What brought you initially to Impact Hub Boston?
My business partner Sierra Flanigan had been working out of CIC Cambridge for a few years and was inspired by the mission driven and social impact entrepreneurs that she met in the Cambridge/Boston area, including Geoff Mamlet, former President of Impact Hub Boston. When I joined her in 2013 we were both drawn by the vision of Impact Hub Boston and we were excited by the idea of being a part of a community of change agents that work alongside each other, grow together, guide and motivate each other. Impact Hub Boston aligned well with our values of interdependence, collaboration, and creativity and we joined at the very beginning when Impact Hub Boston only had a handful of members and was embarking on cultivating a vibrant community and co-working space.
How has it benefited Coalesce and helped you to thrive?
When we walk into Impact Hub Boston in the morning we see the calendar of events (such as how to transform democracy), walk by the large inscription on the wall noting “where change goes to work,” engage in a round of good mornings, settle into our desk of choice for the day, and think “there is no other place I would want to be working!” We feel surrounded by a community that is striving to make a difference and a place that reflects our values. This sense of place and solidarity is tremendously important to us. We have received tons of advice from diverse members ranging from which lawyer to use and how to go about building a website, to feedback on marketing materials, technical assistance with computer programs, valuable introductions, professional coaching, mentorship, friendships, general life advice, and more. Bringing advisors, colleagues, and clients to Impact Hub Boston has also strengthened our brand as we hold ourselves to be a conscious, mission driven company and Impact Hub Boston reflects the growing movement that we are part of.
What projects is Coalesce currently working on?
Coalesce is currently working with six schools (four k-12 private schools and two colleges and universities) across the northeast to help design and manage cohesive and enduring sustainability initiatives. We currently are working on developing Sustainable Purchasing Policies for a number of our clients, the goal of a which is to establish campus wide standards for environmental and social responsible purchasing, model conscious consumption, align purchasing with core values, and lead by example. The purchasing policies establish inclusive, local, and environmental purchasing preferences for the procurement of goods and services, giving preference to minority-owned and women owned businesses, locally and independently owned businesses, and social enterprises and B Corporations. Specific environmental and social standards are set for products ranging from cleaning products, supplies, and equipment, to dining supplies, office paper and supplies, electronic products, furniture, landscape management products, and encouraging the ethical production of logoed goods and more. Through defining a Sustainable Purchasing Policy schools recognize and realize the value that local, sustainable, diverse, and inclusive businesses play in shaping the community that they reside in and demonstrate a commitment to support their local economy.
Another project that we are very excited about is in partnership with the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). We are working to develop a Campus Sustainability Impact Dashboard. This Dashboard will help schools measure their environmental and human health impact based on their emissions, energy and water consumption, waste diversion, renewable energy generation, and more. By using specific methodologies developed by HSPH we will be able to show resource consumption effects on terrestrial and aquatic ecotoxicity, human toxicity, species loss, number of years lost due to ill-health or disability, fossil fuel depletion, and other fascinating metrics. This is important because what gets measured can be managed, and we observe a need in the campus sustainability field to not only have metrics but have language and the tools to communicate the impact of their actions.
That is right there are three of us! We are so lucky to have each other on this journey. Outside of work we have our own unique ways we like to spend our time. Emily can be found walking her friend’s dog named Pizza School, watching American Ninja Warrior or practicing to become one, practicing mindfulness, and making apple sauce from local apples. You can find Sierra in a downward dog at yoga, eating brunch on the weekends, writing for a personal project, or leading herself through a meditation. Talia will either be gardening, riding her bike, or reading about transforming the economy.