Author, "Megatrends" books
Patricia Aburdene is one of the world’s leading social forecasters. For 25 years she has been tracking how change impacts business. Through her books, talks and workshops, Ms. Aburdene has helped thousands of organizations and millions of people make the most of social change and transformation.
Co-author of the number one New York Times bestseller Megatrends 2000, Ms. Aburdene’s newest book is Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism, a blueprint of the social, economic and spiritual trends transforming free enterprise. As the tag line promises, the book describes seven new trends that will transform how you “Live, Work and Invest.”
Ms. Aburdene has lectured throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, South America, Australia and the Pacific Rim. Clients include Adecco, the Professional Coach and Mentor Association, the Management Institute of New Zealand and the Consciousness in Business conference in Santa Fe, N. Mex.
Ms. Aburdene’s lifelong career in business journalism began at Forbes in 1978. As a Policy Fellow at Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Mass., from 1993 to 1996, she explored emerging leadership models.
Ms. Aburdene holds a B.A. in philosophy from Newton College of the Sacred Heart (now Boston College), an M.S. in library science from Catholic University and three honorary doctorates. In 1990, she was awarded the Medal of Italy for her interpretation of global trends. Ms. Aburdene lives in Telluride, Colo. and Cambridge, Mass.
Chairman Emeritus, The Container Store
Garrett Boone is Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus of The Container Store. His commitment to maintaining the company’s unique culture has played a vital role in The Container Store being selected by FORTUNE magazine as a “Best Company to Work For” 13 years in a row. In 2006, along with Kip (now CEO) and Sharon Tindell (Chief Merchandising Officer), Mr. Boone was inducted into the Retailing Hall of Fame. In his role as Chairman Emeritus at The Container Store, he attends all new store openings, major celebrations and cultural events as well as conducting ‘Selling with Garrett’ seminars.
In 2006, Mr. Boone co-founded Texas Business for Clean Air in an effort to derail a fast track initiative to construct 11 coal-burning energy plants in North Texas using out dated air quality controls. Their efforts in promoting ‘clean air is good for business in Texas’ have been heralded nationally and recently were the subject of a Robert Redford documentary Fighting Goliath: Texas Coal Wars. Texas Business for Clean Air was 2010 recipient of the CATEE Outstanding Nonprofit Organization of the Year. In 2007 Mr. Boone was First runner-up for Texan of the Year awarded by The Dallas Morning News.
Mr. Boone is active on the Boards of Directors of f the YMCA of the USA and the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas where he recently concluded a successful $28 million capital campaign as chairman. Among others, he is on the Boards of Directors of The Woodall Rogers Park Foundation, Trinity Trust Foundation, Trinity Commons Foundation, The Boone Family Foundation, and TreeHouse, Inc. He is highly involved in the Trinity Paddling Trails and Bird Count Initiatives and is a member of the advisory boards for The Dallas Women’s Foundation and Teach for America. He is an advocate for public education and serves on the Dallas ISD Star Commission to share business best practices with DISD.
Former CFO, Bass Family Investment Arm
Rusty Butler brings over three decades of financial management experience. He served as chief financial officer of Handango. Prior to joining Handango, Mr. Butler served as vice president and chief administrative officer of the Fort Worth-based Bass family’s primary investment entity where he was responsible for all financial, accounting, and administrative activities. Previously, Butler served as an audit and tax partner at KPMG for 16 years, where he managed IPOs for many of his clients.
Executive Director, EUROSIF (European Sustainable Investment Forum)
Matt Christensen has served as Executive Director of Eurosif since 2002. Eurosif is the premier European think-tank and industry association for sustainable investment with more than 80 Member Affiliates that together represent assets totalling over €1 trillion. Recent activities of Eurosif include its EU Market Study, High Net Worth Individual Sustainability Report, and successful submissions to the EU asking for improved transparency on ESG (environmental/social/governance) issues by companies and funds. Mr. Christensen is a Member of the European Commission Coordination Committee to explore the future of sustainability policy in the EU.
In his personal capacity, Mr. Christensen has recently advised the World Bank, French State Pension Reserve Fund and family offices on their sustainable investment strategies. Mr. Christensen is a frequent speaker at international events on sustainable finance matters regularly meets with financial services institutions as well as the EU, UN and OECD to discuss sustainable strategy approaches and public policy initiatives.
Mr. Christensen was formerly a European Director at The Motley Fool, a leading publisher of information on personal finance and investing. Prior to that, he advised FTSE 100 clients as a strategy consultant with Braxton Associates/Deloitte Consulting. He is a Non-Executive Director to several European investment funds and holds masters degrees from the Wharton School (M.B.A.) and University of Pennsylvania (M.A. - international political economy). In addition to English as his native language, Mr. Christensen is comfortable in Spanish and French.
Founder & Chairman, Texas Capital Bank
Mr. Grant is the outgoing chairman and CEO of Texas Capital Bancshares, a $4.3 billion bank holding company that he founded in 1998. Mr. Grant will assume the role of chairman emeritus and remain a member of the board of directors of Texas Capital.
Except for his role as EVP, CFO, and member of the Board of Directors of EDS Corporation from 1990 to 1998, (where he co-led the company’s successful spin-off from its parent General Motors), Mr. Grant has spent the preponderance of his career in commercial banking. He was formerly chairman and CEO of Texas American Bancshares, at the time one of the largest bank holding companies in Texas. While senior vice president and economist of Texas Commerce Bank Houston, he led the effort that formed Texas Commerce Bancshares, which is now part of J.P. Morgan Chase Bank. He was the architect of the bank’s expansion strategy and a key member of the team that made the company’s first 35 acquisitions. A native of San Antonio, Tex., Grant began his banking career at Citibank in New York City. He is the author of two acclaimed books on the banking industry.
