Contacts: Nina Sawhney
The Aspen Institute
B Lab Honored as 2015 McNulty Prize Winner with $100,000
Jay Coen Gilbert, Andrew Kassoy, Bart Houlahan, and B Lab win 2015 McNulty Prize
New York, NY October 28, 2015 –– The Aspen Institute and Trustee Anne Welsh McNulty today announced the founders of B Lab, Jay Coen Gilbert, Andrew Kassoy, and Bart Houlahan as the recipients of the eighth annual John P. McNulty Prize. The $100,000 prize recognizes leaders who are harnessing the spirit of innovation and excellence that characterized their private sector success to address some of the most significant and seemingly intractable problems facing the world today. Jay Coen Gilbert, Andrew Kassoy, and Bart Houlahan, Henry Crown Fellows in the Aspen Global Leadership Network, are being honored for their transformative work with B Lab, the nonprofit that is leading a global movement to redefine success in business, recognizing that business can be used as a force for good.
“In my work, I often wonder to what extent business can help society in its goals to alleviate poverty, preserve ecosystems, and build strong communities and institutions,” said former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a member of the McNulty Prize jury. “B Lab has proven that there is a way – the B Corp movement shows us that business, the driving force of our economy, can be an agent of change and live up to society’s standards.”
Anne Welsh McNulty noted, “B Lab is bringing about a paradigm shift that is needed to marry business and social consciousness, and in many ways, that is what the McNulty Prize is all about.”
Transforming Business as Usual
The nonprofit behind the B Corp movement, B Lab serves a growing community of people who recognize the power of business to create positive change, and envisions a workforce that is driven by purpose over profits. They have done this by introducing innovative frameworks and tools to hold companies to higher standards of social and environmental performance, and are having an impact on a broad range of companies from startups to multinational corporations.
B Lab’s global community includes over 1,400 Certified B Corps in 42 countries, including Patagonia, Etsy, Kickstarter, Natura, d.light, and Warby Parker. In addition, over 35,000 businesses, investors, and other institutions use the B Impact Assessment as a tool to measure and manage their impact. B Lab has also played a critical role in passing a new legal structure – the benefit corporation – that is being utilized by over 3,000 businesses in 31 U.S. states. Through these initiatives, B Lab is leading a shift in corporate culture so that companies measure their impact on society and the environment with as much rigor as they manage their profitability.
Entrepreneurs Jay Coen Gilbert, Andrew Kassoy, and Bart Houlahan all left successful careers in the private sector to co-found B Lab. Through their diverse experiences, they recognized the tremendous capacity within the private sector to also create public benefit – benefit for workers, for communities, and for the environment.
“There is a cultural shift underway. The B Corp movement is helping to frame and accelerate this shift so that we think of business not only as a tool to maximize shareholder value, but as a tool to create value for all of society,” said Jay Coen Gilbert. “That means we’re going to have healthier and stronger communities, and we’re going to have a richer and more restored environment for generations to come. Business can, and must, create a shared and durable prosperity for all of us.”
About The John P. McNulty Prize
Founded by Anne McNulty in honor of her late husband John, the John P. McNulty Prize celebrates the boldness and impact of individuals who are using their exceptional leadership abilities, entrepreneurial spirit, and private sector talents to address the world’s toughest challenges.
An international panel of judges including Secretary Madeleine Albright, Ugandan diplomat Olara Otunnu, and international development expert Brizio Biondi-Morra selected the 2015 winner. Previous juries have included Mary Robinson, Bill Gates, Sr., and Sir Richard Branson.
Henry Crown Fellows Jay, Andrew, and Bart, and their venture B Lab were one of four laureates selected this year from the Aspen Global Leadership Network. The 2015 Laureates also include Gisela Sánchez and Nutrivida in Costa Rica, Nicola Galombik and Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator in South Africa, and Brett Jenks and Fish Forever in Indonesia, Belize, Brazil, Mozambique, and the Philippines. Each of the other laureates receives $10,000.
The 2015 Winner and Laureates will be honored at the annual McNulty Prize reception in New York on November 11. To learn more about B Lab, visit bcorporation.net and watch our video about the winners and their work here: https://youtu.be/pu4IU_LHvzI
The Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN) is a growing, worldwide community of entrepreneurial leaders from business, government, and the nonprofit sector, with over 2000 Fellows from 49 countries who share a commitment to enlightened leadership and to using their extraordinary creativity, energy, and resources to tackle the foremost societal challenges of our time. All share the common experience of participating in the Henry Crown Fellowship or one of the many Aspen Institute leadership initiatives it has inspired in the U.S., Africa, Central America, India, China, and the Middle East.
The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.