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Poole Podcast Episode 10: B-Corps and the Triple Bottom Line, with Jessica Yinka Thomas and Eric Henry

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In this episode, Jessica Yinka Thomas and Eric Henry give us the inside information on B-Corps, which Jessica describes as, “the leading edge of a sustainable business movement – businesses that are really innovating when it comes to social and environmental impact and really positively impacting stakeholders across the board.”  But what does all that mean?  And how does NC State, Poole College and the B-Corp Clinic, create a roadmap to guide and educate students on positive social impact?

Jenny: Jessica, let’s start with you. As mentioned in your intro, among your many roles and responsibilities, one of them is the director of the Business Sustainability Collaborative, or the BSC, here in Poole College. For those that are not familiar with this, do you mind providing us a 30,000-foot view of what it is?

Jessica: Absolutely Jenny. So, when I joined NC State Poole College a little over seven years ago, my goal was to build the leading academic institution focused on studying, and teaching business sustainability, and I believe we’ve done just that with BSC. We decided about five years ago to focus our work on studying B Corporations.

And you’re going to learn a lot more about B Corps over the course of this conversation. I like to think of them as really the leading edge of a sustainable business movement, businesses that are really innovating when it comes to social and environmental impact and really positively impacting stakeholders across the board.

And so, we have built, I think, a really innovative forward-looking program, that’s preparing our students to use business as a force for good, with that B Corp framework, with that B Corp model as a roadmap or as a guide for us to really educate and inspire our students to think about what does it mean to have a positive social impact.

And so, we are building innovative programs like the B Corp Clinic. we’re engaging with thought leaders and innovators like Eric Henry from TS Designs, and we’re doing cutting edge research that I think will really help inform the business community as increasingly we’re seeing a need for businesses to focus, not just on financial viability, but to also focus on social and environmental issues as well.

Jenny: Thank you, Jessica. I think that’s helpful. It lays the foundation for the conversation for sure. Eric, I’m curious, we mentioned this in your intro, certainly the NAFTA agreement was very influential in kind of how you’ve made decisions for your organization. But can you walk us through why you made some of those early decisions and your company’s existence to invest in more than just the bottom line? 

Eric: Thank you, Jenny. And I don’t know if you know this about me, but actually started my business in 1978 when I was a student at NC State. So, I just keep coming back to the best people, the best place that has been so important in my life and business. But yes, what happened when I started my business in 1978, things were a lot simpler and I like to tell people today there was no internet, there was no cell phones.

We didn’t have a fax machine. It was basically a corded phone and the mail. But anyway, I met my business partner also at NC State graduate, Tom Sunny, incorporate TS Designs, and we grew TS Designs over a hundred employees, screen printing t-shirts for major brands, Tommy, Nike, Gap, Polo. 

Business is growing, great place to work, the bank’s loved us, loaned us money, and then January 1st, 1994, NAFTA was ratified. Within two years, all those brands have left this country. And we laid off 80 of our hundred employees. Not because they didn’t do a good job, not because of anything controlling them. It’s the whole marketplace was upside down. We’re in a textile community, Burlington, North Carolina. 

But it was that realization of seeing somebody work so hard for and did everything they told you, work hard, invest in your people, invest in, you know, the community and pretty much overnight it was gone. So, I realized then there’s more to a business than a bottom line.

And we got introduced to this idea of a triple bottom line: people, planet, profit. And when you talked about that in the mid-nineties, boy, everybody got a glazed overlook because you know, this is about making money. Well, money isn’t, profits are important, but I think we’ve come to realize as we fast forward today, a business solely focused on profit is probably not the business that we want to have long-term because of the factor of you’re looking at one thing. 

So, and we just luckily fell into the B Corp community. I had some friends in the west coast that incorporated, I guess, the year prior, and they knew what we were trying to do in North Carolina says, hey, you need to check this thing out. Again, working with another NC State grad, Sam Oar that had left his company. I brought him on to do some work for TS Designs, and I said, Sam, I want to be a part of this. So, he took the initial heavy lifting and, working with another NC state intern to get us to that first certification B Corp. And that’s more years than I can remember, but it’s, it’s been a great organization and super to be a part of it. 

