This Good World Interview: A Platform Sparking a DoGooder Revolution
Have you been touched by inspiring stories that make you look at the world differently? Have you discovered brands that redefine retail and company responsibility? Has your heart been opened to a cause you never knew existed?
If you’ve answered yes to any of the questions above then you’ve taken what I like to call the conscious plunge. You’re enamored with this new perspective of the world that you inhabit and you want to get more involved. You want to find the businesses, partners, and people in your community and around the world to
But how? How do you find a local brand supporting social change or connect your ecofriendly business with conscious consumers?
That’s where This Good World swoops in to sweep you off your feet.
This Good World is a search + discovery platform that highlights and supports businesses doing good things. Since This Good World and Conscious Magazine share a passion for conscious culture and connecting likeminded do-gooders, we sat down to learn more about the platform and how it is catalyzing a conscious revolution.
Q | What was the inspiration behind founding This Good World? When did you know that you were on to something wonderful?
Gavin Thomas: While This Good World just officially launched as a social enterprise this February, Lisa and I have been working together in different capacities for the last 6 or 7 years. The initial concept of This Good World was born from a daily blog we wrote together with general good vibes and positive thoughts (which turned into a book we published together in 2012). We had a strong desire to bring those thoughts to our everyday work ethos, and social entrepreneurship provided us a path to do so. The specific concept of TGW was a result of a solution to the problem of not easily being able to support companies doing really good things. As for the "wonderful" question (thanks, by the way)... we've been extremely fortunate to get to learn about and meet with amazing business owners, personal role models and all around amazing people as a result of what we're doing, which is very cool and means the world to us.
LisaKribs-LaPierre: This Good World was conceived two-fold – First was scratching the itch: when I traveled, it was frustrating to have to scour Google to find like-minded businesses in town I'd like to support. It seemed like a no brainer to have a central "home base" for these places, for us social do-gooders, but there wasn't one. Back home, whether I was looking for fair trade coffee, made in the USA cleaning products, wanting to check out the cultural vibe of a service I was giving my business to, or to learn something completely new – it was hard to do.
Secondly, Gav and I happened upon several conversations with business owners locally and on both coasts – during this little research study of ours, we kept hearing from businesses a recurring theme of disconnectedness with the broader community (global and local community).
Q | What are the biggest barriers to fostering a conscious society where all businesses are part of This Good World? And how can we, as individuals and businesses, work to overcome these barriers?
GT: We talk a lot between the two of us and with our team about the concept of individuals, businesses or organizations sometimes thinking they aren't "good enough." That's a way of thinking we're trying to have a small part in changing. Good of all sizes deserves to be highlighted and celebrated--whether a company gives $5 million dollars a year or a local coffee shop on the corner works hard to give a few extra benefits to their employees, etc. By supporting and celebrating all the good (as individuals or businesses), rather than shaming or labeling someone/something as "not good enough," more action will come about.
LKP: I think primary barriers are the silos we create. The definition of community is first and foremost about sharing – the sharing of characteristics, attitudes and responsibility. These silos happen within industries, silos from a specific type of social good (environment, equality, etc.) – when we do this we lose the opportunity to share ideas, pool resources and make real impact.
Q | How do you see This Good World growing in the next 5, 10, and 20 years?
GT: The obvious answer - we hope to continue rapid growth among both users and business members, as well as establish ourselves as a sustainable business for many years to come. Perhaps more importantly, it's our goal to make a dent in the landscape of supporting good businesses. We're in an amazing wave of social consciousness and hope to have a small part in making that wave bigger with all the good people out there.
LKP: Our vision in the coming years is for TGW to be a standard go-to for both conscious consumers and businesses to go find good and get good done.
Q | What advice do you have for aspiring social entrepreneurs?
GT: If you're already thinking about become a social entrepreneur, the hard part is actually done. The seed of commitment to do something amazing already exists in your mind or maybe even on a cocktail napkin somewhere. Take the leap. Yes, there are countless articles and pieces out there saying what a pain in the ass entrepreneurship is and how much work it takes. While mostly true, don't focus on that stuff. You'll learn something new every day regardless of your career choice, so why not learn and do something that makes things around us a little bit better? Side note: people will help you out more than you could ever imagine. Ask for help. Don't be shy. Do it.
LKP: Work hard, play hard. Celebrate the small wins: TGW tries to remember this most of all. Find others that really believe in what you're doing and circle the wagons as often as you need to.
Bonus! This Good World is joining Conscious by launching the monthly column "Conscious Culture City Guides." Stay tuned for their first city next month!.
Photos courtesy of This Good World.
From the Editor
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