[Issue 078] What to expect in 2⃣0⃣1⃣9⃣


Happy 2019! I've missed you these past few weeks, and I am excited to be back in your inboxes.

Last week Lora and I spent time reflecting on 2018 and planning for another kick-ass year. Among the things we're working on, we are particularly excited to start a monthly interview series and feature guest contributors on some fascinating topics. (Interested in sharing something in ABL? Hit me up!)

We are also creating a 2020 US election resource for those of you interested in learning more about the candidates' stances on important business policy issues. 


But the most immediate change you will notice is that I will now be sending the newsletter on Thursdays (instead of Tuesdays). I have been considering it for a while now and figured this is the perfect time to make the switch. We'll see how it goes. As always, I'm open to hearing your thoughts!

In the meantime, we would love to hear what issues are most interesting to you right now. Some potential topics we are considering for the content calendar include:  

  • Artificial intelligence // how companies are (or aren't) addressing the risks

  • Veganism // especially in relation to the agriculture and meat industries

  • Corporate money in politics // including Super PACs and lobbying

  • Zero-waste // what does it mean and what are ways companies and consumers are contributing to a zero waste society

  • ... and more.

Vote via the Patreon poll (click the red button below), or just hit reply to share your thoughts! 

Last, but not least, THANK YOU to those of you who completed the survey and joined the focus groups last year. There was far more interest than we expected, which really made your girl feel special!

We were able to gather incredible feedback that has informed the direction for Above the Bottom Line. If there's one GIF that summarizes the vision, it might just be:


Here are some insights we gathered from the survey:

  • Most of you don't work in corporate social responsibility. Only 10% of you do, which is so much lower than I expected!

  • ABL readers are overwhelmingly millenial. 64% of you are between the ages of 25 and 34, and 20% of you are between 35 and 44.

  • Despite my discomfort describing the tone of the newsletter as funny, 42% of you think it is. However, 64% of you describe the tone of ABL as "witty," so that's what you'll see ABL described as going forward.

  • You want ABL to continue striking a balance between celebrating the good and highlighting the bad. Got it!

  • You want more — more action, more conversations, and more engagement overall. This will be the biggest area of growth for us this year, and I'll need your input along the way.

A HUGE shoutout to Ivi from Bombilla Creative for all her hard work on all this. I'm beyond grateful.

Consider this long edition of the newsletter our 2019 ABL State of the Union address (without the horrible political drama of a government shutdown, of course).

Now, let's return to our regularly scheduled program newsletter!



P.S. This month I'll be easing into the newsletter with bi-weekly issues, giving us more time to work on new content. 


Kelly Rowland teamed up with Dove to create an anti-bullying music video all about hair. It's surface-level cute, but it conflates bullying and institutional discrimination, which black girls face because of their hair. [Exhibit ABC...Z

Regardless, I'm still here for anything that makes little black girls fall in love with their fros. 👑Read about it here, watch the video here, and tell me what you think.


Walmart Offers Paid Sick Leave To Its 1.1 Million Hourly Workers. Walmart has recently announced that it will be supplying all its store and warehouse workers with up to 48 hours of “Protected Paid Time Off,” which is separate from their regular vacation time and can be used for anything. Employees accrue an hour of paid time off for every 30 hours worked. This comes in response to an increase of major cities mandating that employers provide sick leave. // CBS NEWS

Top 5 Renewable Energy Trends for 2019: Why Hydrogen Makes The Cut. The list includes natural gas being used less to power homes, having hydrogen fuel cells at every port, and local communities setting up their own renewable energy plate. // TRIPLE PUNDIT

More Google Employees Are Losing Faith in Their CEO’s Vision. Google conducts an annual survey asking employees about their views and trust in the company. The poll found that 78% of employees are inspired by Sundar Pichai’s company vision (down 10% from the year before), and 74% said that they had confidence in his management skills as well as team (down 18% from the year before). // YAHOO FINANCE

In case you forgot: 
"Last year, tension between the company and employees exploded into the public realm. Workers clashed with management on a range of issues, including a lack of benefits for contract staff and the ethical use of artificial intelligence. Thousands of Google staff staged a walkout after a report that the company gave large exit payments to executives accused of sexual harassment."

A Grand Plan To Clean The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This article profiles Boyan Slat, the 22 year old Dutch entrepreneur with a vision to clean up the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world. It's a fascinating look into his journey to-date and the challenges he's faced in bringing his vision to life. // THE NEW YORKER

How Organizations are Failing Black Workers -- And How To Do Better. This articles discusses the recent push in many industries to become more diverse, and how the actual change isn’t happening in equal proportion. The author, who has studied black workers for 15 years, argues that the data shows that organizations and industries are failing black workers in three key ways, especially in more professional sectors. // HBR

Mattel and National Geographic Team Up For New Line Of Barbie Dolls. Mattel has teamed up with National Geographic to create a line of dolls with a focus on occupations where women are underrepresented, like science, research, and math. // FORTUNE

The Ambitious Quest To Recycle The World’s Bras. Harper Wilde, a bra startup, has tackled the problem that many people who wear bras face, not being able to donate them when you no longer have need for them, and thus they end up going straight in the landfill. Instead, Harper Wilde has partnered with For Days, a T-shirt recycling brand, and is inviting bra-wearers to send in their old bras in (whether they are Harper Wilde brand or not) and they will recycle them for you. // FAST COMPANY

 The headlines were curated with the help of ABL's badass intern, Lora.


“Why should the citizens of this world keep companies around whose sole purpose is the enrichment of a few people?”

Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson

Above the Bottom Line is funded by dope community members like you who pledge $1 or more per month to support its sustainability and growth.

Nikita T. Mitchell