Jenny: Great. And I’m going to kind of flip these questions around for a second, but Eric, you were the first B corporation in the state of North Carolina. So that’s pretty impressive. For those that are not familiar with the process of becoming a B Corp, can you provide us some of those details of the process and how were you able to convince those that were around you invested in your company to kind of come on board with this idea?

Eric: Well, that was the thing, you know, they say life and business is a lot of luck. And it was, I was just fortunate to hear about the B Corps. We joined early, you know, they have this assessment tool and it’s constantly changing and evolving. I think when we first came on there might’ve been 50 to 75 companies that were been part of this.

So, they have learned, they evolved, I like it, because it continued to raise the bar, now it’s an every three-year assessment, but we were looking for a tool that had outside people looking at what we’re doing, because someone gets so caught up in what you’re doing, but how are you doing against some metrics and then also bringing that community, those triple bottom-line businesses together. 

And they listen to you. The thing I like about it too is, you know, they’re having to come up with assessment from a small textile company to a big service organization, law firm or something like that. So how do you, how do you make this tool work across all these different types of businesses out there? So, it’s just been a phenomenal community to be connected with.

And you just learn so much about being involved with him. And now I think maybe Jessica knows better, you know, how many certified B Corps in North Carolina, were 40 some or something like that. It’s just a great community. Now we just got to get the legislation changed, when we become a benefit corporation, we’ve got one step to go. 

Jessica: We’ve got over 50 certified B Corps in North Carolina

Eric: Wow. 

Jenny: Well, so Jessica, I guess that leads me to ask you the question. In the clinic, you, I’m sure you get all sorts of ideas that come through and you get companies that want assistance in starting this process, or maybe they’re halfway through the process, and they’re trying to get to the end. How do you determine which projects to take on or which companies to work with?

Jessica: Well first, whenever Eric wants to work with the clinic, always an open invitation. And certainly, we have actually many alumni, many NC State alumni, innovators, entrepreneurs, and business leaders we’ve had a chance to work with, which has been fantastic. But for exactly the reason that Eric just described. So, you know, the B impact assessment tool that he was describing, that’s very adaptive depending on the size and stage of your business.

So, it can be a startup company or a major multinational from any industry, provides this really flexible, robust, comprehensive tool to help companies measure and quantify in a numeric fashion, their impact on their stakeholders. To what degree is this company providing a beneficial product or service to their customers?

How is this company engaging and serving the community in which they operate? How is this company managing their environmental impact, providing a positive, safe, constructive work environment for their employees and putting in place good governance, transparency, accountability standards are really looking across a company’s business model. And for that reason, you know, we really can work with any, you know, any business, any industry, any stage, and it really provides the students working on these practicum projects with a very robust and engaging and real hands-on opportunity to work with companies driving impact. 

And so, what we are really looking for, and we think of the clinic less as a program to help companies certify and more as a program to help companies improve their impact. And so, the assessment measures companies anywhere from 0 to 200 plus on this scale, and if you meet the standard of 80 or above, you can become a certified B Corporation. But we work with companies starting at just zero or a few points. We work with them anywhere across that spectrum, including companies like TS Designs, which is going through the recertification process right now, and companies that are continuing to improve their impact, even once they become certified or recertifying. 

I think it’s really a focus on continuous improvement and companies continuing to strengthen their impact. So, we’re always looking for, you know, companies at different stages, companies that are you know, at different stages from startup to multi-nationals different stages across that impact spectrum. and really companies that are invested in using their businesses to create positive social and environmental change and companies that want to work with our students who see the value of not just, you know, creating an opportunity for students to, you know, to drive impact, but see the value of this program as an educational tool for our students help prepare that next generation of leaders to use business as a force for good.

