Jesse Imse

Jesse Isme

Why do we need a new way of doing business?

Our current economic system has created decades of innovation from landing on the moon to creating super computers that we can put in our pockets. However, within this system we have come to an inflection point. Our economic and political system of capitalism has fetishized unlimited wealth to a point where we have ignored peoples’ needs. This has led to the largest income disparities we’ve seen in our history, has furthered inequalities in opportunity, and has led us to down the path of environmental destruction. Our societal structures cannot sustain this way of doing business.

Why should we care? Simply put: We all do better, when we all do better. Our economy does better when everyone can participate. Whether you are a business or an individual, focusing on people-centered solutions, leading with purpose, and self-awareness about the impacts of decisions on all stakeholders involved will be the impetus for success.

Give us an idea of how have you helped make the world a better place? 

I currently serve as a Marketing Communications and Brand Management Consultant within Fortune 500, AECOM’s Design and Consulting Services group. I help lead all things marketing communications and brand management for my team’s main client, the Connecticut Department of Transportation. Projects focus on working with individuals and businesses to promote sustainable transportation and provide resources for equitable economic participation in Connecticut. I am proud to also hold the position of Adjunct Professor at the University of Hartford where I teach undergraduate coursework that focuses on wide-ranging topics such as public speaking, branding, and strategic communications.

As a passionate change agent within my community and Connecticut as a whole, I have twice been elected to serve on the Executive Board for Hartford Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs (HYPE), an initiative of the MetroHartford Alliance. HYPE is the largest young professional organization in the country, with a membership base of over 4,000 members. HYPE’s mission is to help young professionals become better engaged in community life, expand professional and social opportunities, and become ambassadors for the Hartford Region and Connecticut.

Further, I regularly independently consult nonprofit organizations, business leaders, and other stakeholders to enhance collaborations across the community and aid in their marketing communications for their organizations.


What does Conscious capitalism mean to you?

The concept and action of Conscious Capitalism puts purpose at the heart of how we do business. It is a recognition of inequalities and a willingness to accept a better way of doing business. Fair and equal competition sparks innovation, and we have a responsibility to foster an equitable economic structure that considers all stakeholders involved.


Alessandra Simkin

A Simkin Headshot

Why do we need a new way of doing business?

In my view, it’s less about finding a new way of doing business and more about striving for better, more personal ways to do business. Businesses touch so many lives – their employees, their customers and other stakeholders. For example, today many people rely on their employers for access to healthcare, and there are ways to make that relationship less transactional and more focused on improving whole health and wellness for individuals. It’s important for businesses to truly recognize the impact that they have on people and to look for ways to bring humanity into these interactions.

Give us an idea of how have you helped make the world a better place? 

Currently, I lead communications for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut. As the pandemic evolved, I recognized that my background in health communications could be a powerful tool to ensure people have access to information about healthcare, and based on this, I made the decision to join the team.

Ever since I was little, I looked for ways to improve the world around me. I actually petitioned my neighbors on the street that I grew up on to have our town install a “Children at Play” sign to protect the neighborhood children. My desire to help people through advocating for important causes continued to grow, and that’s what led me to join the board of Conscious Capitalism in Connecticut, as well as the junior board of the Food Bank For New York City this year. 

I studied international relations and communication with an aspirational plan to use my voice to make the world a better place. During graduate school, I became interested in health and realized that I could use the power of communications to help people improve their health. This realization launched my career in public relations, which I began on the agency side advising major pharmaceutical companies. I was drawn to advocacy work during this time, and projects that I found particularly rewarding were focused on breaking stigma and raising awareness of testing and treatment for infectious diseases and mental health. 

The idea of using business as a force for good became very clear to me in the next role that I took on, which was at Danone where I led external communications for several brands and supported the company’s mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible. Danone introduced me to the B Corp movement and from there I became committed to incorporating sustainability into how I do business, and in my personal life. I look for ways big and small to challenge myself to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. For example, I like to find brands that have their B Corp Certification because that mark represents a commitment to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

During the course of my career, which has been a priority for me in my life so far, I’ve worked with companies across varying industries to raise awareness of important health issues, and I plan to continue to do this. What I realized during my journey is that I enjoy the fast pace of the private sector, and for me, working in the private sector is not mutually exclusive with doing good. In fact, I believe if everyone in the private sector looks to infuse good into their work, that’s how we’ll achieve the ideals of Conscious Capitalism.

