No one person can ever embody a social movement. But if someone could, it might be Laury Hammel.
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From 1960s activist, to tennis and sports clubs small business owner, to successful entrepreneur and continuous pioneer of socially responsible business, Laury has been near the centre of the seeding and blossoming of the sustainable business and local living economy movements locally, regionally, nationally and internationally for more than 30 years.
On June 1, through the power of Zoom video-conferencing, Laury joined a cross-continental conversation and participatory small-group dialogue on local living economies.
The gathering came just before the Local Sustainable Economies conference he is co-chairing this week in his home community of Boston (June 7-9) — an event that has drawn in others in the new economy movement from 29 states and as far away as Canada and France.
Local and Trans-Local
Laury’s community-building work is both local and trans-local. He is the founder of Business for Social Responsibility, a member of the Social Venture Capital Network “hall of fame,” and a co-founder of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE).
|“Our mission from the very beginning was to create a world where people’s basic needs are met and everyone experiences love, happiness and satisfaction.”
— Laury Hammel
But it is also deeply grounded in place, and in values rooted in his own business and in relationships that took root in his own community of Boston and the surrounding area.
It has taken time and cultivation.
“In 1980, most businesses didn’t have mission statements, let alone mission statements that had something bigger than ‘serve the customer and sell products,’” Laury says during the call.
“When we told people we were talking about socially responsible businesses, people thought that was an oxymoron.”
Nevertheless, he not only persisted, he sought out others with similar values — others whose names are familiar. With Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben and Jerry’s, Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farm Yogurt and Tom Chappell of Tom’s of Maine, among others, he founded what’s now called the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) of Massachuetts.
SBN Massachusetts is the host organization for this week’s gathering.
Thank you for this inspiring article. We live in time when everyone is focused on making money and we often put financial needs in front of our personal ones. For example, it’s important to be loved, it’s important to be happy but most people choose being rich instead of all the other values. I agree that it’s important to create healthy businesses that would inspire people and would be helpful for people, without a doubt they would stimulate the economy. I think that it’s important for all of us to read a useful finance blog and be financially literate to be a smart and healthy nation.