Seeding Innovation: The Path to Profit and Purpose in the 21st Century

Seeding Innovation: The Path to Profit and Purpose in the 21st Century

by Robyn O'Brien
Seeding Innovation: The Path to Profit and Purpose in the 21st Century

Seeding Innovation: The Path to Profit and Purpose in the 21st Century

by Robyn O'Brien


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Build and grow a company ready for the next generation of consumers

In Seeding Innovation: The Path to Profit and Purpose in the 21st Century, veteran entrepreneur, award winning author, global strategist, speaker, and Rice University Innovation and Entrepreneurship professor, Robyn O’Brien, delivers an insightful and data driven roadmap to authenticity and smart leadership in the face of accelerating technological, environmental, and social change. In the book, you’ll discover how to build resilience, authenticity, market share and purpose into your business plan and move beyond box-ticking, virtue signaling and one-dimensional metrics, in a way that strengthens your business model, enhances your bottom line, attracts investors, fortifies employee retention, and more.

With her characteristic candor and attention to data and deep experience on the frontlines of industry change, Robyn explains how you can transform concepts like paradigm blindness, scarcity, imposter syndrome, rejection, and fear to build durable, lasting, and profitable businesses that integrate social and environmental principles, with courage and integrity to drive long term shareholder and stakeholder value.

You’ll also discover how to:

  • Develop a purpose-driven product line that holds strong appeal for new generations of consumers and avoids the ruthless practices associated with PR nightmares and externalized costs
  • Build an iconic company that focuses on integrating meaningful change to inspire customers, investors, and employees and that eschews meaningless press releases and virtue signaling
  • Overcome imposter syndrome and naysayers using the S.T.O.P. Protocol ™
  • Develop supportive scaffolding and a resilient mindset in order to leverage courage and gain market share
  • Build boards (not echo chambers), why equity and governance matters, and how diversity is good for your bottom line
  • Integrate authentic marketing and storytelling into your brand strategy to drive revenue and capture market share
  • Avoid the dangers of silos, fundraising traps and toxic capital and build a model with value-aligned, informed investors.
  • Spot greenwashing, gender washing, and carbon washing, and more importantly, how to avoid them within your own organization and drive change
  • Address headlines around ESG and DEI metrics in order to meet the needs of asset managers and investors, build successful teams and integrate goals that are central to outperformance and higher returns

Gen Z and the modern consumer are looking for companies with authenticity—they want transparency and purpose from brands that are future proofing for the planet they’re inheriting. With this changing consumer focus and mindset emerges an urgent need for emotionally intelligent leadership. Along with profitability, 21st century leaders must focus on environmental stewardship, equity and justice, employee retention, recruiting, collaboration, and emerging other key aspects of modern business.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781394227105
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 04/30/2024
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 174,426
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

About the Author

ROBYN O’BRIEN is a partner at Montcalm, an impact investment firm that blends personal empowerment and planetary integrity. She is a 4x founder, most recently co-founding Sirona Ventures and rePlant Capital, financial services firms scaling climate solutions. She is also on the Forbes Impact 50 List, the founder of Do Good Consulting, AllergyKids Foundation, and a board member of other NGOs in food, energy, and agriculture.

Table of Contents

Author’s Note


Chapter 1: Blind Spots and Big Opportunities

Chapter 2: Finding Fearless Friends

Chapter 3: The Eye-Popping Return on Authenticity

Chapter 4: Venture Capital’s Biases

Chapter 5: The Liability of Ignorance

Chapter 6: Imposter Syndrome and “Not Enough-ness”

Chapter 7: Nature is the Bottom Line

Chapter 8: How to Handle the Curveballs

Chapter 9: Risk Mitigation and Transparency

Chapter 10: 14 Steps to Your Personal Sustainability Plan

Appendix A: Your Personal Balance Sheet

About the Author


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“In Seeding Innovation, Robyn inspires readers with her data, action items and examples of industry changing leadership. With a call for courage, a strong compass and a gentle hand, she provides informed guidance for 21st century business leaders.”
―ROSE MARCARIO, former CEO of Patagonia, and member of Rivian Board of Directors

