Beside every powerful person

Thank you tribute to the Reign of a woman

A true partner walks beside you.

This post will be a little different. In keeping with my commitment to the values of respect and appreciation, it took me a bit of time to find the right words. So here goes…


There is an old saying: “Behind every powerful man is a powerful woman”.

But on Monday night, we had the privilege of witnessing the truth.

Beside every powerful person is a partner.

Bill, you stood beside your wife and daughter. You were gracious. You showed the world that you see women as truly equal. You campaign for your life partner as she did for you. You beam at your daughter’s grace, poise and confidence. You look into the eye of every person who spoke to you after the debate. You smiled. You showed respect.

As one person and many media tried to make this about a wife and their own perceptions of where a woman should be…you never faltered. You remain her partner. The commitment to your partnership is awe-inspiring. Together you have forgiven each other, grown together and remained steadfast in your commitment to making your country better and each other better. You have grown in interdependence when others chose to walk away from their commitments.

I think that it is time that we stop talking about gender and racism in this election campaign. I think it is time we again speak about respect, commitment and gratitude.

Stand tall my friends to the South, and for all the partners who stand side by side, thank you. Slowly, our world will evolve to be one where we do not label each other but we see the good in each other.

…and thank you Dave, for teaching me that I am worthy of being your partner.

enjoy today

Cara MacMillan

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The Honest Company

The Honest Company Logo

The Honest Company Logo

The first step in evaluating a sustainable investment is to determine if the company makes money. Last year, The Honest Company is reported to have $275M as per Bloomberg.

It is not just the revenues – it is the incredible growth which this company has enjoyed since it was founded in 2011.

So it is now valued at $1B – the price a larger company is prepared to pay to purchase and further develop the brand. The Honest Company is a success story. It believes in transparency and honesty. The guiding principles of this company are:

  • Create a Culture of Honesty
  • Make Beauty
  • Outperform
  • Service Matters
  • Sustain Life
  • Be Accessible
  • Pay it Forward
  • Fun!

In the challenging eCommerce world, The Honest Company has built and a brand and products that keep people coming back. The operational challenges of ecommerce, distribution, marketing, delivery, packaging and consistency have been met with creativity and integrity. The brand of The Honest Company is worth the evaluation of $1B.

Their commitment to Social Responsibility is threefold:

  1. Using Business as a force for good.  The Honest Company is a certified B Company.
  2. Investing in Youth.     As per their web site, over 159,000 youth received services, and $1, 006,375 donated.
  3. Developing the Whole Child.  The Honest Company donates food and supplies to children worldwide.

And so to all the naysayers that believe there is no financial gain to making a big difference – Unilever begs to differ and rumour had it they are paying 3x earnings to prove it.

Will this success story inspire you to build your social enterprise?

enjoy today

Cara MacMillan MBA


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Hey You!


A bird drinking from the Closed Beaches of the Ottawa River

A bird drinking from the Closed Beaches of the Ottawa River

Did I get your attention?

Today I would like to discuss accountability. Who is to blame for the mess that we are in?

Well the answers I received at a recent seminar astounded me.

  • The guy driving the new F150 blamed big oil.
  • The one with the slave labour designer clothes blamed the big fashion houses.
  • The one with the backyard hot tub that needs to drained and refilled every month complained about how we are not protecting our waterways.
  • The one whose dog has viciously  attacked and bloodied three complained about others’ human rights track record.

As I looked about the room, I saw discomfort in the faces of many. So I took a stand.

Actually the question has only one answer. “I am.”

We each are responsible for the mess we are in. Until consumers stand up and realize that it is our collective choices that have created this then and only then can we make a difference.

So I asked a second question. “What one thing can you do today to fix a little bit of the mess?”

It took a while for people to warm up to this. I realize that it is because for many of us, when we see a big problem, we can not chunk it into a workable plan. I get that. The problem seems so overwhelming that we feel that we can not make a difference so we don’t do anything at all. Or we consume. The tragedy is that as we continue to consume the wrong products, many of us are contributing to making the problem even bigger.

