Around the Institute

Selling Without Selling Out

February 25, 2009

The number of socially responsible companies is increasing rapidly, and with that increase comes the need for strategies that will help company founders sustain their mission and values through the growth and purchase stage. Earlier this year, the Trusteeship Institute in partnership with the Aspen Institute, B-Corporation, Ben & Jerry’s, Calvert Social Investment Funds, Earth Advertising, Nancy Brown Associates, and RSF Social Finance, gathered founders of socially responsible companies acquired by multinational corporations. Discussion centered around how they worked to sustain the values and mission of the company post-acquisition, what they learned from the process, and what they wish they had done differently. Participants included Greg Steltenpohl, founder of Odawalla™; Jeff Furman, one of the founders of Ben and Jerry’s™; Brian Johnson, founder of Zaadz™ (now Gaiam™); and Frederick Schilling, founder of Dagoba Chocolate™. Lessons learned by both founders and acquirers serve as a resource for the next generation of social entrepreneurs. Learn more and watch videos at