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Business

For the past 6.5+ years I have been an integral part of the Manoverboard team. As Manoverboard’s longest running employee, I’m in a unique position to share some insights about this great company—how it evolved, and how it eventually grew to become the first B Corporation in Manitoba.

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Fightin' Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, widely credited with inventing the web in 1991, recently received the Turing Award. The prize is basically a Noble for nerds—and it includes a $1 million in funds courtesy of our friends at Google.

The early and sometimes goofy web that Sir Berners-Lee created is now a sophisticated, trusted and (sometimes hostile) reserve of information, ideas, and communities. We are blessed to have this wealth of collected information and connectivity and owe much to Berners-Lee and those early assemblers of markup and extensive system planning. As many programmers will attest, code is debt; behind the entirety of the web are countless hours of design and technical thinking and development that cannot and will not ever be repaid.

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I like to think that life is like a marathon, in that everyone races for their own reasons. Sometimes you meet up with fellow runners and other times you come to a fork in the road where you part ways. You must be lead by your inner voice telling you what is important, rather then just finishing the race with the best time or the most calories burned. All of the clients that I have had the privilege to work with at Manoverboard are either focused on causes related to helping community or the environment.

When you are gauging your company’s impact on the lives of inner city youth or the amount of beets you planted in a community garden, it’s not as simple as dollars and cents on a balance sheet. Impact is fluid and often difficult to nail down, but there is a great way to demonstrate your purpose that will leave customers, investors and other stakeholders happy—and that is through an impact report.

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The Casio Challenge

With every new year we tend to assess the many facets of our lives and focus on the things that are not working. This seems to be common with every passing year, so I decided to see how I could curb the amount of time I spent staring into my phone. Even as I write this, I have already been interrupted by the urge to check it.

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clouds

The year 2016 was a year of forward motion for us at Manoverboard. We made great strides in our work, creating new strategies, sites, and identities for clients that are helping to solve some of the planet’s most challenging issues.

As a Certified B Corporation, we also made strides in conceptualizing, concretizing, and describing our social and environmental impact.

Like any small not-only-for-profit, there are challenges in creating and measuring that impact. We are not strictly a social enterprise, which typically provides opportunities to vulnerable or disenfranchised populations. We are also not a social impact firm in which our work directly influences the lives and livelihoods of the poor and economically disadvantaged. And we are not (yet) directly developing new solutions in the green economy, though we are strong advocates and users of sustainable technologies. Fundamentally, Manoverboard is a professional services firm and we have three direct means of creating and measuring positive impact.

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