Purpose’s Max Steinman Leads ‘Rise of the Activist Brand’ at 2014 Social Innovation Summit

December 2, 2014


On Thursday, November 20th, the Social Innovation Summit held its bi-annual conference in the San Francisco Bay area. The summit brought together some of the most influential innovators and leaders in the business and social impact communities. Representatives from Google, Facebook, PwC and others came together to share and discuss new models businesses can use to transform communities and inspire action. 

Purpose’s very own Senior Strategist, Max Steinman, moderated a discussion entitled ‘The Rise of the Activist Brand.’ The panel explored how brands are evolving their CSR efforts by empowering their advocates to become activists.

  • Rick Ridgeway, VP, Environmental Affairs – Patagonia
  • Jeff Sheinbein, Co-Founder & CEO – Social Imprints
  • Karina Kogan, Executive Vice President, Digital – Participant Media
  • Doniece Sandoval, Founder & Executive Director – Lava Mae  

The conversation centered around how brands can discover (or rediscover) the special power they have as a business to create change. Panelists delved into the potential pitfalls and hurdles that any business seeking to initiate social movements may encounter. Some interesting themes emerged:

  • Put your money where your mouth is: Patagonia’s Ridgeway shared that they pay employee bail if they are arrested for having participated in an environmental protest.
  • Think local: Lava Mae’s Sandoval talked about the immediate impact they are making in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district by outfitting trailers as mobile showers for the homeless.
  • Be Millennial mindful: Participant Media’s Kogan reflected on Millennials increasing preference for socially responsible brands.  She encouraged companies  to think about who their customer will be 5 years from now, rather than who they are today.

Purpose was proud to have had the opportunity to moderate at the summit. It proved to be a great platform for furthering the work of business-led social movements by facilitating important dialogue between the private and public sector. 

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