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Interview: Connect 2012 - long form v1.0
Interviewer: Jon Denn
Interviewee: Doug Neilson
Location: California United States

Question Answer
1 Describe your interest in being a change agent, i.e. working to create positive change for the greater good. How would you characterize your current activity level? (Choose one) Somewhat active

2 Describe how this compares to the activity level as a change agent that you might desire for yourself. (Choose one) Actively looking for ways to do more

3 List any movements or organizations you are involved with that might be synergistic with other initiatives to create positive change. FOUR YEARS. GO

4 We are creating a database of projects and initiatives to support the emergence of collaborative work via Connect 2012. Is there something you are engaged with now, or might imagine launching or being a part of, that you would like to share? If so, please briefly describe the nature of this work, including its purpose and intended results. The change necessary in the corporate culture of the world that will help lead the world towards a sustainable, just and thriving world for all.

5 Are there needs you have or requests you want to make regarding the work described in #4 above? I am looking to work for or with either for-profits or non-profits that are focused on helping to change the business culture within their organization or within their communities.

6 List websites you'd like to share that relate specifically to your projects (including Twitter & Facebook if you wish):
(List each website on a separate line)
www.fouryearsgo.org www.wecaresolar.org or www.facebook.com/WeCareSolar

7 In addition to being interviewed, are you also interested in conducting interviews as part of the Connect 2012 initiative? Maybe

8 Q1(a): As you reflect on a time when people came together in a powerful way for positive change, choose one that stands out for you. Tell me your story about that time and any part you, your family and/or friends might have played in it [if relevant].

It is encouraging to see corporations making cultural transformation that will help the world move from an industrial society to a restorative society. A great example: Interface carpet manufacturer after 21 years with no thought in mind of the environment, were asked by their customers what they were doing to protect the planet. It was not enough. So they formed a task force that helped create the path for the company to become a sustainable company, thus setting a goal to become carbon neutral by 2020 without sacrificing growth and profits.

9 Q1(b): Why this is an important story? How has it influenced you? What lessons does it offer going forward?

This company showed that in implementing their environmental vision, it unleashed new innovation, lower costs, and created more goodwill than anything else they could have done. They grew to over a billion dollar company in over 110 countries, and an industry leader. This is a win-win for users, the planet, stockholders, and stakeholders.

10 Q2: At this time in history, what challenges do you see in the way we choose to organize ourselves politically, economically and socially? What opportunities do you see in the ways that things might be shifting, awakening and/or emerging in response to these challenges?

This world is controlled by wealth, greed, and consumer demand. The opportunity is to continue the education of what needs to happen, and the collaboration and collective will that is made possible like never before because of the internet/social media. This can change consumer attitudes more quickly than ever before. People now think they can make a difference because of the successes such as Arab Spring, Obama’s election, Occupy Wall Street, anti #PIPA and anti #SOPA. The shift to a sustainable and just world is happening and it will be through the inspiration of individuals, organizations and corporations that are creating this shift that others will follow.Social media will play a key role in accelerating this shift.

11 Q3 Context: Imagine we’re a few years down the line and people like you have been hugely successful in moving us towards lasting and far-reaching changes that benefit all people and the planet as a whole. Wherever you look, there are dramatic improvements in how leaders behave and how communities interact. As you walk through your city, town or village and talk with others across your country and around the world, you see evidence of positive change spreading everywhere.

Q3(a): Describe the differences you, hear, feel, and experience in your everyday life.

People are happier. Diversity in all aspects being embraced. A greater tolerance—people are listened to. Standards of living increased. Corporations are more invested in their communities. Education and healthcare available to all. A more equitable distribution of wealth.

12 Q3(b): Describe the differences you see, hear, feel and experience in the way we choose to organize ourselves politically, economically and socially.

Individuals, consumers, businesses and organizations investing in local communities, globally. People taking a stand and bringing their ideas and beliefs into the organizations and businesses in which they are engaged and work.

13 Q3(c): What did people do early on that helped to generate such positive outcomes?

Corporations made moves to change the culture by which business operates. Profits come as a result of not power and greed, but saving the planet and local communities through creativity and NOT top to bottom management but triple bottom line focus (economy, environment, society). Empowering employees in the setting of company goals and strategies, and in doing so, becoming more fulfilled in their work by being empowered for change. As a result, companies are more successful. Employees carry this passion to make this a better world into their personal lives as well.

14 Q3(d): What role did you play in making this happen?

My work with FOUR YEARS.GO, and working with companies that do care. There are corporations doing good things, and we need more of it. The world needs to be aware of those companies that have changed the culture of their business from an industrial focus to a restorable focus. By finding these companies and sharing their practices and successes, they can provide the inspiration for others to follow. It is through this type of collaboration that the collective will needed to create the shift to a more sustainable world for all.

15 Q4(a): What skills, talents and/or resources might you have to offer in service to collaborative work that emerges via the connect 2012 initiative?

An awareness of companies that are doing great things to change the business culture within their company to be a sustainable and just business. In some cases, the changes they have not only changed the way they do business but also changed the industry in which they serve.

16 Are you interested in developing the infrastructure of Occupy Cafe in support of this initiative or in other respects?

I would be interested in sharing these success stories.

17 Are you interested in collaborating on the production of a short video or a blog post based on your stories and vision?