From Conflicted to Regenerated in 4 Days: A Reflection on the Activists of SB '14 San Diego

Jun 25, 2014 12:00 PM ET

Originally appearing on

If I had written this last Tuesday, it would have been titled “Environmental activists stoop to new low: Spend money to rent boat to illegally trespass to protest sustainability conference.” However, after three days with thought leaders in corporate sustainability, my sentiments have shifted.

When protestors from Forest Ethics showed up at the Sustainable Brands 2014 San Diego conference on Monday of last week to call out 3M for deforestation, I felt disappointed and somewhat embarrassed to call myself an activist. When those protestors upped the ante and rented a boat to put themselves right in the middle of the conference breakouts and networking breaks, my frustration soared to infuriation. For the next two days, my passion for environmental sustainability got the best of me.

The activists were punishing companies for doing exactly what they wanted: tackling the tough issues by collaborating with others and having authentic conversations about the challenges and successes they face.

Read the full article here.