And as I mentioned, we’re always looking for NC State alumni to work with. That’s always a, always a bonus.

Eric: Jenny. I like to add to what Jessica was saying, cause I’ve been to. Well, first of all, we’re so fortunate to have what she has put together to NC State because going through this assessment thing, it is a lot of work. And matter of fact, the last, so it would’ve been, I guess three years ago when we were going through it, we were struggling.

This is, you know, as our normal business too, because it’s a commitment to time, and as tough for a small business to just have somebody that can just jump in and do it. Jessica helped us out in the last minute and introduced us to a PhD student, I believe master’s PhD student that got us through that finish line.

And I think before you jumped on the call today, we’re talking about, I don’t know what we would’ve done without what Jessica’s put together at NC State, because COVID has really impacted our business, impacted our staff, impacted our attention, and what she offers is so important for those small businesses, because yes, we want the big players.

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is back again, it’s great to have them, but we want to make sure we have a ramp for those small businesses. I could see without what she does at NC State, it could be very intimidating for small businesses that want to take this on, because you’re just not going to have the bandwidth.

You’re not going to have the personnel. So, and then you put COVID on top of that, I remember when I reached out to her back in the fall and says, when I heard the thing, I said, we got to be a part of this, you know, we’re committed to B Corp. We got our reassessments coming on and I’m so fortunate that we’re in a state that has her and the university that supports this, and how many years you’ve been doing this now? 

Jessica: So, we are wrapping up our 12th semester. So, our 6th year of the B Corps Clinic. 

Eric: Well, it’s, it’s been a great, great resource. And now what we’ve gone through, it’s even a more valuable resource. So, thank you, thank you so much. 

Jessica: Absolutely.

Jenny: Let me ask you both this question and feel free either one to jump in. It’s actually a two-part question, so the first would be have you had experiences, Jessica, for companies that come to you and maybe Eric, maybe you’ve experienced this yourself, but they look at this process and they go this sounds great, but there’s just, there’s just too much work that’s involved to get us there. It’s just too much work to do it. 

Then I guess the other part of that question is I understand Eric, as you kind of talked through why you did it, intrinsically why it was important for you, but what benefit is it for the consumer? If they’re working with a company, why is it important to buy or do business with a company that is a B Corp?

Jessica: I think, you know, when a company, you know, comes to us, it’s exactly that kind of benefit that we can provide, and Eric started to talk about this, the assessment is a very rigorous in-depth process.

And as Eric mentioned, it gets, you know, with each new iteration, every three years gets more comprehensive and more rigorous, and it is designed to be rigorous intentionally, right? It is designed to be thorough and comprehensive. And so that is exactly the benefit that we can provide to companies, is to connect them with a team of typically four to five MBA and max students who are taking a class. 

So, the B Corp Clinic that it’s been through a number of different iterations. Initially, it was a co-curricular program where students didn’t receive credit. We actually had students from across the university participating in the program. Now it’s embedded in an MBA sustainable business strategy course that I take.

So, students are doing readings, right, around innovative, sustainable business strategies. They’re hearing from leading practitioners through guest lectures, and then they’re putting what they’re learning in the classroom into practice through these practicum projects in the clinic. And so, companies get access to really outstanding graduate students who are becoming experts in sustainable business strategies, so really rapidly expanding their capacity. 

Students are doing everything from looking at best practices, you know, doing competitive analysis, drafting up policies, you know, conducting surveys. And so, it really adds just a whole new dimension of capacity expertise to help companies walk through and progress through that rigorous assessment. And I’ll say one of the most important benefits of participating in the clinic, is really outside of the university and that is the global B Corp community itself. That’s companies like TS Designs, the 50 right plus certified B corporations in North Carolina the 3,800 plus certified B corporations and over 60 countries around the world who all are deeply invested in supporting and building this B Corp community. 

