Award-Winning Writer, Speaker, and Strategist on Corporate Sustainability Practices and Clean Technology.
MEET JOEL MAKOWER
For more than 25 years, Joel Makower has been a well-respected voice on business, sustainability, and innovation. As an award-winning writer, speaker, and strategist on corporate sustainability practices and clean technology, he has helped both large and small companies align environmental responsibility with business success.
Joel is a talented communicator who can cut through the hype and haze to provide clarity and perspective on a range of issues. He brings a clear understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing mainstream companies as they try to address sustainability challenges in a way that drives bottom-line performance and top line growth. He understands the alignment between sustainability and innovation, and how leadership companies are combining the two.
His balanced, realistic, and empowering approach to sustainable business and clean technology has inspired executives in a wide range of companies and sectors to create strategic road maps, make the business case, foster innovation, articulate a vision internally, form high-impact partnerships, and communicate more effectively with a broad range of stakeholders.
The Associated Press has called him “The guru of green business practices.” Joel is chairman and executive editor of GreenBiz Group Inc., creator of GreenBiz.com as well as research reports and events on the corporate sustainability strategy and trends. He hosts the annual GreenBiz and VERGE conferences around the world, and is principal author of the annual State of Green Business report.
Joel serves as a Senior Fellow at the Strategic Innovation Lab at Case Western Reserve University, a think tank focused on developing, testing and implementing a new grand strategy for the United States that can power a new era of prosperity, security and sustainability. Along with the lab’s co-founders, Mark Mykleby and Patrick Doherty, Joel is co-author of The New Grand Strategy: Restoring America’s Prosperity, Security and Sustainability in the 21st Century, a forthcoming book (St. Martin’s Press, June 2016) about a business plan for America, born at the Pentagon, that embeds sustainability as a strategic national imperative.
A former nationally syndicated columnist, Joel is author or co-author of more than a dozen other books, including Strategies for the Green Economy. Previous books include Beyond the Bottom Line: Putting Social Responsibility to Work for Your Business and the World, about the profit and potential of socially responsible business practices; The E-Factor: The Bottom-Line Approach to Environmentally Responsible Business, on how companies are responding to environmental challenges in positive and profitable ways; and The Green Consumer, a best-selling guide to the environmental marketplace.
In 2012, he was awarded the Hutchens Medal by the American Society for Quality, which cited “his ability to tell compelling stories that both inform and inspire business leaders toward profitable action.” In 2014, Joel was inducted into the International Society of Sustainability Professionals Hall of Fame, which recognizes honorees based on their “experience, education, innovation, reach, publication and service to the industry.”
In addition, he is author of an oral history of the Woodstock music festival, originally published in 1989 and republished in 2009, which Rolling Stone called “the definitive history of the mega-event.”
Joel has been a commentator on environmental topics for public radio’s “Marketplace” and appears frequently in broadcast, print and online media. He serves as a board member or adviser to both for-profit and nonprofit organizations and speaks to companies, industry groups and business schools around the world.
Joel has spoken at hundreds of events and is a frequent keynote speaker at industry and company events throughout North America and around the world. His audiences vary widely — including senior executives, corporate supply chains, customer groups, trade associations, marketing professionals, and regional economic development bodies — from small roundtable discussions to large and diverse gatherings.
Joel's keynote speaking topics are tailored for each audience. Sample topics include:
• The State of Green Business: a frank assessment of key corporate sustainability trends and challenges — the good and the not-so-good — including both macro analysis as well as best practices and case studies.
• The VERGE Opportunity: focusing on how the convergence of technologies is transforming markets and accelerating sustainability solutions in a climate-constrained world.
• The New Grand Strategy: a business plan for America, born at the Pentagon, that embeds sustainability as a strategic national imperative — and the opportunities it offers business.
Joel is also a skilled moderator, called upon by companies and conferences around the world to conduct on-stage or on-camera one-on-one interviews, or to host lively and intelligent panel discussions with executives and thought leaders, for in-person, video, and online events.
He also has served as the emcee of dozens of events, including multi-day conferences, harnessing his talents as an engaging host, a nimble thinker, and a quick wit to create events that rise above “conference as usual.”
Prosperity, Security, Sustainability: America’s Trillion-Dollar Opportunity
In an era of climate change, economic uncertainty and global turmoil, business as usual is giving way to bold, audacious thinking: How can America’s private sector realign its interests in a way that builds resilience and well-being while strengthening its economy and environment? It’s a trillion-dollar business opportunity that affects every sector, and the inspiring subject of my new book (to be published by Palgrave Macmillian in June 2016), about a new “grand strategy” for America, born at the Pentagon, that embeds sustainability as a strategic national imperative.
What You’ll Learn:
A convergence is taking place among energy, information, building and vehicle technologies, representing one of the next great waves of business innovation — and a boon to the environment. This mash-up of clean technology, sustainable business, and smart everything is creating vast opportunities for companies to develop ultra-efficient and innovative products, services, and business models for companies, cities, and consumers. It’s one of the most significant drivers of business innovation and strategy. What You’ll Learn:
Nearly every company is assessing itself through the lens of sustainability. For a handful of leadership companies it involves asking the question: “How do we compete in a world in which energy, water, materials, and toxicity are constraints to growth?” Today, being green is not just about “doing less bad” or “greening the bottom line.” It’s about reducing risk — supply chain, reputation, financial and more. It’s about growing the top line through innovation, new markets, increased productivity, and increased ability to attract and retain talent. I tell how leaders align sustainability with business value.
What You’ll Learn: