SE 2023, we were fortunate to gain valuable insights from thought leaders and fellow B Corps. Here are some of the profound messages that resonated with us:

  1. Hire someone who can bring you where you want to go: The importance of assembling a team with diverse skills and perspectives to achieve your goals.
  2. Dignity is the greatest thing you can give someone: A reminder of the importance of treating every individual with respect and kindness.
  3. We are each other’s best resources: Acknowledging that our greatest strength often lies in the collective knowledge and support of our community.
  4. We need to give people the freedom to show up how they want to: Encouraging an inclusive and accepting workplace culture where individuals can be their authentic selves.
  5. To have a good business is to have good connections with your coworkers: Highlighting the significance of building strong relationships within your organization.
  6. Check your key assumptions: A reminder to challenge our preconceived notions and biases.
  7. Pass the mic when you are triggered: Know your own triggers and when you feel you have been triggers, now that what you say next might not be what you want to say. Consider stepping back or away until you feel you can control your emotions.
  8. People need to have the freedom to fail: Encouraging innovation and risk-taking in a supportive environment.
  9. Everyone of us has the ability to be impactful but we have to choose how to be impactful: Acknowledging our individual capacity to make a difference.
  10. Show out for inspiration: Recognizing the power of inspiration and motivation, especially in data-driven discussions.
  11. Plan your sprints: Managing workloads effectively and planning for periods of intense effort but also moments to rest and recover after the intense effort.
  12. Be intentional about your rest and your joy: Prioritizing self-care and happiness.
  13. Unpack the guilt when you have it. Like you’re putting a balloon under water, let it go: Encouraging individuals to release guilt and negative emotions to get to the root cause of the issue.
  14. There is action in inaction. And sometimes there is inaction in action: Recognizing that sometimes, not taking immediate action can be the most strategic choice.
  15. Everyone deserves the ability to change in private. Wait and approach privately before you challenge publicly: Encouraging empathy and understanding in addressing issues.

The Southeast B Corp Community

As we continue to explore the world of B Corps and sustainability, let’s remember that our B Corp community is not just a group of businesses; it’s a movement. It’s a movement of individuals and organizations committed to making a meaningful impact on our world. BLD SE 2023 was a testament to the strength of this movement, showcasing how we can come together, share knowledge, and inspire one another to drive positive change. As we move forward, let’s carry the spirit of togetherness and purpose with us, knowing that our Southeast B Corp community is making waves in the realm of sustainability and social impact.