There are those among us who have the gift of being able to chunk massive problems into workable plans. They can create order out of chaos. We need those people to speak up and take a stand…..four people did.

Jessica Alba, Brian Lee, Christopher Gavigan and Sean Kane built the Honest Company….

But more on that Thursday….


yours in Corporate Social Responsibility

Cara MacMillan MBA

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In honour of the 2016 Paralympics

Corporate Social Responsibility measures how a company respects diversity. One aspect of inclusion is how a company treats and respects all of its able customers, employees and suppliers.
The Paul Menton Centre at Carleton Univeristy in Ottawa, Canada has a beautiful mandate: Choose to focus on the ability.The Paul Menton Centre believes in integration, individualism and integration

I have removed the word disability from my vocabulary. Everyone has something that impacts their performance. For some it is limited sight or hearing, the loss of a limb or a muscular disease. For others it is anxiety. For some it is a lack of self esteem, an excess of pride and others, it is ignorance.

Corporate Social Responsibility demands that we too see the ability. When we include people who have different abilities from our own, we learn and grow. When we include, we learn how to include customers and suppliers who face similar challenges but whose work ethic and commitment may align with the values of our own company. CSR sees the ability and measures companies ability to demonstrate respect and inclusion for all people.

Many people believe that Corporate Social Responsibility is about only the environment. Well that is only one of the tenets of CSR. The aspect of respect for all people is also a key tenet of CSR. It is time to demand more respect for those who are excluded for whatever reason: physical or mental illness or limitations, culture, race. gender, socio economic, religion, or age.

The EU has written out its strategy for 2020. The evolution of CSR to include all the tenets of CSR is outlined. The focus to grow jobs in the Eu through structural reforms, fiscal responsibility and
investment are explained. Hopefully this strategy can expand to the EU’s trading partners.

Thank you EU for leading our world in CSR.

The EU 2020 Growth Strategy.

The EU 2020 Growth Strategy.

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The Perfect Cherry Pie

Gay Cook teaching me to bake Cherry Pie

Gay Cook teaching me to bake Cherry Pie

“Don’t use bleached flour!” Gay Cook spoke with a passion and authoritative tone that makes you want to listen. The energy level of this 85 year old Ottawa foodie is wonderful.

“For some people wanted white flour – I guess they thought that their cakes would look better whiter. So the manufacturers put in stuff like chalk or bleach to make the flour white.” A multitude of “eeewww” and “yuck” went through the audience.

I had come to the amazing Cherry Pie event at the Experimental Farm and Agricultural Museum in the heart of Ottawa with the hopes meeting the amazing entrepreneur and educator, Gay Cook and I was certainly blessed. Along with about 99 other people packed into the demonstration kitchen, we learned the secrets of healthy baking. I have to admit, I did not expect some her tips:

  1. Use real butter
  2. Always use unbleached flour.
  3. Maple syrup is a better addition to a pie than sugar.
  4. Prepare the crust with feel and not just a recipe.
  5. Ingredients are made by nature so in dry years, your dry ingredients will need more liquid to the same consistency as you will require.

And we watched, each one of her 100 kitchen guests listened as quietly as possible. Her passion for the food was electric in the room. Her tone made you feel like you too could bake. And then, Gay pulled out three pies and proceeded to cut them up so that everyone could have a taste. What was the most interesting is that those 3-4 bites of pie were so incredibly filling. It was such a sensual experience from the preparation through to the enjoyment of flavours that the actual eating with only a part of it what the made the evening special.

So I started to think, I wonder if some of our issues with eating disorders, extreme food waste and food sensitivities might be from our dissociation with nature and the natural food processes. I wondered how much chalk I have eaten and I vowed to eat simpler.

And since my lovely evening with Gay and 99 of her kitchen guests, I have successfully achieved a healthier, natural and respectful friendship with the simpler joys of food preparation and enjoyment.

Thanks Gay Cook – you are an inspiration!

For awesome natural recipes!  Check out her book…I did.

enjoy today

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