Posted by David on 11.16.2010 at 1:55 pm
I recently had the honor of being invited to join an exemplary group of Conscious Business Leaders in Lake Arrowhead, CA for the 2010 C3 Summit: Catalyzing Conscious Capitalism. The event, led by the likes of Whole Foods’ John Mackey and the Container Store’s Kip Tindell, represented the fourth consecutive year that C-level executives and thought leaders came together to explore more conscious ways of leading and operating businesses.
The Conscious Capitalism movement continues to attract influencers who are deeply committed to the transformation of business to a conscious model. To be conscious means to be awake. Conscious Businesses generate value for all of their stakeholders (including the planet) not because it is politically correct to do so but because it is the ultimate path to long-term competitive advantage. Conscious Business Leaders acknowledge that profit is one of the the important purposes of business…..but not the sole purpose; they reject a zero sum, trade off orientated view of business and look for creative, synergistic, win-win approaches that offer multiple kinds of value simultaneously to all stakeholders.
Corporations are probably the most influential institutions in the world, and yet many people do not believe that they can be trusted. Instead corporations are widely perceived as greedy, selfish, exploitative, uncaring – and interested only in maximizing profits.
Conscious Capitalism is a philosophy based on the belief that a more complex form of capitalism is emerging that holds the potential for enhancing corporate performance while simultaneously advancing the quality of life for billions of people. The Conscious Capitalism movement challenges business leaders to re-think why their organizations exist and to acknowledge their company’s role in the interdependent global marketplace.
Conscious Capitalists are unapologetic advocates for the free markets, entrepreneurship, competition, freedom to trade, property rights, freedom to contract, and the rule of law. They recognize that these are essential elements of a healthy, functioning economy, as are trust, compassion, collaboration, and value-creation.
Any meaningful transformation (of business to a conscious model) must incorporate a system-wide perspective that recognizes free markets and entrepreneurship as essential elements of a healthy economy, along with trust, collaboration and value-creation.
It was great to be able to introduce the story of Better World Books to this group of CEO’s and thought leaders and to hear, unequivocally, how much our core business model truly represents the kind of Conscious Business this movement is looking to create. I will continue to engage with the leadership of the Conscious Capital Movement and ensure that Better World Books is well represented….and well understood…..within this community.
Posted by David on 11.08.2010 at 7:13 pm
A few weeks back we were fortunate to have Better World Books featured in the form of a national television commercial (produced by NBC and shown on their network) that aired during half-time of the Notre Dame vs. Stanford football game (in case you missed it, go to http://fightingfor.nd.edu/literacy/). Millions of people were introduced to a very special company – your company – and to the history of how Notre Dame played such a critical role in Kreece and Xavier’s launching of Better World Books back in 2003. The commercial spoke of what we fight for…..fighting to bring books to the world; fighting to promote and support a fundamental right to literacy and education for every human being. It is amazing to me to see how this “fight” is waged day in and day out at our company….and how we are all working together to create very unique and powerful “impact stories.” A few recent examples:
- We are donating over 135,000 Childrens’ books per month now….a pace of well over 1.5M million books per year….and growing. Tens of thousands of books have been distributed through the Americans Feeding Americans Campaign. The campaign was developed in response to our nation’s economic downturn and with a goal of reaching 200,000 families through 70 cities by the end of 2010. Our books are making a difference in the lives of citizens who never thought they would end up in food lines….and so far the books have been distributed (placed right in the box along with the food) to approximately 40 cities in 22 states.
- We are also participating in a national program entitled The Hygiene Box Program…..here our Childrens’ books are being placed in boxes along with hygiene products and also being distributed throughout the United States. The results so far: tens of thousands of books distributed to 184 cities in 39 states. Read more…
2 Comments » | Tagged Company News, Impact, david murphy, Notre Dame
Posted by admin on 02.11.2010 at 1:39 pm
In today’s post, David Murphy talks about his recent experience reading to kids as part of the Ferst Foundation’s CEO Challenge: For the Love of Reading. The challenge was for Georgia business and community leaders to take time out of their busy schedules to read to kids. The idea behind the challenge is to highlight the importance of childhood literacy. Check out what David had to say about the experience and don’t forget to vote!