And so, I think this is so different from any other, if you look at kind of projects by functional area, you’re not going to be able to go to, you know you know, necessarily to another company that’s wrestling with the same supply chain challenges or the same marketing challenges and ask them hey, can you share with me your best practices? Can you share with me, right, your supplier diversity policy? Or can you talk with me more about how you’re engaging with your community? But that is exactly, right, what the B Corp community does. 

And Eric has been involved in the B Corp Clinics since the very beginning as one of our North Carolina B Corp leaders. And so are our students in the program, oftentimes we’ll reach out to other North Carolina B corps, and if they need to go beyond the States, ask for advice, expertise, support resources from that global community. And I think that’s something that’s really a powerful part of the clinic is helping those aspiring B Corp’s wherever they are on that impact spectrum to connect with that global community, in addition to providing them with some students who are really passionate, talented, and hungry for that real-world opportunity to drive impact. And so, I might hand it over to you, Eric, to take on the consumer question then.

Eric: For sure, and I think now that we’re coming out of COVID, I think COVID is a wake-up call to the weakness of a global supply chain that we’ve all come accustomed to, and how do we build those more resilient businesses for the future? And I’ve definitely seen this working with younger people. People that are interested, not only the product, but where it’s made, who made it. And I have more conversations in regards to resiliency or sustainability even more now since COVID, cause we saw how really destroyed the global economy. 

And so, I like to say a lot of the businesses of today will not be the business of the future because the single bottom line has caused a lot of issues that we’re rapping with today. When you’ve got a company that’s solely focused on their bottom line, I E the marketplace, we see the long-term consequences that’s had to things like the conflict of climate change and the, the fossil fuel industry that they don’t want to let go, because they’ve got a lot of money invested in the bottom line. But what gives me hope is younger people seem to have a lot more interest in those values beyond it’s not just about the money. 

I grew up in the generation, it was the money, it was a house, it was a car, it was stuff. I think, as I get older, and I see what younger people here, it’s not about that. It’s about the community, it’s about society, it’s about the planet, and looking for companies that are aligned to those values. So that’s why we have seen an explosion with B Corps.

That’s why Jessica the numbers out. And I mean, it’s just, it’s just amazing, the growth. And it’s still, it’s still small, but it is growing rapidly. And again, what I said, or I think as we come out of COVID and people look around, what is it we want to build back, and what are we going to have our community? And it’s those values that B corps bring to the table.

Jenny: I would dare say too. I think you can be on either side of the fence on this one, right? Whether you love social media, you hate social media. I think one of the benefits of it is that people are brutally truthful and the experiences that they have with companies today, and so you are finding more of this allegiance towards brands that are doing things transparently honestly and yeah, Eric, I think you’re absolutely spot on. I think those are the companies that will continue to thrive and the ones that don’t share their value systems and show transparency and what they’re doing. I think we’ll struggle definitely in the field.

Shifting gears, a little towards kind of a COVID mindset. In the last 12 months of the pandemic, we’ve seen a significant interest in buying local and or buying USA-made products. And your opinion, do you think this will stick after the pandemic? 

Eric: I’m hoping. I think having, going through watching it’s destroyed by NAFTA, and then what happened with the COVID. The difference between NAFTA and COVID, COVID impacted all of us. We’ve had people that got sick. We probably know people that passed away. It’s impacted the loss of jobs. So, it’s had a much more widespread impact than NAFTA did.

So, I’m hoping that people, when you show them models that are local and transparent and connected and again, we came through that unlike a lot of people didn’t come through it because they were connected to that global supply chain. So, you know, we’re very fortunate to being in the Carolinas and somebody from the apparel industry, we can grow process processing manufacturing right here.

We don’t have to run around the world. We can do it right here. We can create jobs here. We can create wealth here. We can create apparel here, right here in the Carolinas. So, I think COVID allowed me to have a lot more conversations, what we tell reshoring, with a lot more people. I’ve had a lot more big brands that have contacted me that maybe wouldn’t have contacted me before COVID because they relied on that supply chain of cheap and that quickly went away with COVID.

