Guest Post By Kelsa Summer Roidt
One of the things I love most about coming in to Impact Hub every morning is being surrounded by other people doing their part to have an impact on the world – whatever that means to them. I get energy through the snippets of conversation overheard at the desk pods and the surprising shared connections discovered on elevator rides. I first discovered the special sense of community that exists at Impact Hub Boston when I was invited to work with former director Katie Shultz on Impact Hub’s B Corp certification process over a year ago.
While we worked through the hundreds of questions on the B Impact Assessment (the certification tool used to evaluate potential B Corps) I got to learn about the amazing work that the Hub is doing, behind the scenes, through the staff team, and through the members. I learned how community lunches are carefully chosen – focusing on locally- and minority-owned businesses. I got up to speed on how the building’s energy use is tracked. I learned about the extra things we’re doing on the 15th floor like composting and electronic waste disposal. Perhaps most importantly, I came to understand that the real impact of the Hub is through its members – all of us who can thrive as innovators and change makers because of the community that the Impact Hub provides.
I’ve worked with dozens of B Corps and aspiring B Corps over the past few years and although they share a lot in common, each company has a slightly different perspective on why being a B Corp is important to them. My colleague Nupur Amin helped me ask around to see what means the most to our community.
B Local Boston Board Co-Chair,founder of B Corp Emzingo and Impact Hub Boston member, Drew Bonfiglio said, “I’ve been a part of the B Corp community for about five years now. And I think for me, one of the things that is maybe not obvious … is the generosity in the community and the real connections that we make across companies. That even extends to companies that are maybe competitors in their day jobs. I think that generosity comes from a place of being in the service of this higher purpose … an inclusive and regenerative economy.”
There’s a lot of excitement for the certification. Impact Hub Host Colin Steele explained why he’s excited; “What’s exciting about the Impact Hub becoming a B Corp is that I think this is a decision that’s deeply aligned with our values. We’re a socially driven space for socially driven innovators and entrepreneurs. And the B Corp certification shows the world that our own business practices are in line with our messaging.”
Impact Hub Boston team member Hilary Ippolito added; “I am excited that Impact Hub Boston is now a certified b corporation, because it opens up a new network of other companies that we can share best practices with which is really exciting. It also gives us a new standard to look to as we recertify year after year. Sort of gives us a North Star to follow; a few extra guidelines to help us figure out how we’re making impact and how we can make more impact as we make new plans in the coming years.”
Hilary went on to explain that the biggest impact of course is the members, “The work I’m the most excited about is the work that our members are doing, and the ways that we’re supporting our members in doing it. Making sure our members are connected to each other and connected to resources and have a space to come work really productively a space that feels comfortable and feels like home- an environment and a work family that makes their work better, makes it possible for them to achieve all the things that they’re achieving.”
She+ Geeks Out Co-CEO and Impact Hub Boston member, Rachel Murray summed it all up nicely “I really just love what they [B Corp] do in all honesty … I really just love what it stands for. And I’m really happy that the Impact Hub is a B Corp now. I know it’s been a long time coming … and I think it’s great because it shows that they’re doing the work that we already know that they’ve been doing for years.”
B Corp certification is an important way to demonstrate the values and behaviors that make a company like Impact Hub Boston something special. When I come into the Hub each day it’s clear that a space like this is really Using Business as a Force for Good. I’m looking forward to seeing how the Hub can connect more with the B Corp community – including the over 50 B Corps in Greater Boston!
Kelsa Summer Roidt is an Impact Hub Boston Member and the Director of Operations and Impact at Habitus Incorporated. Habitus is an Impact Hub Boston based training and facilitation firm that specializes in negotiation, difficult conversations, and running effective meetings. Kelsa also works as a freelance consultant, helping companies at all stages of their B Corp journey. Kelsa is an active member of the Boston B Corp community and serves as co-chair on the Boston B Local board – whose mission is to “connect, build trust, and foster collaboration among certified B Corps and their employees. We use our collective resources to drive positive impact and provide leadership in our communities by using Business as a Force for Good.”