**UPDATE – FEBRUARY 19TH, 2010 – PLEASE NOTE – VOTING HAS ENDED**
I get asked a lot of questions about our mission, our business model and our industry, so it was certainly refreshing on a cold, crisp morning this past January to have someone ask “Why literacy for children? Why focus our literacy efforts on them? Why do you value reading and literacy efforts for children?” You can hear some of my thoughts on this in a video that was recently produced to help support childhood literacy efforts here in the state of Georgia.
That day, I joined a group of Georgia based CEO’s and university presidents in a friendly competition to draw attention to childhood literacy efforts and had a great experience. I went to Premier Academy where I met with Gladys Gore, her staff and about twenty or so four year-olds for whom I had the pleasure of reading several books. Read more…
Posted by admin on 02.01.2010 at 6:54 pm
In our continuing series on the outlook for 2010 and beyond, CEO David Murphy takes a look at the foundation of Better World Books and why it matters.
We’ve been at it for more than a few years now and we’ve certainly had to make some course corrections along the way…as any good company does. In spite of that, or perhaps because of it, I am so proud of the strong foundation we have to stand on. Sure it’s about technology and infrastructure so I’ll talk to that first, but it’s really about so much more than that.
TECHNOLOGY & INFRASTRUCTURE – We have invested millions of dollars in building out a superior technology footprint….and we are getting smarter everyday in understanding the value of a used book and how that will benefit our customers. We have developed core competencies in Logistics, Analytics, Web Dev, Operations, Book Acquisitions and so much more……and it should continue to show up in the quality and breadth of our book selection, the overall buying experience of our customers, our pricing, delivery, customer care…..everything as seen through the eyes of our customers.
PARTNERSHIPS, TRANSPARENCY & TRUST – We have thousands of individuals, groups, institutions who provide us books…..tens of thousands per day. They believe in us, in our ability to generate consistent levels of funding for our non-profit literacy groups and library partners. Read more…
2 Comments » | Tagged Company News, 2010 forecast, david murphy
Posted by Dana on 09.17.2009 at 12:34 pm
September has been a very busy month here at Better World Books. Our warehouse is busy processing and shipping loads of textbooks to all the students gearing up for fall and we have been unplugging ourselves from our computers to get out into the real world and meet some of you.
The beginning of the month found CEO David Murphy, Co-founder Xavier Helgesen and myself at the SOCAP09 Conference in San Francisco. David spoke on a panel called SELLING WITHOUT SELLING OUT with Read more…
Posted by Xavier on 10.13.2008 at 3:08 pm
David Murphy, CEO of Better World Books, and yours truly are speaking at the inaugural Social Capital Markets in San Francisco. This is truly a landmark event – the first conference I’ve ever heard of based on investing with a social impact.
David is speaking in a session on “pitching your ideas”. On the panel with David are:
Ben Black from New Cycle Capital. New Cycle just closed a $30 Million fund to invest in conscious companies.
Karyn Barsa, CEO of Investors Circle, was formerly CEO of Smith & Hawken and COO of Patagonia. Investors’ Circle is a network of socially conscious angel investors.
Moderating is Tess Reynolds from New Door Ventures.
Ben says that a warm introduction is key. In this day of LinkedIn and Facebook, any entrepreneur worth their salt ought to be able to make a connection with the funder you want.
Posted by David on 08.22.2008 at 10:48 am
Exciting news to share: Better World Books has won a National Literacy Award (the 2008 National Coalition For Literacy Leadership Award!)