So, I hope our memory is not too short and we learned from that. And again, I think that’s what B Corps can do. Is there a kind of that support to the system that you’re bringing value that aligned very well with, local and domestic manufacturing that will help shore that up and time will tell but, you know, we have an opportunity to build back the economy two ways, either new way that’s more equitable and sustainable and resilient, or we can go back to what we had and, and end up seeing the problems that we have with this last one. 

Jenny: Jessica, any insight on that from your perspective?

Jessica: I absolutely agree. And I, I think, you know, one of the greatest challenges that we’ll face businesses as we continue to emerge from COVID is really the ability for companies to be able to really clearly demonstrate and articulate their commitment to positive impact, right? Their commitment to building, as Eric said, a more sustainable resilient, right, and equitable economy. And I think that’s one of the things that’s really exciting about B corporations, to your point earlier, Jenny, about social media and transparency, I think increasingly we are seeing not just consumers, right, expect businesses to have a positive impact, but as we are preparing the next generation of leaders, 

We see increasingly expectation, right, from future workers, future business leaders, future entrepreneurs, or even some of our students, our current entrepreneurs that they will go work at, or that they will build businesses that are not focused on this extractive business model, right. That we’ve seen where we extract natural resources and we pollute the environment and maybe pay, you know, a fraction of the actual cost that’s associated with managing those environmental impacts or where we extract labor, right.

From across the supply chain and don’t really put into place working conditions and policies that support and nurture. Right. Our workforce. And I think, you know, we figured out how to extract, you know, financial value from that extractive business model, and the challenge is really how can we, you know, in an innovative way, really build and transform business models in a way that we can actually quantify, right, that positive impact and demonstrate that impact to customers, to employees, to investors, right, and I think that’s a, such an important piece of the puzzle here is really, you know, the investment community. 

And I think we’re seeing increasingly, research that demonstrates that there is actually a connection between building a sustainable business model and a business model that can generate really strong financial returns, not just on a quarterly, you know, quarter by quarter basis, but over the medium and over the long run. And as we see companies right faced with climate change, risk water, right, energy-related risk, risks related to labor and human rights issues, risks related to issues related to, you know, racial disparity and systemic racism companies are absolutely going to need to be building those sustainable business models, if they want to continue to survive and continue to just have the license to operate from, from stakeholders.

Yeah, I think there are some challenges ahead, but that’s exactly the work that we’re doing right here at NC State in Poole College is preparing those future business leaders and working with business innovators like Eric and like TS Designs to really be able to help them continue to strengthen their impact share that model and share that that path to impact.

Jenny: So, Eric, this is a, it’s a little bit more of an entrepreneurship question, but I’m curious, how do you determine what your next ventures will be? Do you base it off of a passion, a gut feeling, or what will yield the most return on your investment? What’s the decision process like for you when you’re thinking about what’s the next big thing for TS Designs?

Eric: Oh, Jenny. What I like to say, and it’s really, with anything that TS Designs is faced with, it could be a new venture, it could be a new product, could be a new service, it could be a new chemical or something like that, everything. And this goes back to, you know, being in the game a long time. And this is paying from pre–B Corp time, is everything has to answer to the three-piece.

Yes, the profits, the first and easy ones, because you’re going to pay X and you know, it’s going to cost and that’s an easy one. But what’s the impact of people and what’s the impacted planet, and it’s so built into our DNA that everybody knows this, got to go through those three hoops and it’s not equal.

It’s not balanced. I like to give the example years ago, I think it was 2000, maybe nine or something. Like we put one of the first solar rays. I know in Alamance County, and I made a statement about, yeah, it was 2008. So yeah. Made a statement about, we want to do one array a year and about nine years we will be energy and OPIM, it comes stimulate.