Mr. Grant has an undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist University where he was an All-American swimmer, and he received his doctorate and masters degrees from the University of Texas.
In 2001, Mr. Grant received the American Banker “Community Banker of the Year” award. He is a current member of World Presidents Organization and Chief Executive Organization, and a former international president of Young Presidents Organization. He currently serves on the boards of Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation, MD Anderson, Communities Foundation of Texas, Dallas Citizens Council, KERA and Dallas County Community College Foundation.
Founder & CEO, Whole Foods Market
John Mackey is co-founder and chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market, Inc., based in Austin, Texas. He is widely credited with helping fuel the rise of organic and natural food in the United States.
Mr. Mackey found his passion for organic foods in an unusual manner. In his early 20s, he joined a vegetarian cooperative even though he wasn’t vegetarian. He thought living in a co-op would be a great way to meet women. And he was right. He met his girlfriend and eventual business partner Renee Lawson, and he also experienced what he called a “food awakening.” In 1978, that epiphany led him and Lawson to open a natural foods grocery store called Safer Way, a counterculture alternative to conventional grocery chain Safeway. Mr. Mackey didn’t have an M.B.A., but he claims to have gotten the perfect education for launching a retail store by studying philosophy. Safer Way struggled during its first two years, and he and Lawson eventually teamed up with two competitors to form Whole Foods Market, Inc.
Mr. Mackey attributes the success of Whole Foods to his application of libertarian philosophies and free-market principles. He says he runs the company “with a conscience.” Whole Foods is considered the first major grocery chain to adopt humane treatment standards for animals. Mr. Mackey says he gets “a sense of deep meaning and purpose” by helping others improve their quality of life with natural food.
Prior to launching Safer Way, Mr. Mackey tried his hand at being a college student. He attended two universities, but dropped out six times. Still, he says he notched 130 credit hours in electives, mostly in religion and philosophy.
Today, Mr. Mackey lives on a 720-acre ranch west of Austin with his wife, Deborah. They practice yoga and meditation. Mr. Mackey has two books in the works: “The Whole Story,” which talks about the company’s birth and his business philosophies, and “The FLOW Papers,” a collection of essays about a nonprofit organization he co-founded in 2003.
Mr. Mackey loves to read, debate politics, and engage fans and critics on his blog.
Operating Partner, Financial Services
Terry Mollner is one of the pioneers of socially responsible investing as a new asset class in the professional investment community. He is a founder and member of the board of the Calvert Family of Socially Responsible Investment Funds, the largest such family of funds with over $7 billion under management. Dr. Mollner is also the Founder and President of Trusteeship Institute, Inc., a think tank and consulting firm in economic and social development. In existence since 1973, its current focus is on the development of “common good corporations.” These are business corporations where the highest priority is the common good of humanity and nature.
Dr. Mollner was a key driver in the sale of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc. He helped prevent the company from being bought by Nestle and eventually facilitated the company being bought by Unilever, his minority partner in the earlier negotiations. Unilever, a very socially responsible multinational, agreed to keep the board of directors in perpetuity by contract and all the social agreements agreed to in the previous negotiations. He now sits on that board, which has primary responsibility for the social mission and brand integrity of Ben & Jerry’s.
Dr. Mollner is the author of several books and numerous articles.
Paul H. Ray
Leading author, sociologist
Paul H. Ray is a renowned author, consultant and sociologist. Much of his work has focused on Cultural Creatives, a term coined by Dr. Ray to describe people whose values embrace a curiosity and concern for the world, its ecosystem, and its peoples; an awareness of and activism for peace and social justice; and an openness to self-actualization through spirituality, psychotherapy, and holistic practices.
Dr. Ray is a founding partner of Integral Partnerships, LLC, designed to help those organizations whose constituencies or customers are Cultural Creatives to be more successful, by aligning their internal activities and values with the values and needs of their constituencies or customers. Dr. Ray has surveyed and classified well over 100,000 Americans in the past thirteen years, showing how the subcultures of values permeate all aspects of American life. During the time of the research reported in the book, he was Executive Vice President of American LIVES, Inc., a market research and opinion polling firm specializing in surveys and focus groups based on the Lifestyles, Interests, Values, Expectations and Symbols of Americans. The research projects that led to discovery of the Cultural Creatives include studies of the effects of values on consumer choices and preferences of Americans in housing, cars, food, recreation, vacation travel, finances, health, political causes (e.g., environment), media use, and altruism; and he also leads studies of innovation by consumers and business. He still consults with American LIVES on research.
Over the past 30 years, Dr. Ray has headed research on more than 100 major research and consulting projects, and written reports on them all. Major sponsors and clients include Del Webb Corporation; Energy, Mines and Resources, Government of Canada; Environmental Protection Agency; Fetzer Institute; Gaiam, Inc.; General Motors; Hewlett-Packard; Institute of Noetic Sciences; Kaufman and Broad; Nissan North America; NYNEX; Pacific Homes Retirement Communities; Pulte Homebuilding; Rayco; Readers Digest; SRI International; Sundance; The City of Detroit; The City of Newport Beach; The City of Palm Springs; The Fieldstone Company; The National Science Foundation; The Nevele Hotel; The New York Times; The Province of Ontario; The State of Michigan; Urban Land Institute; US Tennis Association.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Ray was chief of policy research on energy conservation, Department of Energy, Mines and Resources of the Government of Canada. He was previously Associate Professor of Urban Planning and a Faculty Associate of the Institute for Social Research, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Dr. Ray received a B.A. cum laude in anthropology from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan.