Business is changing. The profit-at-all-cost narrative went extinct. But what’s next? No idea. That’s why we meet with people who are in business to lead by example. And sometimes become role models for their entire industry — because the idealists of today often turn out to be the realists of tomorrow.
Frances Shoemack, Abel
After a failed search for a natural perfume that was chic, modern and long-lasting, Frances Shoemack decided to do something about it. In 2012, she founded Abel, her own perfume company based Amsterdam. What started as frustration turned quickly into a mission to create the world’s best natural perfume.
Her holistic business philosophy doesn’t stop at 100% natural ingredients but also guides the way she runs the company. Together with master perfumer Isaac Sinclair, a growing team and fan base, Abel challenges the status quo in the industry. Hear how Frances built a fragrance brand (without external funding) that changes the way the ‘world’ thinks about natural perfume.
Rob Wijnberg, The Correspondent
News as we know it leaves us cynical, divided, and less informed. But what to do about it? Rob Wijnberg, a founding member of The Correspondent, had a vision: Unbreaking news! With an online platform shifting the focus from the sensational to the foundational, he created the antidote to our daily news grind.
Putting journalism before financial gains and not taking ad dollars of any kind you as a reader have the power to decide how much you pay for as a membership fee. Today, over 50,000 members from 130+ countries form a community committed to collaborative journalism. In this episode, we talk about the role of news, the company's founding principles that guide every decision, and why getting fired can be a good thing.
Matt Orlando, Amass Restaurant
Michelin stars, Gault Millau points — in the fine dining universe, the measures for success are pretty straightforward. But what happens if you want your legacy to be more than some rating on a list? Matt Orlando’s answer is simple: Serving delicious food while being responsible along the way.
For the chef and owner of Amass Restaurant, sustainability is a frame of mind. Ice cream from leftover bread? Sure. Coffee grounds on crisps? Why not. His drive not only sparks creativity in the kitchen but permeates hiring, the culture, his guests and eventually lays a path for the whole industry.
Mihela Hladin Wolfe, Patagonia
Putting the money where the mouth is: Patagonia’s approach as a textile (turned activist) company is unparalleled. With annual revenues over $1bn selling outdoor clothing and gear, it is a capitalist success story – but one that ultimately serves one purpose: To save our home planet.
Patagonia involves a myriad of initiatives to preserve and restore the natural environment, awarding more than $90m in cash to grassroots activists. Mihela Hladin Wolfe is Patagonia’s Director of Environmental Initiatives overseeing all initiatives in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. We’re excited to share our conversation about what it means and takes to commit to finding solutions to the environmental crisis entirely.
Tuomas Toivonen, Holvi
Tuomas Toivonen is the co-founder of Holvi, banking for Makers and Doers. The Finnish fin-tech start-up is designed to help micro-entrepreneurs run their business from one place; combining banking and business tools. Of the get-go in 2011, they put their customer at the heart of everything — and still today, they’re working hard to make life easier for the same customer segment and even more holistically.
Together with his 100+ team, located in Helsinki and Berlin, Tuomas is optimising the future banking for said freelancers, providing them with one simple to use (and fully digital) service. In this episode, we talk about creating a new category in a very traditional industry, facing cultural challenges while entering new markets and keeping the vision and values aligned during an acquisition!
Jan Vapaavuori, City of Helsinki
It might be a surprise, that Helsinki (the capital of Finland) ranks amongst the safest, happiest places on earth. Just around 650k people shape “the world’s most functional city”, emphasising the quality of life and the intent to do things a little bit better every time.
Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of Helsinki, has a broad experience as a national politician and even was Minister for Economic Affairs before assuming office in 2017. We talk about the advantages of the Nordic model, how Helsinki is going to attract international tech-talents and if there’s a difference between running a company and running a city.