So, we had this plan map that will know anything about history. In 2009, we hit a recession. Well, TS Designs could not afford to continue to put those solar rays on the roof because we could, the planet would like it, we need to do it, but the bottom line would not make it. And we would have gone out of business.

So, it’s not, equal, but they always have a say of the three pieces, what’s the impact. We’ve been doing this for so long. It was having that destruction of NAFTA to our business. It’s got us looking into that triple bottom line lens for all our decisions, that we, that we are faced with, you know, every day or even long-term planning. 

Jenny: I love how you articulated it by saying it’s in your DNA. It’s just what you do, period. And I’d like to think that as we all slowly crawl out of this pandemic environment that we’ve been in that even the largest, most Goliath type of organizations will take a hard look at what that DNA is for them and peel back and hopefully realize what it is that’s most important and what they value and not only their core values, but their people. Maybe I’m a little optimistic in that, but I’d like to think that most companies have learned probably some very difficult lessons in the last 12 months, that their way of doing business is not necessarily the best way that they can continue to do business in the future, so it’ll be really interesting to see how that plays out.

Jessica, I’m curious to hear from you, you are probably going to have a nice, healthy bounty of inquiries on the next several months. But what’s next for the BFC and Poole college for the next 12, 18 months? What is, what is part of that master plan for you and where do you want to see it going?

Jessica: So, we have realized in recent years that we are not the only academic institution interested in studying B Corps and teaching about B Corps and engaging with B Corps. And so actually for the last few years, one of the major initiatives that I’ve been involved with as part of my work with the BSC is actually building a global community of academics who have this shared interest.

And so, we’ve recently formalized an independent 501C3 called Be Academics. And so, I have the good fortune to serve as the president and board chair of Be Academics, and we have now, just in the last few years, built a network of over 2000 educators, researchers K through 12 through college university, lifelong learners.

Really educators you know, across the spectrum who have these shared interests and really see B Corps and the B impact assessment and the B Corp movement as a really powerful tool and a really powerful community to engage and inspire our students. And so, as we’re looking towards the future it will be, you know, a lot about continuous.

To build our, you know, our, our B Corp Clinic. actually, some of the work we’ve been doing recently has been focused on replicating that clinic. So, working with peer academic institutions across the country to help support them in building their own versions of the B Corp Clinic and through B Academics, we’ve been very much focused on exactly that idea.

Of sharing best practices with fellow academics, really around the world, identifying opportunities for collaborative research and really engaging with the B Corp community at a global level. So, we will continue our work. I really think of NC State and Poole College as the leading academic institution in the world when it comes to studying and teaching about and engaging with B Corps, and so I think we’ll continue our work, leading that academic arm of the B Corp movement and continue to expand scale and build our programs here at NC State, but while also really supporting this growing and very engaged a global community of like-minded academics.

Jenny: Well, I thank you both for joining us today. I want to leave on one final question. It’s kind of my typical question for the podcast. And Eric, you should know this cause you’re an NC State alum, but the tagline for NC State is think and do, and we’d like to think that we live that pretty strongly in Poole college, the practicum experience with BSC certainly lifts to that as well, but individually in your own roles, how would you say that you live out that think and do mantra. 

Eric: One thing when I have an opportunity to talk to students and that says, you know, believe it or not, we personally have the biggest impact to create the world that we want, and it starts with being aware. And I says every day, you’re out there engaging in society.

You’re, you’re buying, you know, something to drink. You’re buying gasoline you’re; you’re engaging in commerce. And our commerce system is still kind of driven by that bottom line. We know how much it costs cause we got to get our debit card out or our phone out or something like that.

But just ask every day and what goes through my head, what is the social-environmental impact that I’m making when I eat that hamburger at Wendy’s and I shouldn’t be eating it there for all the rings, or when I do my, you know, just, if you just ask that question every day, what is a social, environmental impact you’re having you become more connected to your community.

You’ll become more aware of your community and you’ll have a more positive impact and being, and again, that’s that kind of, for me, goes again, back to the NAFTA days and I’m just kind of, every day, I’m looking at what can I do to have a positive impact as I’m engaging. 

