The Beauty of Networking – The 21st Century Way

This week has been a good week. And I wanted to finish it off with a quick recap and some reflections on how much and how little business networking has changed in my opinion.

The week in review:

  • The new version of the SustainabilityForum.com is nearly ready. A few more tweaks and we are ready to go next week (Fingers crossed).
  • Business is going well too. So far I cannot feel the economic downturn. But I think I can consider myself lucky and I am grateful for that.
  • I was able to purchase the domain Fairtrader.org this week. Who knows…that might be another project down the line. A really nice name. Short and memorable.

21st Century Business Networking
This week has also been a fantastic business networking week. I was able to connect with so many great new people. And that made me think. How many people would I have been able to connect with this week and the last few months without the use of some of the modern online business networking tools.

The answer is pretty clear…..not a lot. Especially not from all across the world.

I then remembered that I recently talked to my father about this and how amazed he was about these networking tools.

He said that he is and always has been relying on three business main ways to expand his business network:

  • Attending and organizing conferences and workshops
  • Being a member of a business club or other clubs in interest areas such as sport, art, etc.
  • Cold calling possible business partners and customers to arrange one to one meetings.

Our new networking activities that have drastically changed the way we now network enhance these three business networking activities in my opinion. I categorize them in three areas:

  • Social Media: Tools such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. help us to connect to like minded people easier then ever before without having meet in person.
  • Online Business Meetups: Websites such as Meetup.com etc. now make it incredibly easy to find meetings and get-togehters with like minded people in your local, regional and national community.
  • The evolution of modern communications: Modern communication tools such as Skype and the normality of telephone international flat rates make it so much easier and convenient to reach out to people all across the globe.

Again, the beauty of these new tools is that they all enhance and increase your networking possibilities in a way that my father only dreamed about 20 years ago. And I think this is only the beginning. We will see great new developments in these areas ove the next 10 years.

But I also believe these old and new ways of networking have one outcome in common: To really build a proper and long lasting business relationship we always have to meet in person as business is still and will always be conducted between individuals that know and trust each other.

Modern business networking technology will not change this basic law no matter what. And this is a good thing.

Picture Credit: luc legay

People I follow on Twitter – Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

I have been using Twitter for the past year and see Twitter as a great tool to extend the private and business networks.
The problem I had with Twitter from the beginning was whom to follow on the topics that I am interested in.
This is the first post in a new Twitter series I am writing where I will be listing the usernames of some people I follow on topics such as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), CSR/Sustainability News, Social Media, and more. The post today will be about the Twitterers (people that are on Twitter) that tweet (expression for the individual Twitter updates) about CSR.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Twitterers

  • James Farrar – A great blogger and invaluable source of CSR and technology insights
  • Mallen Baker – Mallen provides top quality information and insightful commentary on all CSR topics
  • David Connor – A never ending source of CSR information
  • Chris Jarvis – Great insights and excellent blogger on CSR
  • Elaine Cohen – Great information source on CSR Reporting topics

There are a lot more people that are providing excellent information on CSR on Twitter even though they are not listed here. This is just snapshot of the people I follow on the topic of CSR.

Search for CSR on Twitter

Another great way to get started connecting to like-minded CSR people on Twitter is to do a Twitter search with ‘CSR’ as the keyword or any other keyword you are looking for. Here is the direct link to the Twitter search for CSR:
http://search.twitter.com/search?q=csr

This way you will never miss a tweet on the keyword you are looking for.

I am obviously also on Twitter and tweet about CSR topics. So why not visit and let me know what you think. Fabian on Twitter

Happy networking everyone!

The Business Case for Sustainability at Interface

This week seems to be the week where I am posting a lot of videos. I have no idea why but I would not want to withhold this very interesting video on the ‘Business Case for Sustainability’ from my readers.

This video is a speech from Ray Anderson, the CEO of Interface.

He founded the company 30 odd years ago and is still running it as of now. Back in February of this year he gave this speech at a TED Conference in California.

This is a very inspiring video about how he became ‘Sustainability-Aware’ as a person and what he then initiated at Interface to limit the environmental and social impact of his business.

A ‘Must-Watch’ for every Sustainability / CSR company representative or anyone interested in the business case for Sustainability.

Enjoy!

The SustainabilityForum.com News and Blog Show

We are almost at the point where we are ready for the new SustainabilityForum.com to go live this week.

Part of the new SustainabilityForum.com will be a weekly Show recorded via ustream, posted on youtube and the events section on the website.

Here is my welcome message and a short summary of the purpose of the show:

All feedback as always is much appreciated.

Entrepreneurs Can Change the World

To all the Entrepreneurs out there that want to change the world but need a reminder once in a while:

I have been an entrepreneur for the last 1,5 years now (incredible how fast time passes!) and I had many ups and downs, good days and bad days and moments when I simply wanted to give up. But I didn’t because I believe I can make a difference in this world and help change it for the better.

Although this video explicitly shows North America as an example where entrepreneurs changed the world this is true for every country and culture across the globe.

The message remains the same: Entrepreneurs can change the world.

So let us get going to make it happen!