Why It Matters showcases the innovators of the future. We host bold creators, designers, and experts who dedicate their lives to other people and the planet. Our conversations peel back the curtain to discover how they make money while solving problems that traditional innovation has ignored for decades. Come believe in change with us.
Merlin Clarke: The Bright Side of Jewelry
With his wife, Merlin helps run Dogeared, a jewelry store that embodies the best version of a small business. They are a certified B-Corporation, which is a special designation given to businesses that balance purpose and profit. Merlin is the driver of the Do Good Bus, an initiative that engages the local community in community service. His story starts several decades prior to founding Dogeared. At 20 years old he was digging ditches for sewer pipes and he knew that there was more to life for him. Merlin decided to take a leap of faith and he’s never looked back.
Nicky Scott: Dirt Kills Off Great Civilizations
Mr. Scott, better known as Dr. Compost in his academic circles, studies composting in England. He teaches kids about the benefits of soil and mud, through hands-on learning. They learn a valuable lesson as playing in the mud can increase your serotonin levels, which affect your happiness levels. Before this conversation with Nicky I thought of composting as the place to throw away biodegradable items like apple cores and banana peels. Turns out, the importance of composting is much deeper than that. According to Nicky, every great civilization has failed because they destroyed their soils. Who knew dirt could be so important.
Robert Lewis Jr.: Invigorating Excellence in Urban America
“Some folks use the word discipline, we love them hard.”
Robert Lewis Jr. is revolutionizing urban America through his work at The BASE. The facade of the American Dream is slowly starting to crack. For decades, the country was a beacon of hope for every individual who believed they could work hard and create a better life for themselves. As the pandemic highlighted, that narrative is becoming hard to believe. Thousands of communities across the United States are trapped by systemic barriers that prevent socioeconomic mobility. Robert and his organization are changing the narrative. They use athletics and educational opportunities to cultivate excellence, belief, and love in their communities. That belief is revolutionizing how American communities see themselves and the opportunities in their future.
Minnie Baragwanath: Leading with Possibility
After blowing through a stop sign during a driving lesson, Minnie realized she had a problem with her eyesight; she had no vision in the center of her eyes. After being diagnosed with a disability, people viewed her in two ways: they were fearful of what she couldn’t do or they pushed her to adapt. From then on, she refused to be defined by other people and now is the Chief Possibility Officer at the Global Centre of Possibility, based out of Aotearoa, New Zealand. The organization reflects her fundamental belief: beyond disability there is a place called possibility. A place where imagination rules.
Christel Scholten: International Exposure Opens your Mind
Christel Scholten solves the problems that are affecting society the most, yet receive the least amount of attention. She works at Reos Partners, an organization with a global team on five continents that takes a new approach to problem solving. They understand problems from a systemic point of view and then form collaborative alliances with the people who are suffering from them. Christel is the leader of the São Paolo branch in Brazil, where she specializes in sustainable development, education, leadership, and nature.
02 - "At the end of the day, you’re dealing with people’s lives."
Abram El-Sabagh designs change in complex systems at Fjord.