What does Conscious capitalism mean to you?

Conscious Capitalism is making our current system more sustainable. Whether it’s creating products with more sustainable materials or treating employees with more humanity, there are always opportunities to change the status quo and strive for better. The B Corp world often talks about the concept of using business as a force for good. This resonates with me because business is such a big part of American culture, and if business can come together as a force for good in the world – we have a real opportunity to create lasting change that leaves a better world for our children and future generations.


Soledad Matteozzi

Why do we need a new way of doing business?

The world is changing rapidly, and technology has further accelerated this process. Consequently, today we can achieve things we would have never imagined only a few years ago. Still, at the same time, we can measure more precisely the impact that progress is having on the planet and its inhabitants. The world has also become a lot more interdependent. All these changes call for new and creative solutions. We cannot afford to finance current growth at the expense of future generations, and a system that exhausts the resources it needs to keep going is not viable. Most of us have noticed this dynamic, and younger generations are making their voices heard. In this scenario, businesses cannot just exist to generate profits at all costs. The future of businesses must include a broader paradigm that includes all stakeholders and looks not only at results but also at how those results are generated. Those who understand this new reality and adapt will become more resilient and thrive; those who do not will struggle, eventually becoming irrelevant.

How have you helped make the world a better place?

I believe that contributing to a better world starts with each of us, how we behave with one another, and the goals that we pursue. One of my key goals is to create a positive change through my work, and that is why I decided to shift my career from traditional Corporate Law to the ESG space. I co-founded Thinking Beyond Business to help small and medium-sized businesses grow and become more profitable while operating in a socially and environmentally friendly way. My personal story is that of a modern global citizen, I was born in Latin America, and life has taken me to live and work in different countries across four continents. I aspire to contribute a global and inclusive perspective, and my professional expertise, to making the business world a positive force for change.

What does Conscious capitalism mean to you?

The push towards conscious capitalism means that all of us, but particularly our leaders, should be not just aware but deeply understand the interdependence and impact across individuals, organizations, and the environment, as we pursue our business goals. Conscious capitalism is not just a theory; it is about finding practical answers and creative solutions to the current business challenges. It is about helping businesses thrive by generating sustainable profits in an ecosystem that considers all stakeholders involved.


Kristia Janowski

Why do we need a new way of doing business?

Over the last 150 years, we have seen unprecedented advancement and development driven by traditional capitalism. While this way of doing business has to lead to astonishing life-changing advancements and discoveries too often it has come at a high human and environmental cost, leaving millions trapped in modern slavery or extreme poverty and a bleak outlook for the future of our planet. We have seen the amazing potential of capitalism from self-driving cars and artificial heart valves, to computers that fit in the palm of our hands. Now we must meet that potential with that of our humanity’s finding ways to reach new heights in ways that are just, equitable, and environmentally sound.

Give us an idea of how have you helped make the world a better place?

As an environmental and sustainability educator, I have spent the last 20+ years educating and inspiring youth to become leaders, stewards, and advocates for a brighter and sustainable future. As the Co-Lead for the International Society of Sustainability Professionals New York City Chapter I facilitate professional development opportunities in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

What does Conscious capitalism mean to you?

Conscious Capitalism is doing business in service of, centered around, and driven by a higher purpose. It is a philosophy that approaches every interaction intentionally and with integrity, respect, and compassion for all stakeholders including the planet.


Paul Murphy

Why do we need a new way of doing business? 

Paul-Murphy CCC board member

The world is changing rapidly and there is an increasing realization that the current win/lose approach not working for most stakeholders.

People need the dignity of work, but they also need to be able to work with dignity and purpose. Conscious Capitalism is the next logical evolution, building on lean manufacturing principles. It provides a more balanced, thoughtful approach to doing business while yielding superior sustainable results for all stakeholders over the long term.

Give us an idea of how have you helped make the world a better place? 