This Award is being presented by the National Coalition for Literacy (“NCL”), a Washington DC-based non-profit whose mission is to “advance adult education, family literacy, and English language acquisition in the U.S by increasing public awareness for the need to increase funding and programs; promoting effective public policy; and serving as an authoritative resource for the field on national adult education issues; www.national-coalition-literacy.org. Note: NCL here is not to be confused with our major non-profit literacy partner NCFL (The National Center for Family Literacy) they are two completely separate and distinct organizations!
The Award is in recognition of the commitment and service of Better World Books to the field of adult education and family literacy. To quote the NCL: “This award recognizes individuals and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to improving literacy in the United States. Award recipients have demonstrated a deep and sustained individual, organizational, or corporate commitment by supporting literacy across the lifespan of the local, state and national level.”
Additional 2008 award recipients include Rep. Ruben Hinojosa of Texas, The National Council of La Raza (Janet Murguia, President and CEO), and John Comings, former Director of the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy.
The 2008 NCL Literacy Leadership Awards will be presented at a reception on Wednesday, September 10th, at the James Madison Building of the Library of Congress. I have been asked to receive the reward and speak at the award ceremony and I look forward to representing all of you there.
2 Comments » | Tagged Uncategorized, awards, david murphy, Impact, NCL, press
Posted by admin on 06.13.2008 at 12:09 pm
In honor of the coming Father’s Day, we asked our newest dad, CTO Andy Warzon how he was preparing to involve books in the raising of the newest member of the Warzon clan.
Our baby room, weeks before my wife is due, is full of books already… old ones, new ones, little infant books, grade-school level educational books… we’ll never be short of reading material. I can’t wait to show our baby all the great books I read as kid, the ones that informed and excited me about the world, and the ones that stretched my imagination. [ed. note: Andy's wife just had the baby! Congrats!]
The dad with the most experience (having raised his own children as well as Kreece, Xavier and Jeff when the company started), CEO David Murphy weighed in at the NCFL blog with the following:
Father’s Day is Sunday, and each year around this time I tend to look back to when my children were young. As the father of three fantastic children, I so clearly and vividly recall many moments curled up with my children reading to them, at all times of day and night…on the kitchen floor, in their forts, on old sofas and beat up bean bags, in bed and in the car.
Few moments in life can compare to the wonders of opening up the new world of language and communication and wonder and awe to your child. From those first moments of seeing and understanding new words, to now their collective love for ‘devouring a book’ — they possess the tools they need to be independent and to help them discover who they are and what they are destined to become in this world.
So, Happy Father’s Day all. I took the time to send my own father “The Economics of Happiness” and “Go Green, Live Rich” to help his quest (to change his own life from NYC finance type to NYC finance type with a smaller carbon footprint). One of the most important things he taught me was to educate myself to do the things I wanted to do, so I’m hoping I can help him do the same or at least convey that his message to me stuck.
Have your say » | Tagged Our Partners, andy warzon, david murphy, father's day, NCFL, Our Partners
Posted by David on 05.22.2008 at 10:06 am
Hello everyone. Take a look at the attached .pdf from Books for Africa.
Sullivan Summit.pdf (911.48 KB)
This flyer was sent to all 500+ delegates attending the “Sullivan Summit” in Arusha, Tanzania. Note that Better World Books, through the Better World Books Fund within Books For Africa, is sponsoring the shipment and that the books will be distributed by the Poverty Eradication Network (PEN) in Tanzania. Natasha Harris, Niko Tomlinson, Mary Murphy, Jaime Knabet, Dustin Holland and myself visited the PEN folks in the summer of 2006 and have continued to stay in touch with them (Mungwe and Andrea). They do fantastic work (based in Dodoma, the national capital of Tanzania) throughout the country.
To find out more about the Sullivan Summit VIII, go to www.thesullivanfoundation.org/summit/.
Posted by David on 05.21.2008 at 7:22 am
Make sure to read the March 21st article in the New York Times written by David Brooks, entitled “Thoroughly Modern Do-Gooders”. This is an excellent article on Social Entrepreneurship and there are many points from the article that connect directly with what we have built here at Better World Books.
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