A large and growing number of consumers today are increasingly:environmentally conscious, energy conscious, health conscious, conscious of sustainability, of community, and even conscious of consumption itself. Conscious of transportation, farmland, ingredients, and all things food-related. Conscious of supply chains, fairness, and social justice. Conscious that it takes an effort to build a thriving community, whether that is in a developing nation, a major world city, or an American suburb. And conscious of this growing wave of consciousness, wondering how exactly to define “sustainability” or “good” or “fair”.
This is a vast, fast growing, under-served market.
This is the market most talked about, at ground-breaking schools such as Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI), the first business school to focus on teaching a “Sustainable” MBA. But BGI and other similar programs elsewhere are simply not enough. The needs of this market are both deep and diverse, requiring more entrepreneurial solutions than a few hundred MBAs can provide.
And this is the market served by pioneering companies, such as: Ben & Jerry’s, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s in the retail food market; Patagonia, REI, Nike, and New Balance in retail apparel; Zipcar and Tesla in the automotive market; Craiglist as a rare conscious tech success; and Starbucks, which wraps its entire company around a “conscious” ethos, both internally and externally.
Where will the next hundred such companies come from?
We can wait and hope more entrepreneurs fight through the currents with little support, or we can together pitch-in to create a “conscious ecosystem” to smooth the waters and speed up the process.