My focus for the last 30 years has been on developing engaging lean manufacturing cultures at different companies. By clarifying the mission, vision, values, and purpose at each company we have been able to create a more engaging environment for all employees. I cannot say that I have made the world a better place, but what I can say is that I tried to create a healthy work atmosphere focused on the why and not just the what or the how. This provided people with an opportunity to engage in meaningful, purposeful work each day. To have a successful career or a calling and not just a job.

What does Conscious capitalism mean to you? 

It is a validation of what I have believed since being introduced to lean manufacturing 30 years ago. It is a recognition that not all Capitalism is made equal. It is a confirmation that there is a better way of doing business, that is principle-based and it does not involve destroying the soul or the environment to win. It is a noble path forward for all young aspiring business leaders to follow that can lead to both financial success and professional happiness.


Sashi Edupuganti

Why do we need a new way of doing business?

We as humans come and go with NOTHING, to help make this brief journey meaningful and have a purpose not limited to survival we have created various organizational constructs that are societal in nature. When we find that meaning and purpose everything is effortless and joy not only to you but to everybody around you. Finding that meaning and purpose requires a conscious effort especially in this day of hyper-connectivity, instant gratification and accelerated pace towards trivial things.

Business is one of those organizational constructs, as it stands today it is caught up in the vicious cycle of servicing extrinsic drivers without connecting to the intrinsic needs of the individual and the society causing tremendous strain on individuals and society as a whole. A continued strain will move our path forward from evolution to revolution at a societal level with dire consequences. Bringing consciousness back to business can help us move forward together with joy (at a minimum reducing the strain).

Give us an idea of how have you helped make the world a better place?

Through our latest venture, we are building a more equitable data economy for all. The ubiquitous nature of the solution we are building will not only bring privacy back to individuals but change the livelihood of millions across the world. It is an equalizer to an asymmetric information age where digital decency and ethical business use are built at a foundational level.

All through my life, I have lived by 3 core principles “Be good, Be Present and Be Future-ready”, it has not only helped me be successful but also live a life of content. I have hired 1000’s of people many of them have gone onto become successful leaders in their own right, we all believe that you can be wildly successful and good at the same time.

What does Conscious capitalism mean to you?

It is going back to the roots of our society, it is a means, a mechanism, a tribe that believes the fruits of our future are only as good as the strength of the roots.


Marna Wilber

Why do we need a new way of doing business?

Marna Wilber

Companies need to find new ways of conducting business for a variety of reasons. They are continuously being asked to deliver improved results with fewer resources; employees are asked to do more and often become overly stressed.

But how do the best companies keep employees healthy, engaged, interested and loyal? By developing a mission-driven organization, companies can evangelize their employees to share in that mission creating a sense of belonging and community. This is critical because companies need to attract and retain the best talent for top performance and by having a clear purpose, employee retention and engagement improve, and future community-focused leaders emerge.

Give us an idea of how have you helped make the world a better place?

Over my lifetime, I have been involved with many non-profit organizations. I attribute this passion to my mother who was always very mindful of what our family could do to assist or welcome others.

Currently I serve on three boards including Conscious Capitalism Connecticut. What I have realized over the years is that it is not enough to be a donor or a sponsor. Donors and sponsors are great but tend to have simple transactional relationships with philanthropic organizations. To be a champion of the cause and donate one’s time, talent, treasure and spread the word on the mission, is when everybody wins. I strive to be involved by contributing my time, funds and talent communicating and marketing organizations missions while building their brand.

Additionally, my intention is to be a true champion for the organizations I am associated with and to continue to encourage companies to find their purpose for an employee, business and community win-win-win.

What does Conscious capitalism mean to you?

Conscious Capitalism is the opportunity for a for-profit business to associate itself with a challenge or inequity in society and then champion for its elimination or improvement resulting in a better world.

There are many for-profit businesses that have giving strategies or a non-profit association where they donate funds or gifts-in-kind. But many of these relationships lack the full commitment of time, talent, treasure and evangelize the message. When companies can engage on all four of these aspects, our world will be a better place.


Alrun Hylwa

Why do we need a new way of doing business?

