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The Heart Series February 19 2015

Have you ever had an experience that made you just want to get to work? Can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t stop won’t stop kind of work? An experience that was so inspiring you realize you CAN do this, and it’s YOUR TIME to do it? This past February, we experienced just that after two invigorating days at The Heart Series.

The Heart Series is a conference that brings together socially conscious companies to share ideas, successes and failures, and inspiration. There are companies that certainly lead the pack in this industry, such as TOMs and Warby Parker, but we were able to chat with several other incredible startups with a socially conscious mission. Bureo is a company that uses recycled fishnets from Chile to create sustainable skateboards. Omaze connects celebrities with philanthropy to create once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for raffle-winners. Bombas follows the one-for-one model with their socks, donating one pair to a homeless shelter for every pair bought. Listening to the founders of these companies share their stories we noted one major theme: value creation. By creating value for consumers in offering something that new and innovative, these companies are able to create value on both sides of the chain.

A personal favorite moment of ours was when Golriz Lucina, Creative Director and Co-Founder of SoulPancake, facilitated an icebreaker before her talk. She asked everyone to spend two minutes on his or her phone, texting/tweeting/instagramming. The next two minutes she asked you to engage with the person next to you, asking and answering the questions on this card (below). The difference between those two activities was so stark, it made us realize that while technology is powerful in connecting us online, it has a tendency to take away from the present moment, disconnecting us from those in our immediate presence.

The whole vibe of The Heart Series could be summed up in the pictures below, with the “Give and Get” wall. Attendees were able to share something they needed help with, as well as something they could provide to others. Seeing the “Give” side more full then the “Get” side helps you understand this community, and its drive to give back.

Being surrounded by entrepreneurs who are like-minded in their desire to make a positive impact through business was inspirational, and the energy was palpable. Everyone was excited to be there, to learn from each other and to work together to create a sustainable change in the way we do business. If you live in Los Angeles and have an interest in social impact, we highly recommend attending next year’s conference. Another socially conscious conference we are going to get out this year is the Yellow Conference, also hosted in Los Angeles this August.

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