Our B Corp PR Report at this year’s Champions Retreat

In the coming year you’ll be reading and hearing a lot about “inclusiveness” and what it means to strive for an inclusive economy.

In case this is the first you’re coming by the term, we’ve outlined some pointers on how to achieve an inclusive workplace below. But before we go there, we wanted to share some personal highlights from Yulu’s first year at the B Corp Champions Retreat (which, if you remember, relocated from Raleigh-Durham to Philadelphia because of the introduction of North Carolina’s HB2 “bathroom bill!”)

This year’s B Corp Champions Retreat kicked off the theme of ‘Moving Towards an Inclusive Economy’ with the announcement of the Inclusion Challenge, which focuses on figuring out the means to achieve an inclusive economy.

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Some conference highlights from Melissa, our founder and creative director, and Esther, our community cultivator:

Melissa:

I felt more rejuvenated and inspired following my week at the Champions Retreat, than any vacation could have offered. We made new friends, shared best practices with sharp business leaders and basically basked in the company of businesses that believe in the value of values.

Favourite session:

Tal from Full Circle Home co-facilitated a CEO workshop, where everyone at the table openly shared some of the struggles and challenges we’re currently facing, and in turn the group provided support through sharing similar experiences and basically showed empathy and compassion for one another. The exercise gave us licence to be vulnerable for a moment, which in turn inspired, recharged and encouragement us to go back out and keep fighting the good fight. It was enough to make anyone cry (I did!). I think it’s safe to say we’re all now bonded for life.

Esther:

To be connected with people across a wide range of industries and talents that were connected by a general principle of ‘doing good is good business’ took away a lot of the initial wariness that I think plagues other types of conferences or networking events. When the agenda is bigger than simply meeting potential hires or clients, it changes the dynamic of the community completely.

Favourite session:

Roundpeg Communications rounded up a dozen storytellers for dinner after the first night, and what a warm, fun, chatty bunch we were! We’ve since kept in touch with Lorraine from Prosper for Purpose, a PR agency in Cleveland, and Greg from Hemmings House, a video production studio based in New Brunswick.

We met new people, learned lessons on how to communicate, had more personal moments than we anticipated, even shed a few tears. But for the most part, it was a brain bath of inspiration.

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The other half of the retreat’s purpose was to galvanize the community to take the Inclusion Challenge, which means examining a specific set of metrics that prioritize inclusion and building an economy that works for everyone.

These metrics range from paying all staff a living wage, job flexibility and diversity of the boardroom and human rights screening for suppliers. These metrics can be used by any company to make their operations, business model, and supply chain more inclusive.

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The point of the exercise isn’t to see who can check the most boxes, but to start the team thinking about what ways we could improve our company operations, using this specific business framework. We only manage what we measure, after all.

Here’s what Yulu’s committed to in the next year:

  • Improving access to financial services for employees: matching RRSP (or 401k, for you US folks) contributions and providing resources for long-term financial planning
  • Making professional development work in practice: we find our annual stipend tends to be underused
  • Growing our team with diversity as a guiding principle  

We already can’t wait to go back to next year’s Champions Retreat, and would highly recommend for any other B Corps to do so!

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That’s is for our B Corp PR Report of this year’s Champions Retreat!