By Mike Gifford on 29/09/2018
SDGs Poster
I am often inspired by the work of Tim Frick and the team at Mightybytes. He recently published an article on Aligning Your Organization with U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I’m going to try not to repeat the work he’s done, but try to add to it. You should read his article.
The world is facing some rather unprecedented challenges. A great many of these challenges caused by unfettered capitalism. This is made worse with belief that profit is the only goal business should pursue. Greed was turned into a virtue and self-interest given primacy.
About the same time I started listening...
By Mike Gifford on 28/05/2018
Elephant feet made from chain
It's hard to avoid the blockchain if you are on the internet these days. Most folks have heard about Bitcoin, Ethereum or EOS because of speculative investments. Highly volatile cryptocurrencies have made some people very wealthy. It's all based on the idea of the blockchain.
A public, distributed ledger that is next to impossible to alter. This makes it very useful for things that go beyond cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain is a pretty amazing technology that will have some great applications. Unfortunately, the hype of this new technology is pretty exaggerated.
So, I'm buying some gold. Not for...
By Mike Gifford on 21/01/2018
Recycling & trash cans in Thailand.
I am a Quaker and I was going to meeting on Sunday and came in from the cold with a bit of a runny nose. I grabbed a tissue, used it and then threw it into the trash. I didn’t even think about it until a member of our community picked it out of the trash (along with some other garbage) and put it into the compost.  She then went on to talk about how discouraged that she was about our ability to do something as simple as manage our garbage. I definitely agreed with her concerns, and yet I had without thinking it just defaulted to adding to our landfills.
I've got a bit of a fascination about...
By Mike Gifford on 19/01/2018
Raptor visits the Office
OpenConcept is a Certified B Corporation. We understand that the economy exists within a fragile ecosystem. Capitalism is a powerful force but when it focused exclusively on profits it is also a serious threat to the future of humanity. We think that environmental reporting is something that all organizations should do to help us measure what matters. We put forward our first Environmental Report for 2016 just a few months ago, so this is mostly a matter of releasing our 2017 numbers:

Natural Gas: 83 GJ
Electricity: 34 GJ
Water: 34k L
Flights 10718 km or 990 kg of CO2

We used 16 GJ more...
By Mike Gifford on 17/11/2017
Bright Green Frog
When I started OpenConcept in 1999 it was with a keen awareness that we needed to make rapid changes to how Western Society was consuming the resources of our finite home. I knew that we would need to build collaboration between groups to ensure that we could hope to manage the challenges that we are going to need to face. I knew that technology was going to be the backbone of managing that enormous communications challenge. Because of my background and involvement in the environmental movement, OpenConcept has always had a pretty small footprint.
Joining the Certified B Corporation community...
By Mike Gifford on 16/11/2017
Hydro Electirc Dam
OpenConcept is happy to have migrated our corporate servers into greener data centers. Currently all of our corporate servers are hosted by companies in Quebec that is almost entirely powered by hydro electric power. We have some dedicated servers with iWeb and are leveraging Amazon's new Montreal data center.
In discussions with Certified B Corporations like Man Overboard and Mighty Bytes, I have learned a lot about the impact of the growth of data centers around the world. Man Overboard produced Serving.Green to raise awareness about the environmental impact of web hosting.  Mighty Bytes...
By Mike Gifford on 09/10/2017
Bullfrog Power table set up at in Westboro
With the climate chaos that we are seeing, it is clear that we need to do more to reduce our Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG). Government and business leaders are getting behind the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These are 17 goals which are critical to our survival on this planet. Goal 13 is to "Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts", which is one I've been promoting personally for decades.
In 2008, OpenConcept Consulting entered into an environmental partnership with Bullfrog Power, Canada’s leading green energy provider. Through this partnership, we pay a premium and...
By Mike Gifford on 02/10/2017
Photo from B Corp Retreat outlining need for interdependence.
OpenConcept is a pretty small company and most of our services we consume are digital, so in the scheme of things, we have a pretty small footprint on our planet and our local economy. That being said, as Mahatma Gandhi said “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it."
I just returned from my second B Corp Champions Retreat and I am even more enthusiastic about being able to leverage our small contributions to make a much bigger impact. I believe strongly in fixing the problems at the source, and many of our societal problems boil down to consumption...
By Mike Gifford on 14/09/2017
B Corp | Best for the World
We are happy to announce that OpenConcept Consulting Inc. has been recognized for creating the most positive overall community impact by the nonprofit B Lab.
OpenConcept has been named a winner in the Best for Workers list, which means that in our B Impact Assessment we scored in the top 10 percent of more than 2,255 companies around the world. B Corporations are for-profit companies from around the world that have been certified by B Lab against rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
The Workers portion of the B Impact Assessment...
By Mike Gifford on 29/09/2016
I was happy to be asked to talk about Certified B Corporations as part of the 2016 Leveraging Our Strengths conference in Ottawa.
With the growing focus on innovation in Canada, it felt good to be surrounded by exploring ways to adopt Social Innovation strategies. It is so encouraging to think about different models which we can organize in order to improve our world.
Ottawa’s Impact Hub was one of the key organizers. I’ve always been impressed with the work of Hubbers and I sit on their Champions Circle to help support their great work. It was an event that the hosted by the Hub that...