Be The Change You Want to See in the World - Pinnacles Speakers Series, February 16, 2010

In this presentation, Jeff Zalla leads a whirlwind tour of lessons from the 2008 financial crisis, the evolving societal expectations of business, whether corporate social responsibility pays, and the enormous opportunities available for companies that focus on all their stakeholders and seek to do well by doing good.

This presentation can be viewed in the following brief segments, averaging 3 minutes in length.

You are also welcome to comment on this presentation on our Huge Impacts blog.


This briefly introduces the opportunity – and the duty – of business, as the most powerful force on Earth, to develop innovative market-based solutions to some of society’s most vexing challenges.
A Personal Journey

Jeff Zalla describes the values, education and professional experiences that have led to his deep passion for corporate social responsibility and the launch of his new private equity firm, Diatom Ventures.
Equity Markets – What We Should All Now Know

Lessons we should all draw from the recent financial meltdown, the third-worst in the history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Focus on the Long-term – The Key to Real Value-Creation

We would do well to learn from Warren Buffett and The Aspen Institute about why real value-creation depends on a long-term perspective. Increasingly, that perspective also needs to take into account social and environmental impacts.

Restoring Trust in Business

There is a glaring lack of trust in business in CEOs and business today, as measured by the PR firm Edelman’s Trust Barometer – yet being trustworthy is a critical first step if business leaders seek to earn attractive long-term financial returns.

A Few CEOs Get It – The Mindset Shift From Shareholders to Stakeholders

A few titan CEOs, including those at GE, Wal-Mart and Pepsi, are finally beginning to understand get that companies will only do well long-term – that is grow faster and earn more money – if they stand for something, solve societal problems, and shift their mindset from shareholders to stakeholders. 
The Semantics of Sustainability

Here, in plain English, is a simple explanation of what most people mean when they use the lingo of corporate responsibility – stakeholder, CSR, sustainability, ESG, and so on.

Society’s Evolving Expectations – From the 1980’s to the 2010’s

A brief survey of how and why society’s expectations of business have evolved over the last few decades – from protecting reputation to developing character, and from philanthropy to market opportunity.

On Milton Friedman and Other Obstacles to Corporate Responsibility

If corporate social responsibility is so important, why haven’t companies long embraced it? The answers lie in Milton Friedman, misconceptions about fiduciary duties, and human behavior.

Four Keys to Achieving Leadership in CSR

This is the simplicity on the other side of complexity for businesses seeking to be leaders in corporate social responsibility.

From Pariah to Paragon: the Benefits of Transparency at Chiquita

Jeff Zalla explains the lessons to be drawn from radical transparency in the early years of corporate responsibility reporting at Chiquita.

The Benefits of CSR – In Summary

Jeff Zalla distills the benefits of CSR as viewed from his unique perch as both corporate responsibility officer and later CFO of Chiquita, a $4-billion revenue U.S. public company.

The Keys to Transforming Culture

Transforming any large corporate culture is difficult work. What were the simple yet profound keys to quickly transforming the culture and reputation of 100-year-old Chiquita?

Does CSR Pay? The Empirical Data

Jeff Zalla surveys the 20-year history of socially responsible investment (SRI) funds, the assertions of new entrants Goldman Sachs and Generation Investment Management, and academic research.  Most importantly, he presents powerful evidence from the authors of Firms of Endearment that companies that do things right and maintain great relationships with their stakeholders grow faster, earn more money, and create far more wealth than do average S&P 500 companies.

Diatom Ventures: Bringing CSR to Private Equity

Jeff Zalla explains the origins, values, beliefs, investing criteria, areas of special interest, and philanthropic commitment of his new private equity firm, Diatom Ventures, whose purpose is to help great entrepreneurs build profitable and enduring businesses that benefit the world.

Resources and Contact Information

See how to connect with Jeff Zalla, and the wide variety of organizations that can help companies seeking to walk the path toward greater purpose and profit – including BSR, SustainAbility, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, UN Global Compact, Global Reporting Initiative, Social Investment Forum, B Corporation, Rainforest Alliance, Conservation International, The Natural Step, Ceres, Social Accountability International, Ashoka, Skoll Foundation, Volans and the Taproot Foundation.