DNC summit highlights sustainable economy ideas
A summit held during the Democratic National Convention by the American Sustainable Business Council discussed social topics from a business perspective.
The 47th floor of the Hearst Tower in Charlotte seemed like an odd place to talk about how businesses can benefit society and the environment while at the same time pursuing profits.
But that's where the American Sustainable Business Council made its stand during the Democratic National Convention. The law firm K&L Gates, which has 41 offices around the world, hosted ASBC in its penthouse offices. The firm has worked with the council before, and many of its clients are trying to build sustainable businesses, so it made sense for ASBC to hold its "Summit for a Sustainable Economy" there. Plus it's a heck of a view.
The summit kicked off with a session on how capital can be used in a responsible way, to help socially responsible businesses or empower low-income entrepreneurs. Most banks are primarily concerned with their borrowers' profits, not their impact on society. That's why "we have to go outside the box," said Frank Knapp, president of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, who moderated the session.
So ASBC went outside the box with this panel.
First there was Roger Smith, president of American Income Life, an insurance company that markets its policies to working-class and middle-class Americans and has a unionized work force. Smith thinks unions are good for business, since unionized workers make more money and thus have more money to spend. He's so pro-union that he doesn't see any conflict between his goals of expanding union membership while also encouraging the growth of small businesses in the U.S.
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