“I do not know of an author who has a broader vision when it comes to connecting the systemic breakdowns we are witnessing and who can reconnect us to techniques and pathways that restore our love for each other and our home, the planet.”
―PAUL HAWKEN, American environmentalist, entrepreneur, author, economist, and activist

"Women have always been the backbone of society, culture and the economy. That reality is finally getting the recognition it deserves in the 21st century, with women leading businesses and organizations that not only outperform their male peers, but also inspire the next generation of *all* people. In Seeding Innovation, Robyn shares data on the undeniable power of the female consumer, what happens when you #HypeWomen and how everyone wins when women lead. It's a must-read for anyone who wants to better understand the opportunities that lay in front of us and to claim your role in this seismic shift."
―ERIN GALLAGHER, CEO and Founder of Ella, Fast Company's World's Most Innovative Recipient

“If you’re an environmentalist who thinks the private sector is an implacable enemy, or a business executive who thinks the environment is superfluous to your bottom line, I hope you’ve packed light for that short, nonstop trip to irrelevance you’re on. Alternatively, stop and read my friend Robyn O’Brien’s Seeding Innovation. She’ll inspire you to embrace how protecting the planet and turning a profit have become inseparable elements of the deal flow we desperately need to have a world worth living in. And there’s a decent chance she’ll reroute you to a purpose-driven life.”
―KEN COOK, President, Environmental Working Group (EWG)

“Robyn O’Brien’s wise and infallible moral compass always points us toward a better world. I’ll go anywhere she leads.”
―KATHERINE CENTER, New York Times bestselling author

"In Seeding Innovation, Robyn charts a practical and heartfelt call-to-action for leaders who are eager to build something better - for the planet, for our food system, and for themselves. Robyn is one of those unique people who sees possibility and works to build bridges (not divisiveness) between people to solve our biggest problems. And, she brings her authentic self to this book - it's grounded in courage and faith - and I think it’s the perfect guide at the perfect time from a true thought-leader."
―STEVE YOUNG, Managing Partner, Manna Tree Partners, a private equity firm focused on improving human health through nutrition

“In a world where businesses are increasingly judged not only by their financial performance but also by their impact on the planet and society, Robyn O’Brien’s Seeding Innovation stands as a timely and essential guide for investors and 21st century Innovators seeking to make a meaningful difference. I highly recommend it to anyone who believes in the power of venture capitalism to drive positive change and create a more sustainable and equitable future."
―DON WAKAMATSU, former Seattle Mariners Manager and Founder of The Wakway Foundation

"Finally, a book, Seeding Innovation that creates a real guide for practical and tangible innovation and change from the old, outdated limited measurements of GDP and capitalism.  Robyn paves the way through her brilliance and expertise to help create a new and expanded lens of how we move forward here and now, together with greater purpose and impact in business and how we live on this planet."
―DARIN OLIEN, author and Emmy Award winning host of Down to Earth with Zac Efron

“What does advise for entrepreneurs look like when the markets, the investors, the services and products are changing before your eyes? How do shed the orthodoxy of the existing, failing system? Well, the answer is you dig deep, you move from the linear simplistic mindset and into a circular, holistic one that embraces complexity in all its forms.

Robyn’s personal journey, her wisdom acquired though years of wanting to be the change she wanted to see is reflected in this book. It’s both holistic in its eloquent framing of the macro business environment in poly crisis world  (Planetary Boundaries, Economic, Political and Social). It explains ´why ESG, DE&I and personal work is central to building a resilient, profitable businesses.  Seeding Innovation presents both sober and practical tools for entrepreneurs and leaders wanting to create lasting value for people and planet”
―ERIK BRUUN BINDSLEV, Global Impact Leader and Entrepreneur

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