It’s not a perfect world. We’re going to, you know, I am going to end up at Wendy’s every once in a while, and I am going out with a, maybe a Coke in my hand, but at least when I do that, I’m aware of what’s going on. I just don’t blind go through it. Because that’s the only way I really liked it when I have the opportunity to talk to college students is believe it or not, you are more powerful in this world than you think you are by the decisions that you make every day. 

Jenny: Great. That is going to be hard to beat

Jessica: Well, No I’m going to build, I am going to build off what Eric just said, and for the do part, I would go one step further then what Eric is suggesting and encourage everyone who’s listening to this podcast to look for that B Corp certification, right? When you are out there whether it’s, you know, we’ve got a law firm, the forest firm, right, in North Carolina, that’s a certified B Corp law firm, or Eric, you can go to Bull City Burger and Brewery in Durham, which is the certified right B Corp in Durham.

Look for that B Corp certification when you’re shopping online, when you’re in the grocery store, there are now almost 4,000 certified B Corp out there and every industry, every sector. And in fact, I did, this is a little while ago, but I did an Instagram series called hashtag B Corp challenge, where I tried to see how many B Corp products, I could use in one day.

And I got up to 50 and I took a picture everyone. So, whether it was shopping at Ver and Vogue a certified B Corp, or I write novels and I use Lulu press, which is a certified B Corp publishing company. So, I documented 50 different B Corp’s, right that I, either services or products that I use that day.

So, I encourage exactly as Eric was saying, but use your consumer dollars, the power of those dollars and use those in a thoughtful way, and I think that B Corp certification is an incredibly powerful symbol to really clearly communicate you’re investing in a company that has really truly embedded positive impact into the DNA of their company.

And so, I would absolutely echo and go one step further on Eric’s recommendation. And then on the things side, I I’ll kind of share an exciting, recent update about the work that we’re doing around BSC, in BSC, in really shaping the B Corp movement, and that’s that I’ve recently been asked to join the B lab standards advisory council, and so this is an international body. 

So independent of B lab, the standards development organization, but an interdisciplinary body there. I think 12 of us are responsible for shaping and advising the future of the B Corp standards. And so, I’m really excited to bring the expertise, that we have here at NC State that think part right to really informing the next generation of B Corp standards.

And so, I think there’s an incredible opportunity for us to play in that thought leadership, as we really continue our work and growing and developing this movement.

Jenny: Well, thank you. 

Eric: Good job Jessica, crushed it.

Jenny: Thank you. Thank you, both, because I have to say, I truly believe both of you, you know, sometimes we throw it around and a cheesy way, I do believe that both of you are thinking and doing every day and the work that you’re doing, so thank you so much. And thank you again for spending some time today on the Poole Podcast. Eric, I wish you all the best as you continue to grow Ts designs. And Jessica, we look forward to all the things that you’re going to be doing in the future and your many appointments and growing the BSC. So, thank you so much for your time. 

Eric: We couldn’t deal with without NC State. Thanks for all that you do for our state for education. I mean, it’s, you’re such an unbelievable asset that our business would not be where it is today, if it wasn’t for the folks at NC State. So, I do appreciate the opportunity, and working with the great folks, like the two of you.

Jessica: And let me just say, I hope Jenny now you, and I think everybody on this podcast can understand when you ask me, who would, I most like to have a conversation with around this topic, now you know why I said first-person absolutely Eric Henry with Ts design. That’s an incredible example of the impact of our alumni. So, thank you, Eric, for representing.

Eric: Thank you, Jessica. 

Jessica: Always a pleasure.

Jenny: Thank you guys. 

About the Poole Podcast

The Poole Podcast is a think and do conversation about the relationship between academics and industry. Each episode will share research and ideas from inside the classroom from our incredible NC State faculty and explore how it’s being translated into practice. Released every two weeks on Monday.