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Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

Leader Builds Ecosystem For Social Entrepreneurs

Laurie Lane-Zucker is building an ecosystem for social entrepreneurs in the Berkshires region of Massachusetts. Laurie hopes the model can be replicated across the country and ultimately around the world.

He explains the need for creating a healthy environment for impact-driven entrepreneurs. “The conventional business paradigm lacks global sustainability context and mission-driven entrepreneurs seeking to innovate solutions in general do not have a supportive ecosystem within which to grow their social and environmental impact businesses.”

The ecosystem begins with a new way of looking at things. “I am working with others to build an ecosystem, indeed an entirely new paradigm, for business founded upon ‘the rigorous application of blended value’ — my definition, and that of my Impact Entrepreneur Network, for the term ‘impact.’ I am currently advancing a new regional impact ecosystem model, which integrates aspects of the Impact Hub with the enterprise/empowerment zone — the ‘Public Benefit Enterprise Zone.'”

Laurie has a clear vision for the future of his effort. “The prototype Public Benefit Enterprise Zone that I am working to build in the Berkshires of Massachusetts will be replicable in other regions around the country and world. When enough mature PBEZs are active, then a process can be undertaken of knitting together PBEZs to create macro-regional, national and global impact economies that have authentic sustainability context, effectively serving the needs of the planet and its peoples.”

On Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 1:00 Eastern, Laurie will join me here for a live discussion about the PBEZ. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

More about Impact Entrepreneur:

An outgrowth of the global Impact Entrepreneur Network, founded in 2011. Impact Entrepreneur, LLC is a business and industry development company motivated by global sustainability context and triple bottom line principles. Impact Entrepreneur, LLC consults “between the seams” of the Network, working with entrepreneurs, investors and scholars of social and environmental impact around the world. I am also a lecturer/mentor at universities (i.e. MIT, Brown, NYU) and a speaker at impact-related conferences (Sustainatopia, Social Venture Partners, etc.). Impact Entrepreneur is currently pioneering “public benefit enterprise zones” and has proposed an Impact Entrepreneur Center for Social and Environmental Innovation, to be based in the Berkshires.

Laurie Lane-Zucker, courtesy of Impact Entrepreneur, LLC

Laurie Lane-Zucker, courtesy of Impact Entrepreneur, LLC

Laurie’s bio:

Twitter: @LaurieLZ

Laurie Lane-Zucker has spent over 25 years as a nonprofit executive, social enterprise founder and CEO, publisher, editor and writer focused on social and environmental impact. He is currently the founder of the Impact Entrepreneur Network on LinkedIN, which has 9700 members in over 150 countries, and Impact Entrepreneur, LLC. He is the former Executive Director for the national environmental organization and magazine, Orion. He is the Founder and President of the Triad Institute, a think-tank and publisher focused on environmental citizenship, as well as the Founder and CEO of Hotfrog, a digital media company that was a founding B Corporation and the first company to transact a shares offering on a designated impact investment exchange (Mission Markets). He is also the former Executive Director of Seven Pillars, a nonprofit organization that cultivates individual and collective wisdom to respond to the social and environmental needs of our time.

Lane-Zucker is currently pioneering a new regional model for the incubation and acceleration of social and environmental impact businesses and an “impact economy,” the Public Benefit Enterprise Zone (PBEZ), and has proposed a new Impact Entrepreneur Center for Social and Environmental Innovation that will be the epicenter for the first prototype PBEZ in the Berkshires of Massachusetts.

Lane-Zucker did his undergraduate studies at Middlebury College and the University of Edinburgh, and graduate work at Columbia University and the Bread Loaf School of English. He has published, edited and written the forewords for a number of books, including bestselling and award-winning volumes by Wendell Berry, Terry Tempest Williams, David James Duncan and other leading environmental writers.

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Devin D. Thorpe

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