Why are we here? What is our purpose? There is a trend, even a yearning and a certain urgency for meaningful change and a renewed approach on how we do business. A new generation of enterprises, functioning more like a living organism rather than an institution, with conscious leadership, engaged stakeholders, social and environmental awareness, all working together to elevate each other while creating wealth and success. It is about active listening, being human, engaged, conscious and mindful of our actions, doing good while doing business. Each one of us has a unique gift – let’s share it.

Give us an idea of how you have helped to make the world a better place

Living in a rapidly changing age of media and technology, with constantly evolving new electronic platforms to adapt to, staying connected and grounded as a human being, on a human level is more important than ever. Being present, aware of one’s surroundings and people, kind, acting purposefully and thoughtfully are core values I try to live by. My day starts and ends looking at two words on sticky notes ‘Give’ and ‘Grow’. Two small words reminding me of what is important, staying true to myself and setting out each day anew to be the best I can be, doing good, as an executive, as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a human being – grateful to be alive.

What does Conscious Capitalism mean to you?

Conscious Capitalism is a conduit to be able to make a difference. We all spend long hours each and every day at work with colleagues, consultants, superiors, all to provide for our families and to enjoy what we create. Being able to mindfully set goals together, shaping company culture, positively affecting social change and helping protect our planet for generations to come through conscious leadership is crucial alongside financial goals and success. To me Conscious Capitalism is a path worth pursuing, a meaningful movement to be part of, to shape and create a purposeful, prosperous future together.


Gavin Watson

Chair – Connecticut Chapter


Why do we need a new way of doing business? 

Because the current management and business practices that most companies are practicing today are at least 100years old.  In that time two things have happened. First the world moves much more quickly now and secondly we have learned a lot about the best environments for human engagement and productivity, we now know how to create an engaging and quickly responding workplace.  Several companies have pioneered and achieved this. It results in a better environment for people and a more prosperous company so why would we not do it?

Give us an idea of how have you helped make the world a better place? 

I read a lot of different books and learned about practices other more progressive companies.  I also read a lot in the field of positive psychology and other recent scientific studies. It became obvious to me that we should be managing and structuring our companies not on current “best business practices” which are not science based, but we should be structuring our companies and managing our work places based on the current best research.  Using the information and the examples of other companies I tried out several new approaches and they work very well. We created an environment rich in autonomy and information flow where people can flourish and the company performance is much better. 

What does Conscious capitalism mean to you? 

It means being conscious, self-aware, a certain stage of human development and maturity.  Many companies don’t stop to think about anything past the strategic plan, coming within budget, and making money.  They are acting like a single cell organism that is not self-conscious. A single cell organism that is consuming all of the food in the petri dish as fast as possible.

A conscious company is self-aware.  A conscious company knows why it exists and knows that it exists for something much more than making money.  A conscious company has a purpose and regards making money as just something it must do so that it can continue to exist and continue to pursue it’s purpose.  A conscious company also knows that it has a responsibility to all of its stakeholders. First of all the employees for without them nothing else matters, and without them the purpose cannot be pursued.  Then the other stakeholders; the suppliers, customers, the community, the environment and finally the shareholders who get what is left over of the money. In a conscious company there will be plenty of financial reward because the conscious company will outperform it’s non conscious competition.  The shareholders true reward however is the knowledge of the difference their assets are making in the world. Because the shareholders of a conscious company are of course themselves conscious.


Heather Desjardins

Why do we need a new way of doing business?

We are living in a world that is demanding a depth and purpose to how we earn, how we spend and how we interact with our capital.  Through the expansion of technology and knowledge, we understand the effects our choices have had on our species and our earth. It is imperative that we shift our relationship with all forms of capital for our very survival.   

How have you helped make the world a better place?

I am the Chief Development Officer of Conscious Capital Wealth Management, empowering individuals to live their dreams and align their investments with their values through investment vehicles and technology aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).  I am one the founding members of the executive team of Future Capital and Co-Founder of the Live Whole™ Institute encouraging others to remember their reason for being here and encourage them to live a life of passion and purpose.     

What does conscious capitalism mean to you?

Conscious capitalism is an operating system vibrating at a high consciousness level where all stakeholders including the earth are engaged through love, inclusion, honesty and integrity.