There's a long list of reasons that we became a B Corp but chief amongst them was to stand with like-minded companies around the world in support of important issues. We're pretty new to the experience of belonging to this kind of community and we're just getting used to how the community is engaged to participate in important decisions.
Last week, B Lab asked the B Corp Community to provide some input about whether or not it should move forward with its plans to host this year's B Corp Champions Retreat in North Carolina in light of HB2, particularly given that the Retreat's theme is Towards an Inclusive Economy. Representatives from over two dozen B Corps engaged in lively discussion in the B Hive (a social network for certified B Corps), sharing perspectives about why (or why not) to move the Retreat. Our own Rachel Berdan, CMO and VP of Sales, shared a brief statement about our position as a B Corp that believes in business as a force for good, and inclusion as a core value.
"No position here is without consequence. The economic effect of choosing not to bring business to NC reaches beyond the political sphere of influence. Unfortunately, money speaks louder than other means of protest in these situations, in my observation. Further, and more importantly, inclusion is the ultimate goal as I see it, and a space that is safe for all is critical.
For those reasons, I would advise a change in venue, despite the other issues that come along with that choice. In the balance, safety and inclusion win for me."
This weekend B Lab's Board of Directors and Global Governance Council reached a decision.
"Due to HB2, the global B Corp community will withdraw its October Retreat and related events from North Carolina.
Immediately, we will begin work with the NC community: 1) to minimize any potential negative impact from this decision on their community building efforts; and 2) to try to get HB2 off the books.
If HB2 is repealed or struck down by the courts before June 30th (the end of the NC legislative session which begins on April 25th), we will happily resume our plans to bring the global community to North Carolina for the 2016 Champions Retreat and related events."
We're proud to stand with our fellow B Corps for the repeal of HB2 and the return of basic human rights to the L.G.B.T. community of North Carolina.
Shawn Adamsson is Chief Culture Officer and one of the founders of Ellipsis Digital and Engine SevenFour. He spends most of his time working with, learning from, and hanging around with a lot of smart, thoughtful, passionate people.