aaron emery speak at canadian museum for human rightsYesterday, five B Corporations in Winnipeg came together at the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Our luncheon was called “The Future of Business: B Corporations in Winnipeg” and our focus was on starting a conversation in the city on corporate social responsibility, the evolution of business, and the power of B Corporations who are speaking in a single voice that is growing in volume. I didn’t know this but there are now over 1,200 Certified B Corporations around the globe and 125 in Canada.

Aaron Emery of Mars Discovery District in Toronto was there to guide us and inspire us. It was an honour to sit amongst four business owners who we believe are redefining success in business the B Corp way. Along with myself (Andrew Boardman), there was Tim Masson (who flew in from Toronto) of The Ian Martin Group, Mike Fata of Manitoba Harvest, Ron Waschlicia-Leis of Peaceworks Technology Solutions, and Jeff Golfman of Step Forward Paper. All of us spoke to the power of using business as a force for social, environmental, and community good.

We had over 50 people in attendance, including industry leaders in banking and telecommunications and small to medium business owners who take social and environmental responsibility seriously. We watched slides showing the massive increase in paper consumption, we checked out Chivas’ new Venture venture, and discussed who would and would not be a “B”.

Many thanks to B Lab for providing 50 copies of Ryan Honeyman’s “The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good.” They went like hotcakes.

Martin Cash of the Winnipeg Free Press picked up the story and we have had great feedback on the event and the venue. Having Dave Angus, president of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce at the event was gold.

The hard part now is this: How do we keep the conversation going? What forums, institutions, or technologies will keep folks locally talking about how business can and, really must, play a greater role in social and environmental good? Any and all recommendations are welcome. Please leave a note in the comments section.