The CEO of New Belgium Brewing Co., a vice president of Etsy, an NAACP officer and even an Indian mystic found themselves in the same place this weekend in Baltimore: the convention of a socially conscious business organization.
Social Venture Network, an international group of entrepreneurs and business leaders, conducted its fall conference at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel this weekend. Stressing the need for an sustainable economy, the group offered a lineup of speakers — including representatives from Honest Tea, Indiegogo and Upworthy — and an agenda that included music, meditation and daily yoga sessions.
Among the speakers Saturday was Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, a 56-year-old Indian mystic and humanitarian whose lecture, "The Business of Business," stressed a global perspective, a need to connect business concerns and human well being, and the importance of thinking beyond basic needs and wants.
"I think unless we conduct [business] in a way that enhances our own life and everybody's lives around us, the whole humanity will go to waste if we continue to do things that don't mean anything to us. In the name of business, people have separated business and life," he said. "I'm trying to bring it together everywhere I go. It's the business of life. There is no business and life. Life is business."
Other conference topics included "Fund What Matters," "The Power of Microbusiness to Drive Job Creation," "Capitalism 2.0: Evolving Business in a Changing World" and "The Business of Climate Solutions." The convention continues through Sunday.